Today’s post is the long promised review of Lutheran author Ruth Meyer‘s third installment in The Sola Series, Hope Alone. I blogged about its recent release status here (along with a sneak preview). And here are my reviews for Grace Alone and Faith Alone.
Hope Alone Review
Ah, the third installment of the Sola Series! It’s another deep dive into the family we’ve come to love in the previous books. Each child is a little older. Each episodes seems to be just a little wilder and more emotionally fraught.
One can read this as a stand alone novel, although that might be a very different experience than those with the background of the previous books and character histories.
There are some serious developments with this one, but listing them would be a spoiler. Topics include teenage pregnancy, single mother romance, church workers considering calls, fear of church judgment, sibling guilt, and more.
A question that wasn’t quite addressed as clearly as I would have wished is, “What does it mean to be a father?” Is it primarily biological? How can, or should, boyfriends understand their relationship with their girlfriend’s family, both her parents and her children? How can modern Lutherans understand it? But the book certainly does honor family and fatherhood even if it doesn’t probe into more abstract understanding.
Christianity continues to be an obvious element to the point of introducing a seemingly non-denominational church as supplemental to the Lutheran congregation. Neither are portrayed poorly. No worship war discussed, although the non-denom pastor seemed to have his Bible more readily available and Faith apparently does not know her Bible as well as one might expect. Granted, she converted as a teen.
Now, if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, I did laugh a little at how overwhelming the babies were portrayed. Yes, infants are overwhelming. But part of the time the book was laying it on thick about how much is necessary for parenting while the other part made it seem absolutely easy-peasy to get babysitting! Ha! I just don’t think infants need to be portrayed in quite such dire extremes. Although, certainly, many mothers will still be able to relate.
Enjoyable. Ups and downs. Satisfying to follow the characters.