Have you ever felt like you knew God’s plan for you? Felt secure in your calling?
Then have you ever had that plan turned around so differently from what you imagined?
Sabrina Rice is going through this trying circumstance. A previous Olympic hopeful in running, Sabrina now suffers from a debilitating chronic disease preventing her from running. In her effort to “deal” with this loss, Sabrina drastically changes her career path and drops multiple pieces of her previous dreams.
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House, 2013) follows Sabrina’s story as she encounters Brandy Philip, a troubled teen with a raw talent for running. When a “chance” circumstance places them in a collaborative arrangement, Sabrina wonders if she can deal with both her loss of running and Brandy’s poor choices.
Chasing Hope tells Sabrina and Brandy’s stories in a contemporary fashion (even down to mentioning current technology and television shows). This novel offers a unique perspective in that while it does have a romantic storyline between Sabrina and a fella she likes, the main relational story is the doubtful friendship between Sabrina and Brandy. While most of the story is told from Sabrina’s point-of-view, the author keeps each girl’s characterization consistent.
As a former-and-now-returning runner, I loved the running references, emotions, and even training aspects incorporated in this book. This book honestly has less “action” than other novels I’ve read, but I remained interested because of the emotional intensity. I quickly cared about the characters and wanted to learn more. Short chapters kept me saying, “Oh, just one more chapter, then I’ll put the book down…”
“Seems to me what makes a hero is someone who gets knocked down but gets back up and looks for what it is they’re supposed to be doing now that things didn’t work out quite like they planned.” – Chasing Hope, p. 300
This book does read at times like it could be classified as YA (young adult), but many readers will be able to relate to the themes involved, especially in trust, perseverance, and holding on to hope. The unique and differing backgrounds between the two main characters, as well as the range of personalities and ages of the minor characters, will help many readers relate to one or more of the novel’s characters.
This is the first novel I’ve read from Kathryn Cushman, and I’m interested in reading more.
How have you seen God working in your life path when you looked back over the years?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are my own.