“A reason to hope” has a reason to read | News


Bad things happen to good people.

It’s something you know, but why you? When the worst can happen, why does it do it? Were you born under unlucky stars or with terrible karma? Maybe you are just a poor schlub forgotten in the universal scheme of things.

Or maybe, as in Kristin von Kreisler’s new book “A Reason for Hope”, something better has in store for you.

It had been far too long.

That’s what Tessa Jordan’s best friend Emma has said about Tessa’s love life. It had been years since Tessa broke up with her latest boyfriend and she didn’t meet men at her bookmobile job, so Emma pushed her to do something. That’s when Tessa took to the local dating site near her home on San Juan Island, Washington.

That’s when Tessa met Nick Payne.

She had seen his face before. Everyone had; Nick was running for city council and his campaign posters were everywhere. For him to contact her on the dating site was flattering, and their first date was fun.

The second was a nightmare.

Nick had invited Tessa over to his house for a barbecue with her brother, but when she arrived the brother had “canceled.” She stayed, but halfway through her second glass of wine, Tessa started to feel weird. The next thing she knew was in the morning, she was dizzy and naked, and Nick was looking at her from across the bed.

She didn’t ask for that. Did he rape her?

Tessa wasn’t sure, but two days later, after Emma convinced her to go to the police, they confirmed it.

Every day he walked into his office, District Attorney Will Armstrong was happy for Hope. The Yellow Lab was formed to provide comfort to victims who needed it in the courtroom; that she was his companion at home was the icing on the cake. Hope lived up to her name when she was at “work”, especially when “the job” helped Will achieve justice for women who deserved it …

There are two things you need to know about “A Reason for Hope” and the first is very important, so consider this now: If you are the victim of assault or rape, read this book carefully. Author Kristin von Kreisler has included many pages of very authentic detail in her story, and they may shock you. Don’t take this lightly.

The other thing to know is that this book is gently respectful of all of the above. It’s real, but not outright. It’s soft, but only so that you land unscathed at the end. It’s very predictable – you’ll probably have understood that ending on page 26 – but the predictability is comfortable. Even the dog looks pretty cliché, but readers probably won’t want it any other way.

Despite its consistency with other books of this genre, “A Reason for Hope” is well crafted, not sloppy, and not too needlessly invented. It’s nice but again beware. With caveats in place, “A Reason to Hope” isn’t so bad.


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