Tag Archives: mission trip

Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett

Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett (Tyndale, February 15, 2010), 400 pages

Summary
Four women from Ohio embark on a mission trip to South Africa. The trip is nothing like any of them planned or envisioned, of course.

Thoughts
These women went into their mission trip unprepared. They had no idea what to expect, for starters, but they each also come weighted down with secrets and fears, doubts and hurts.

Since I’ve been on a trip to Africa (not South Africa, though), I knew I had to read this book. At a few points, especially early on but also later, the bottom fell out of me, as I was sure I knew what was going to happen next and I was disappointed. But, happily, I was wrong about that most of the time!

The women work with a group of South African women with HIV/AIDS who are making beaded jewelry to support themselves and their children. The book is based on a real-life nonprofit organization that works in this arena, Beaded Hope.

The women in the book who take this trip are transformed, of course, but they also make a difference in the lives of those they serve.

Beaded bracelet

My husband brought me this bracelet, which is crafted of beads made from recycled paper made by women with HIV/AIDS in Kenya.

I’m sure this bracelet of mine isn’t the same as those produced by Beaded Hope — that organization is just in South Africa, it seems — but the concept is strikingly similar.

OK, back to the book. Beaded Hope was an emotionally stirring read for me. After I got past my initial feelings of dread (The cover? The concept? I’m not sure.) I enjoyed this story. I didn’t love this book, but at the same time, it was a book I couldn’t not read.

About the author
Cathy Liggett wrote Beaded Hope after traveling to South Africa on a mission trip like the one described in the book.

Other reviews
Genre Reviews

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I received this book from the publisher. I’m an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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The Heart Is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

The Heart Is Not a Size by Beth Kephart (HarperTeen, March 30, 2010), 256 pages

Summary
Seventeen-year-old Georgia is pressing. She’s pressing down the black wings beating in her chest, suppressing the knowledge that something’s wrong with her best friend, Riley. Pressing through and against that time of life when you’re not quite grown up but no longer a child, either. When she sees the opportunity to go to Juarez, Mexico for two weeks — with her best friend but sans parents and sometimes-annoying-but-always-running younger brother — she seizes it.

Thoughts
Kephart’s writing sings a quiet, contemplative song, a song vividly conscious of the world around it (as is Georgia, who lives behind a camera for part of this book).

I see myself so clearly in the character of Georgia. Her timidity and determination, her responsibility and observation. The Juarez setting was well-drawn, lovely.

The Heart Is Not a Size is gorgeous in every respect, I love it!

This is the second book I’ve read by Kephart, but it’s certainly not the last. As I said in my review of her Nothing but Ghosts, I want to read everything she’s written.

If you’re not reading Kephart yet, why not? You should. I say that not to create a sense of obligation, but rather because I sincerely believe you’re missing out if you haven’t read these books. Just 11 days until this one comes out.

About the author
Beth Kephart is the author of 12 books. The Heart Is Not a Size is her fourth YA novel. She is the strategic planning and writing partner of a boutique communications firm in Pennsylvania.

Other reviews
Book Crumbs
Read What You Know
Em’s Bookshelf
Reading Junky’s Reading Roost
Bookworming in the 21st Century

Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I read an early copy of this book and then passed it on to the next reviewer as part of the Traveling ARC blog tour.