Saturday, August 30, 2008

Enchanting Review: Courage In Patience

YA contemporary
347 pages
Available now

4.5 Enchantments

After six years of abuse from her stepfather, Ashley Asher finally has the courage to tell her mother. Instead of supporting her, she accuses Ashley of lying. Ashley ends up confiding in a teacher, who calls Ashley’s birthfather David, who had abandoned her as a baby.

David is no longer the angry person of the past. He’s ashamed of abandoning Ashley and vows to make it up to her. No longer will anyone hurt her.

Ashley finds herself in a family where for the first time she doesn’t have to live in fear. But the journey to healing is rocky.

Her stepmother teaches a summer English class using Chris Crutcher’s book Ironman. This brings to head other emotions in the small town of Patience, Texas. Emotions that deal with racism, bullying, intolerance, and fear.

Will Ashley be strong enough to face her demons and realize that she is a person worthy of love? Will she and the others in her stepmother’s class be able to use Bo Brester’s examples from Ironman to gain strength to confront their own struggles?

I really enjoyed this edgy story that shows not only the ugliness of abuse but the process of healing and forgiveness. Fehlbaum does a great job of showing the conflict and struggle that Ashley goes through when dealing with not only the abuse but the reactions from those around her. But one thing that really sticks out on this book is the message of hope to those who’ve also been abused. Readers will cheer Ashley on as she grows and confronts those who have betrayed her.

This is a must read book especially for those who like books that deal in a realistic way with a sensitive subject matter.

Beth Fehlbaum drew on her experience working with abused children as an English teacher while writing Courage in Patience. She is an English teacher with a M.Ed. and lives in East Texas. Check out more on her website at

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