Book Review: The Color of Hope

The overarching story in Kim Cash Tate’s The Color of Hope is that of two different churches, one predominately while, the other predominately black, who try to meet together once a month. Many folks are for this occasional merging, but there’s a small but loud opposition.

But several other stories lines are woven together.

One woman runs into her old boyfriend at a reunion in Hope Springs, NC. She thinks sparks are still there, but in the time since they knew each other, he became a pastor and she walked away from God.

Another woman plans to leave the area, but is unexpectedly offered a position coaching in the high school. Could this be God’s sign that He wants her to stay—and is the assistant principal’s interest purely professional?

One couple lived away from Hope Springs but now feel drawn back to this town of the wife’s father’s roots. The wife misses her multi-ethnic church in the city and isn’t quite sure she’s going to be happy. But she’s asked to substitute teach in the high school and befriends a young outcast named Sam.

There are several subplots as well.

Some would want to know there is a rape and a suicide in the book. The descriptions are not explicit, but they might be triggers for some.

There are so many characters, the first few chapters were confusing trying to sort out who was related to whom, who was with whom, and who was interested in whom. But eventually all the relationships fell into place. Kim has a number of books about the people of Hope Springs, so readers of the series would be more familiar with the characters..

My one little quibble with the book is that, since it’s about primarily racial tensions between two churches, there was no indication for most of the book about which church and characters were what race. I just reread the first four chapters to see if I missed something, but there was only one mention of one girl being blond, which doesn’t really indicate anything. The young girl, Sam, is described as biracial and and feeling like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Eventually all of that becomes clear, but it made me as a reader feel another layer of confusion trying to figure out the characters.

But, that one little complaint aside, I thought Kim did a great job weaving so many characters and stories and conveying the need to come together rather than pull apart. This book was published in 2013 but seems apropos to 2020.