"Peter and Tara Miller are the image of perfection. They have three beautiful children, live in a wonderful neighborhood, and are still each other's best friend. When their world completely disintegrates within a short period of time, their daughter must survive the aftermath. Creating a new persona, Samantha finally breaks free and discovers that the real world is not much kinder than her dysfunctional family. Emotionally shattered, the solace of the ocean, and a loving dog, carry her on her way. Samantha meets Timothy Bleak, who was raised in a seemingly kind, loving family, but is virtually invisible to them. His voice goes unheard, his needs are unmet, and his emotions are squashed. Timothy summons the strength to leave his family, and discovers Samantha in his journey. Restored Hope follows these two bereft young people as their lives intertwine and they face the challenges of life, love and happiness together."
As I was reading Restored Hope, I really felt the author's heart and soul behind the story line. I could tell that she truly invested herself in the lives of these characters. While the work and love that went into this book is quite apparent, it did fall a bit flat. I truly believe that this book has good bones, but it seems like it got somewhat deformed as it grew. The characters are often awkward and unrealistic with flat dialogue. Some of the scenes seemed very forced and contrived. Furthermore, tragedy followed tragedy followed tragedy, and not in a good way. Half the family dies or tries to kill themselves using the same old oak tree for goodness sake! Overall, I didn't like this novel. I feel terrible about saying that, but it's the truth. However, I am grateful that the author, Brenda Youngerman, entrusted me with a copy of her book to review. I'd like to say that just because I disliked this book doesn't mean that the rest of you will. That being said, if anyone is interested in reading Restored Hope, shoot me an e-mail and I'll gladly send it to you. I hope that this book will find I home that can give it a little more love than I did.