Hanging on to Hope by Annette Newcomb

Hanging on to Hope

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut memoir, a woman confronts her life’s challenges, armed with a deeply held faith.

Newcomb says that she “gave [her] life” to Jesus when she was only 16 years old at a First Baptist Church rally in Van Nuys, California. In her senior year, she met her future husband, who interned at her youth group; she was immediately drawn to him and impressed by the depth of his belief. She later left UCLA after one year after deciding that she wanted to pursue a life with more religious purpose. She and her new husband moved to Florida in 1985, and she was pregnant by 1987. But after a bladder infection sparked a kidney ailment, she nearly lost her baby, who was born prematurely. She overcame this trial through prayer, but other adversities followed: a second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage; financial hardships stripped the family of their home; and Newcomb’s father and father-in-law both died suddenly. Years later, her second son, a tumultuous teenager, refused to work or attend school, and he left home at 18 when his parents confronted him with an ultimatum. Newcomb’s diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she says, was too much for her husband to bear, and he became emotionally abusive; she was finally compelled to file for divorce. The stress was pulverizing for her, and she attempted suicide. However, she says she was able to save her life, and even her marriage, by trusting in the Lord. Overall, Newcomb’s story is an uplifting one, and it will likely appeal to those readers who have also found comfort from suffering by embracing spirituality; her spiritual practice, as depicted here, allowed her to persevere through a lifetime of tribulations. Her prose is direct and clear, like an intimate anecdote shared with trusted, religious friends, and its tone is forthcoming and familiar: “I finally learned the secret that Paul was talking about in Philippians. It’s simply to trust God completely with absolutely everything.” The book’s principal message is neither groundbreaking nor philosophically deep, but its purpose is to stir and hearten, not edify or provoke.

A sweet, inspiring tale of overcoming troubles through faith.

Pub Date: March 30th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5127-3578-9
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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