Now I've read Francine Rivers before and I liked many of her books but wow... this book was gripping. Rivers writes her characters so richly and makes you so entranced with them that you must continue to read. Many of times I wanted to slap Marta for her treatment of Hildie and maybe it's just because I connected with how Hildie was feeling through most of the second half of the book. But that's what Francine wants. She wants you to connect with her characters. I cannot wait to read the second half of this story, which is partly based on Rivers' mother and grandmother.