About the Book
Book: Hope for Tomorrow
Author: Michelle De Bruin
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: October 2018
A young man leaves his career and agrees to board the teacher who offers him a priceless gift.
When Logan De Witt learns of his father’s sudden death, he returns home to the family’s dairy farm and chooses to stay. As a way to make some extra money, he agrees to board the teacher for their local school.
Karen Millerson arrives from Chicago and accepts the role of country school teacher. Eager to put her family’s ugly past behind her, Karen makes a fresh start in her new surroundings as a way to replace the trust she lost in her father.
Can Karen learn to trust again? Will Logan lay aside his grief in exchange for God’s purpose for his life?
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About the Author
Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2015. Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story. Her first book, Hope for Tomorrow, released in 2018. The sequel, Promise for Tomorrow, released November 2019.
More from Michelle
Hope for Tomorrow is a story that explores responses to uncertainty and the grief that comes from sudden losses. The main characters of the story have experienced unexpected changes that press them to grow deeper in their faith. Psalm 30:5 reminds us that weeping may linger through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Logan De Witt, his mother, his sister, and Karen Millerson the new teacher, learn this truth for themselves as the events of the story’s plot unfold.
My hope is that readers will learn the best way to respond to loss and change while also finding pleasure in the ways the Lord introduces joy and unexpected blessings into our lives.
“How far must we travel to reach Bridgewater Springs?” Glad to finally be able to see above the cornfields, Karen scanned the horizon. No buildings indicated the location of another town. Only the silhouettes of silos, hip roof barns, and a few windmills broke up the landscape.
“We ain’t goin’ to Bridgewater Springs.”
“What do you mean?” Karen’s middle stretched tight.
“Didn’t anyone tell ya?” The school board chairman turned to her. Crows’ feet etched deep lines in the sun-browned skin around his eyes.
“I received a letter that said I am to teach English and reading at the Bridgewater Springs High school.”
Mr. Hinkley shook his head and clicked his tongue. “Oh, the sad communication in our school systems these days.” Slapping a horse with the reins, he cleared his throat. “The school in Bridgewater Springs combined subjects. The community got worried about how many students might actually decide to go on to high school. They wanna hold off before hiring too many teachers. Don’t wanna get too carried away with offering a lot of subjects if no one comes to school to take ‘em. You know how that goes.” He transferred both reins to one hand, reached in his front pocket, pulled out a toothpick, and stuck it in a corner of his mouth.
The toothpick wagged a bit before he continued speaking. “At the last minute, the superintendent told me that the girl who taught our school last year got engaged over the summer. So, since you were a teacher without a school, and we were a school without a teacher, he made the decision to send ya here.” He chewed on the toothpick for a moment before looking over at her once again. “Sorry ya have to find out this way. I thought maybe someone already told ya.”
“You mean to tell me, to tell me that I . . .” She gave up in a sigh that collapsed all the air from her lungs.
“Now I know we ain’t the most educated folks you’ll run across, but our kids deserve a chance. Just like any in the big city.”
“But I . . . I still need to . . . to . . .” Karen groaned about the sputtering that betrayed her chaotic mind. She drew in a deep breath and tried again. “I traveled all this way to begin my career.”
“Well, now, I think we can work somethin’ out.” Mr. Hinkley drove on a road that crested a small hill and dipped to a stone bridge spanning a brook.
Historical fiction never fails to appeal to me, no matter what kind of reading mood I might be in, and “Hope for Tomorrow” is no exception. The detailed cover illustration is even perfect for summer, with a distant white church set amidst the blue sky and green prairie and a young woman in a white dress and straw hat in the foreground. Set in Iowa in 1910, this story sits on the cusp of the old way of life before the onset of WWI and the roaring ‘20s. In like manner, the narrative itself unfurls at a rather leisurely but steady pace.
Author Michelle De Bruin takes readers from a sorrowful opening scene to a humorous one shortly thereafter, setting the authentic, true-to-life tone of the novel. Jeremiah 29:11 kept coming to mind as I read: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Indeed, in “Hope for Tomorrow”, the characters face many challenges that make it seem as though their plans are destined for failure, their dreams shattered. However, when they remain faithful to God and continue to serve Him even when all hope seems lost, He makes a way for them. This is the central theme of the book, and it applies to our lives as well.
Logan De Witt and Karen Millerson both come to the point of this surrender in their respective journeys, when there is nothing more that they can do themselves except wait and trust God to work. Throughout the narrative, their relationship with one another also undergoes testing as they begin to develop feelings for each other. Karen still struggles with distrust and from trying to escape painful memories, and Logan is torn between pastoring his congregation in Oswell City and living at home with his mother and sister to work their family farm. At times, both characters think that they know God’s plan, confusing it with their own, and nearly miss out on wonderful blessings as a result.
A steady reminder of the security we have as our Heavenly Father’s children, “Hope for Tomorrow” inspires and also entertains. My only real complaint is finding a few grammatical errors and some modern phrasing that seemed to disrupt the dialogue in which it appeared. For fans of historical fiction and historical romance, this book is an uplifting read that also teaches readers the importance of waiting on God and trusting in Him and in His perfect timing.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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