Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

11 Dec


Fehlbaum, Beth. Hope in Patience. WestSide Books, 2010. 312 pages. ISBN 978-1-934813-41-6

Plot Summary:

Ashley used to live with her mother and her stepfather. For years now, since she was nine years old, her stepfather has been sexually abusing Ashley to the point were she is frighten to go home or go to bed at night. Things have gone too far one day when Charlie raped Ashley and a teacher from school found out. Child Protective Services stepped in and now she is living with her father and trying to start a new life. Except that is a very hard thing to do. Especially when her mother and stepfather show up and try to get her to come back home with them, resulting in Charlie breaking Ashley’s arm. But she starts to make new friends at school who are nice and understanding of her situation. She is going to a therapist who is helping her understand that it’s not her fault for the way her stepfather acted. And she is starting to understand what it is like to have a real family that loves her. Things are starting to turn around, but there is still the kids at school who know what happened to her and look at her funny in the halls.

Critical Evaluation:

This is beautifully written novel about the psychological stress and trauma of being sexually abused. This is the follow up sequel to the compelling Courage in Patience. Fifteen year old Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather for years and she finally got away from him. However, now her mother and grandparents think she is a lying whore and won’t talk to her. Now, Ashley is struggling to survive the psychological stress of it all. Fehlbaum writes with experience and heart that makes the reader feel for the character. This is a tough topic to discuss let alone write a whole trilogy about, but Fehlbaum did a fabulous job of making the reader understand the magnitude of sexual abuse and the amount of psychological damage it could wreck on someone. It is important to have friends and family there to support you during recovery from such an event. She also touches on gay relationships a little, putting a positive light on the subject. It could be met with hostility, but as long as you have a friend who supports you, life will be a little bit better.

Reader’s Annotation:

What do you do when you are trapped in a mental cage of terror so frightening it leaves you paralyzed? Ashley is trying will all of her might to find a way out of that cage.


Beth Fehlbaum was born in Dallas, Texas. She has a brother who is a police sergeant. Her and her husband were high school sweethearts, and married young. They have three daughters. Her oldest is getting her doctorate in Sociology; the middle is getting her MFA in Publishing and Creative Writing, and the youngest is studying to be a neonatal nurse

She has a passion for teaching, social justice, and insisting upon authenticity in the classroom. She has a BA in English, and a minor in Secondary Education, from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has an MEd in Elementary Education, with a specializion in Reading, from Texas A & M Commerce.

She taught at a middle school for the first part of her career and now she teaches 5th graders in a bilingual education program in East Texas. She loves both of her jobs, as teacher and author. Her favorite place to be is her front porch. She write books there during the summer at a table built by a good friend of hers.


Realistic Fiction

Curriculum Ties:


Social Studies – abuse at home

Booktalking Ideas:

Ashley was raped by her stepfather.

Have you ever experienced PTS?

Reading Level/Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this book:

It is a deeply moving story. And we read it for class.


Posted by on December 11, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


2 responses to “Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum

  1. Beth Fehlbaum

    December 12, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Hi, Alison! Thanks for the review!
    I’m kinda curious about which student-teacher relationship you’re talking about. Could you enlighten me?
    I’m racking my brain trying to figure it out. Thanks!

    • Alison

      December 13, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      Sorry, I was copy and pasting from the previous post so that I didn’t have to retype the entire format for the post and must have skipped over that section to change. I haven’t done by proof reading yet. Thanks for pointing it out to me though, I fixed it.


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