Thursday, December 3, 2020

A Violent Hope By Ericka Clay

A Violent Hope
by Ericka Clay
Publisher: Independent
ISBN: 979-8681470717

Alrighty, so I had no idea what I was about to read. I don't even remember reading a summary about A Violent Hope before I dove into the story. lol The author sent me her book to read on my Kindle so I wanted to be sure to thank her for that. 


Mack Reynolds is battling his demons. After years spent attempting to heal wounds from being abused as a child, he confronts the author of his nightmares-his uncle-leading to a catastrophic decision and permanently sealing his fate.

When Natalie, Mack's wife, convinces herself that she won't be able to support her family on her own, she moves herself and her daughter to White Smoke, Arkansas where she has a new job lined out and the hope of a new beginning. But after being demoted in a mere six months, meeting a less than reputable "best friend," and chasing the same addiction that helped fuel her husband's final breakdown, Natalie ends up spiraling out of control and comes out worse the wear ten years later.

All grown up, her daughter, Wren, struggles with her own addiction and a never ending series of tough situations she blames on her father's early demise. It's not until Mack's mother, Rochelle, can confront her past, her questionable living arrangement with her husband and his mistress, and the bitter hurt that's metastasized inside of her that Natalie and Wren can receive the guidance they both desperately need. But is it too late?

Told through the lives of the three women touched by Mack's struggle, A Violent Hope takes a deeper look into the human heart and the God who repeatedly heals all wounds.

My Review:

I've been trying to muddle around in my brain on how to write this review. A Violent Hope isn't your run-of-the-mill kind of book. This book is a gut punch and will shake you up, but seriously, this is real life. No fluff. I think if we look around us, get outside of our little suburban, minivan driving life, we see that there are people going through the worst that life has to offer. That's what this book touches on. Touches? More like slams you with.

See, look at me not being fluffy in my review.

We start off with Mack, who sets this story in motion. This broken little boy, who we all want to save. This broken little boy who we want to have a fairytale ending for his life because he's suffered so much. Except life. As we're introduced to Mack, we also see how God is with him. I had to take a moment to realize what I was reading and how the author was writing.

Mack's choices make a lasting mark on the women around him. The "now" time part of the book circles around those women: Natalie, Wren, and Rochelle. They're all hot messes and have been for a long time. It's overwhelming to me to see how the choices others make can impact the lives of innocent people. I mean, if we look at our own lives we can see how our choices have impacted friends and family. Right? It's the same here, but with rougher consequences.

You can see with Natalie's heart that she wants to make a new start for herself and Wren, but best laid plans and all. Her life derails again and just becomes a runaway train while she pulls Wren right along with her. Wren is a victim of her circumstances. She hasn't asked to have this life, but she's a product of it. How situations unfold in her life, you hope for the best, but you've seen where she's come from. And then there's Rochelle. The guilt that wears on her is evident as it should be. She can't fix the past, but she can bring light into the darkness that she's been a part of. Her efforts certainly have an impact.

Throughout the story you can see God's hand at work. There is redemption, but the cost has been high. If you want a powerful read that will take you out of your comfort zone, this book is what you're looking for. It's not for the faint of heart, but really should be read!

About the Author:

Ericka Clay is a published novelist and the author of Unkept and Dear Hearts. She graduated from the University of Arkansas creative writing program and has published a book of short stories and poetry.

Ericka has been awarded a number of times by Writers Digest for various short fiction pieces, she has written four novels (one of which placed as a quarter-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest) and has had the privilege of sharing her craft, teaching writing classes and holding writers workshops in the South Texas area. She is releasing her next novel, A Violent Hope, through her literary imprint, Believable Books, October 2020.

Ericka lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, daughter, two dogs and an insatiable need to push buttons, both figuratively and literally.


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