Cover image for We hope for better things [large print] / Erin Bartels.
We hope for better things [large print] / Erin Bartels.
Center Point Large Print edition.
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Maine : Center Point Large Print, 2019.

Physical Description:
528 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
"A disgraced journalist moves into her great-aunt's secret-laden farmhouse and discovers that the women in her family were testaments to true love and courage in the face of war, persecution, and racism as readers are taken on an emotional journey through time from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War"-- Provided by publisher.


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When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request -- that she look up a relative she didn't know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos -- seems like it isn't worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this powerful first novel from Bartels (after story collection This Elegant Ruin), a successful journalist must weigh her desire for uncovering the truth against the collateral damage of revealing family secrets. Elizabeth Balsam believes she is on her way to making headlines with an incriminating story about Judge Ryan Sharpe's involvement in the 1967 Detroit riots when she is suddenly fired from the Detroit Free Press after it's revealed she used an assumed identity to investigate the judge. Without a job, she is confronted by a mysterious man claiming to have photographs of the riots, which he says belong to an aunt of Elizabeth's whom she has never met. Elizabeth agrees to deliver the photos to her aunt, believing the photos will be her ticket back into the story she has been trying to write and her career as a journalist. After she tracks down her aunt Nora at an old farmhouse outside Detroit, Elizabeth discovers the true history of the Balsam family and learns that box of photos contains something far more life-altering than her story about the riots. As Elizabeth and Nora pore over the photos, stories of forbidden love, war, racism, and sacrifice emerge, and Although Elizabeth isn't the most devout person, she begins to see the destiny involved in her reconnecting with her aunt and must make the hard decision of whether to pursue her career or leave her family's dark history buried. Bartels successfully weaves American history into a deeply moving story of heartbreak, long-held secrets, and the bonds of family. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

DEBUT Fresh voice Bartels writes about three generations of women in Detroit, MI, as they navigate the muddy waters of the civil rights era, the Underground Railroad, and current times. Elizabeth Balsam is a reporter at the Detroit Free Press, until she screws up an investigation and finds herself out of a job. When she meets James Rich, he starts her on a search for a relation she didn't know she had. The mysteries that surround her at her great-aunt's farmhouse bring her reeling into the past, as she finds graves and photographs that uncover decades-old secrets. A forbidden interracial marriage, an escaped slave, an expectant mother waiting for her Union soldier to return-all of these stories are deftly told by Bartels, as she explores the hard realities of racism and its many faces during various eras of American history. VERDICT The themes of this novel are much needed within Christian fiction. Compelling characters make this winning debut also appealing for fans of general historical fiction.-Julia M. Reffner, North Chesterfield, VA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.