I was also fearful of how you could handle it and still get the idea across - and I must say, you did a wonderful job of it.
I have recommended your books to the Spirit of Texas High School Reading Program.
As I was cataloging them, I also noticed that they have AR tests and recommendations by SHCC! Congratulations - that should really help with getting them into the hands of libraries and therefore into the hands of teens.
Again, thanks for sending me the proof for Hope in Patience - it is a wonderful book, as was Courage.
Mineola High School
Bromberg Memorial Library
This is not a light, easy teen book. It is, however, an important read. It covers some timely, but sometimes controversial topics in a way that is highly accessible to today's teens. After six years of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Ashley Asher, fifteen, has just moved to tiny Patience, Texas. Her father, a recovering alcoholic whom she has not seen since she was three months old, has straightened out his life and become her refuge along with his new wife Bev, a high school English teacher. Patience is nothing like the suburbs of Dallas, but it is here that she begins to take the slow, painful steps necessary to deal with her past. Ashley's road to recovery is not pretty and is not easy. She sometimes resorts to cutting to deal with the pain. She sometimes, in dealing with traumatic flashbacks, finds herself hiding in the armoire. She also struggles to deal with the accusatory actions—and blatant inactions—of the mother she thought loved her. But recovering from sexual abuse is not the only topic touched on here. There is Z.Z., an African-American in a small, mostly-white southern town; K.C., whose parents will not accept her homosexuality; and Marcus, whose religion is the driving force in his life.
Ashley's struggles to make friends in a new school, to fit in, to figure out who she is are normal teen issues even if her personal history is not. Even readers who have not been abused will connect with Ashley and her friends. Their voices are real. Their struggles are real. For those who have or are dealing with similar issues, this book speaks up where perhaps they cannot.
A 2011 YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, this title deserves a place in every high school and community library.
Reviewer: Kris Sauer
BOOKLIST: Nine-year-old Ashley Asher was pleased when her mother started a relationship with Charlie Baker. Charlie, Ashley thought, would be the father she never had. She was 9 then; now 15, she recounts the story of how her dream life soon turned to nightmare, commencing with the first time Charlie touched her inappropriately.
For years she tolerated it--not only the sexual abuse but also the emotional manipulation her stepfather inflicted on her, until one day she confronted both Charlie and her mother.
Ashley's horror, her mother sided with Charlie, leaving the teenager to
find her own way, prompting her to reestablish a connection with her
biological father. Though the subject matter is undeniably dark,
Fehlbaum manages to keep the tone surprisingly light and hopeful. This
hard-hitting but readable story about an infinitely troubling subject
will resonate with all readers but especially with other survivors of
abuse or with those who work with those survivors.
As a former teacher of Jr. High School age students, I was impressed with the scope and depth of this book. It is wonderful to see serious and real problems too often faced by young people dealt with in such a hopeful and helpful way. I think anyone who counsels young people, teaches them, or any young person going through a tough family problem would benefit greatly from reading this book.
In some ways the book reminded me of S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS,in terms of the lead character speaking directly to the reader from first to second person. Young people love this style of writing and relate to it in very personal ways. That is the sort of style a topic like abuse must have if it is to be relevant to the reader. While THE OUTSIDERS dealt more with social class issues and the death of theCurtis boys' parents, there are, indeed, some things worse than death! Beth Fehlbaum is really current in her analogies and literary devices,so that modern kids will easily relate to the situations and circumstances in the story. Never does she talk down to the reader; rather, she elevates the reader to the position of problem solver. How will today's youth learn to solve problems of a serious nature if they have never "practiced" facing problems via great literature and wonderful writing like this?
While victims of abuse will undoubtedly find this book compelling,I believe all young people could benefit tremendously from reading this book. Who among us does not have a friend or relative going through terrible times in their families? Coping skills are never lost onanyone and this book is splendid in presenting myriad ways of coping with intense problems.
In addition to this being a "must read" for young people, I believe every teacher working with teenagers should read this book. The character of Bev, the teacher, is one of the most positive, strongest teacher characters I've ever encountered. Since I was a teacher for many years, I know that her character rings true and authentically portrays how teachers think and feel in real situations. Most citizens who are not teachers would never even dream of the way teachers deal with complex issues as they are developed in this book. Actually, it would not surprise me if some young people as a result of reading this book decide to become teachers--the character is that impressive!
For anyone reading this book, I would promise you will be more than satisfied at having seen a true model for problem solving, tolerance,and incentive to reach beyond the superficial to the deeper and long-lasting values that enable yourself and others to exist together in greater harmony. I am thankful for this new writer with fresh ideas! She can speak so clearly to us and our children.
"WHY THIS BOOK IS A MUST-READ FOR ABUSE SURVIVORS"
Please check out this expanded review of COURAGE IN PATIENCE by Adam Appleson, creator of zentactics.com:
"On the cover of Courage in Patience, the caption reads "A story of hope for those who have endured abuse." I recall thinking to myself as I read this in 2008 that I should read it. I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy, but that week I was busy and feeling a little blue. So I put off reading it for about a week. That was the wrong thing to do. When I finally got around to reading it, I realized the book gave me insight on issues that I was dealing with at that time.
It's a story about the courage and patience it takes to overcome abuse.
At first you might be expecting a syrupy you-can-do-anything kind of tale. But it's not. The writer had much more sense than that and created a work of dramatic, realistic fiction. The story centers around the life of Ashley Asher, a fifteen year old teenage girl.
Ashley lives with her mother Cheryl and stepfather Charlie in the tiny town of Patience, Texas (hence, the title). Right away you realize Ashley isn't living in the best of circumstances. She lets us know that her mother Cheryl thinks her biological dad David was a loser, and that Ashley herself thinks Cheryl is the "Queen of Bad Decisions."
Within the first 30 pages of Courage in Patience, we get a sense of the scope of Ashley's problems. While Beth's writing is not over-the-top graphic, she does describe enough detail so you can see the way Ashley is assaulted and abused by Charlie, her stepfather. For instance, on p. 15, Ashley says "...he [Charlie] gestured to me to sit on his lap. I did so, enjoying the idea of having a daddy like my friends did. I got so content and relaxed there, I dozed off. He started rubbing my brand-new breasts. I wasn't actually asleep, but it freaked me out so much that I pretended I was..."
Yes, Ashley's stepfather Charlie is a bad guy and there's no debate about that.
But what makes Courage in Patience such a great read is that the other characters are portrayed with realistic depth. For example, you get the sense that Ashley's mother, Cheryl, cares about her daughterand wants to do right by her. But Cheryl is clearly a dysfunctional individual who isn't ready to raise a daughter and protect her from the world. This is perfectly captured when Ashley tells Cheryl about Charlie molesting her since she was nine years old. But Cheryl has her own problems and doesn't know how to function as an independent adult. She's so desperate that she'll even put up with someone like Charlie and the vile things he's doing to her daughter. When Ashley gets to school the next day, she finds a note in her lunch from Cheryl that reads "Please apologize to Charlie. He would never do those things to you. Please. For me..." (p. 55). Cheryl doesn't throw Charlie out for molesting Ashley. Rather, she decides to believe Charlie when he says that "he was sick then, but he's not anymore." (p. 51).
This illustrated the perfect way in which the author incorporates the dynamics of child abuse into the story without ever having to explicitly tell us about them. Fortunately, though the story takes a more hopeful turn, as Ashley's friend Lisa helps her disclose what's happening to a trusted teacher. Eventually, Ashley is moved to a safe environment by reuniting with her biological father David, who feels a ton of remorse over what's happened to Ashley since he left.
From there, Ashley begins crawling back toward a healthy mental state.
She doesn't do it without suffering a few bruises along the way, as both Cheryl and Charlie try to come back and get Ashley to live with them again. But fortunately, they fail in their attempts, thanks to the efforts of Ashley (who's still clearly traumatized) and the new family she's found with David and his wife Bev, an English teacher.
At the end of Courage in Patience, we see Ashley is not completely whole, but fully engaged in the process of healing. This isn't a Hollywood ending, but it is a hopeful and realistic one. I think Beth is able to write this so well because she is an abuse survivor herself.
But it would be a disservice to say that this is just a book about abuse.
Author Beth Fehlbaum also masterfully captures the art of growing up and learning to be your own person through some of the sub-plots running throughout the story as well. For instance, we see a high school classmate of Ashley's, Dub, learning to grow away from his stepfather Billy Ray's racist beliefs.
Then there's the sub-plot of a school board's attempt to try and keep Bev from using a certain book in her English class to teach her students. The book mentions curse words, homosexuality, and sexual abuse that certain religious members of the community find objectionable. Taken out of context, this may even seem fine. But Beth Fehlbaum shows that living in an authentic way doesn't mean shying away from certain truths about the world, and to censor that is to perpetuate ignorance and is actually a disservice to young people in the long run. The way she writes this part of the story is so real and entertaining, hopefully you'll get a chance to read it for yourself.
At first, the one thing I wanted to change was the ending of the book.
But then I realized the ending was actually perfect because it was realistic. I won't spoil it completely for you, but the ending definitely isn't a Hollywood one. Ashley doesn't go riding off into the sunset with her new boyfriend. It's all about what it means to start healing as an abuse survivor.
The bottom line is that it's refreshing to read a book that realistically portrays what an abuse survivor has to go through, and does so in an entertaining way. If you know someone who is a sexual abuse survivor, this story will help you understand what abuse does and the mechanisms survivors use to cope.
Above all, Courage in Patience is a true original and a refreshing addition to anyone's bookshelf."
From Fresh Fiction, http://freshfiction.com/book.php?id=24958
"Compassionate and compelling -- the journey through COURAGE IN PATIENCE gives amazing insight and optimistic bravery for those who have experienced abuse of any kind."
From Ashley Thompson, a teen reader with the site, Books Are My Love:
Friday, May 22, 2009
Courage in Patience
Title: Courage in Patience
Author: Beth Fehlbaum
Rating: R--- extreme sexual violence at parts. Lots of swearing
Summary: Ashley Asher’s life can easily be described in one saying, “Effed up”. Her step dad gets off on treating poor Ashley like a piece of meat. It takes things getting super bad for Ashley to realize she can't fight anymore, that she shouldn’t have to. She must discover who she really is and that not every man is out there to get her. This lesson can only be learned through the pure love of her true father.
My thoughts: This was honestly the best book I have read in forever. The story portrayed honest emotions that at times made me feel that I was reading a non-fiction story. The characters were all unique, everyone could find themselves somewhere within the story. Never before have I found a novel that addresses broken families, sexual abuse, and racism so clearly. Beth dear, you have officially passed Judy Blume on my best authors list. That’s saying a lot!
Recommendation: Before you decide to read this make sure you are emotionally ready. The abuse in this novel is shown very strongly. I would wait until you are at least 14.
Flamingnet Book Reviews, a site with book reviews by teens, awarded Courage in Patience a "Top Choice" Award. This is the review written by the 15 YO reviewer:
Whoosh. That's the sound that Ashley Asher hears when her stepfather sexually abuses her. As a fifteen-year old she is no longer a child, but she never was an ordinary child to begin with. She endures emotional and physical pain while living with her biological mother, who doesn't care for her at all, and her abusive stepfather. The only way to save herself is to confront her mother and reveal the years of abuse she has received from her stepfather. When Ashley finally has the courage to tell her mother of the painful details of her horrific childhood, her mother turns her back on Ashley and continues to believe that nothing is wrong. The only people that care and are concerned for her safety are Ashley's friends and her teacher. When her teacher contacts Ashley's father (who Ashley has never seen) her life is turned upside down. She leaves her selfish mother and abusive stepfather to live with her caring biological father and stepmother in Patience. She learns that there are people out there that care about her and would do anything to protect her. It is where Ashley finally understands the meaning of...love.
Courage in Patience was an emotional, heart-warming book that is unforgettable and hard to put down. I haven't read a book like this in a long time. It makes you realize that life comes in many forms and how it begins or ends all depends on you as a person. Even though I have never endured the pain that Ashley did, I could feel inside of me what she felt when her mother turned her back on Ashley and how her heart shattered into little pieces. It was just so detailed, it felt like my heart was shattering into little pieces as well. When she moves to live with her biological dad, it felt as though my heart was healing along with Ashley's. I think this book will really touch the hearts of every reader and give them the sense of let-down and then the sense of somebody pulling you back on your feet and giving you the chance to live a life of hope and courage. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a heart, which includes everyone.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Gearhart, Or U.S.A.
Five out of Five Stars
A courageous story!, December 12, 2009
By Adam Appleson
When I first got this book, I was swamped with school and suffering a bit from depression so I put off reading it for a week. Big mistake.
When I finished reading it, I realized Beth Fehlbaum had written a book that not only contained great lessons in healing for abuse survivors, but also one that educated others about what victims of abuse go through. Beth's writing really made Ashley and the other characters three dimensional, and didn't resort to making any one person all good or all bad (although you really come to despise Ashley's mother Cheryl and her step dad Charlie, especially if you're an abuse survivor).
For instance, we see one of the minor characters Dub, step out of his racist stepfather's shadow and start on his way to becoming a good man. This brings up another great point about the book - it's more thana book about abuse. Like the back cover of the book says, this story is"[a] touching story focused on the themes of abuse, social injustice,racism, peer pressure, bullying, parental responsibility, fear, forgiveness, love, acceptance and hope, which will inspire the millions of abuse victims in America, young and old alike."
The ending of the story isn't a Hollywood ending, but it is a hopeful one. Beth's writing kept me engaged, so much so that I read half the book in an afternoon. If you've ever suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of abuse, you'll really feel the pits in your stomach as you read what Ashley's family puts her through. But even though Beth Fehlbaum stays real, she never gets graphic in her portrayal of what's going on. It's a tricky balancing act, but one that she pulls off marvelously. Buy this book, you won't regret it. It is definitely original, and a refreshing addition to anyone's bookshelf.
I just got through reading Courage in Patience, and I think you are an excellent writer.
The subject is so horrific and, in spite of this, I couldn't put the
book down because I wanted so much for all of these kids to succeed
and for someone to step in and take care of them the way they should
have been in the first place. I cared about your characters and, to
me, that makes a great writer.
That brings me to the subject at hand. My book club would love to
have you come and discuss your book with us if you can...
Either way, can't wait to read your second book.
Karen E. Samford
Courage in Patience. Not wanting to think about sexual abuse -- let alone another child suffering through rape -- I stalled by focusing on the title. How clever it had been for the author to set most of the action in a town called Patience. At least read the rest of this summary, I thought. It quickly became clear that although the book is a novel, Beth Fehlbaum did not write it from the perspective of a person standing outside looking in. She, too, was sexually assaulted as a child. Not only has she faced what happened, she has worked through her pain so she can help others see that they are not alone. Instead of letting stress burn her up inside, she braved smoke and flames in order to throw open a window. That is her holding out a flag that says in large, bold letters, You are not a victim, you are you. No one is more valuable. Fear and anger must not be allowed to consume you. There is a rainbow at the end of the long, storm-prone road to recovery, and that road leads to a smoother one.
Knowing all this did not keep me from stalling again. Child abuse -- particularly sexual abuse -- is not academic to me. The very idea makes scars that time has not healed throb. I became a writer in the hope that shedding light will eventually dry the sludge poisoning my psyche enough that some will blow away. What doesn't can be channeled to some far-off sea, where it will immediately sink to the bottom, never to surface again. Pouring hurt onto paper has helped Ink fades, after all. You can burn paper if you have to. But no matter what you do, a certain amount of residue is going to cling. What you need to do is season it with love and understanding, then make a healing poultice of the mixture and spread it around. I am so glad I quite stalling. Because Courage in Patience does just that.
Beth Fehlbaum has written a story that I guarantee will stay with you. Her characters are fully developed, not Joan of Arcs and Darth Vaders. She was so smart not to make a goodie-goodie of the girl who is the target of the abuse. Not only do you empathize, you end up aching for her to find a way out of the dark! The man who abuses her acts despicably, but he is human. Only a stone would not hurt when reading about the rapes, but what stabbed me the deepest was the mother's betrayal. It brought memories to the surface that I do my best to keep in the graves I worked hard and long to dig and fill. The only time I unearth them is when I am writing. When I write about them, it is in the hope of killing them. (Know I can't, but it would be dishonest to pretend I don't try.) Like Beth Fehlbaum, I harbor the hope that my ordeal will ring enough bells to ease others' pain and and make at least a few abusers seek help.
One reservation that I had in the beginning was that the novel was really two, and should be split. I was wrong. The book is not "about sexual abuse." It is not "about racial discrimination." It is about accepting who we are. It is about accepting each other. It is about faith. It is about gut-level courage and dogged patience and the value -- no, the absolute necessity -- of a free, well-rounded, genuinely enlightened education. It is about the worst in us and the best in us. I love to read books that somehow manage to entertain while teaching important lessons. That teach without teaching down! Courage in Patience is all this and more. Were there medals for fortitude and compassion, she would surely qualify.
I am convinced that one of the mega-publishers will pick up the novel. I am hoping that the editions they print will be in standard, single-spaced format. Double-spacing makes the book look longer than it is. This is a very minor drawback. I only mention it because I would like to see Courage in Patience reach millions. If you haven't read it, you are missing out.
Author/Editor Phyllis Jean D. Green
There was something inside my mom, like there is, at this point anyway, in me, that says we don't deserve respect of our boundaries. Not that we have any in the first place. It's a sense of worthlessness and emptiness, like being a cup with a crack in it. No matter how many times the cup is filled, with, for example, the love that David and Bev show me, it leaks out, because I don't love myself yet. I'm not willing to fight for me, and it comes out in torrents of rage.
Courage in Patience - Beth Fehlbaum
I was drawn to this book like a moth to the flame. At the library, from a distance, I saw the front cover featured on the shelf directly in front of my line of vision. I walked towards it as if I had been searching for the book all along. I had never seen it before in my life but something about it attracted me. Maybe it was the bright contrasted complimentaries of red and green. Maybe it was the way the character's back is focused instead of her face. Whatever it was, I walked straight to it and picked it up to examine the back cover.
I have a process when picking up books, and yes, I do judge a book by its cover (as a graphic designer, how can I not?). I'll skim the back cover, and if my interest is still peaked, I'll open up the front pages and skim the table of contents, if applicable. Courage in Patience is about a teenager who has suffered from sexual abuse since the age of 8. At first, I thought it was a memoir, but when I delved into the first chapter, I realized it was a fiction geared towards young adults and classroom study. This book is amazing and the first chapter hooked me in. … Maybe I was meant to read this book. Maybe there was a reason it caught my eye and I was drawn to it so. Courage in Patience is a book about survival, and I am a survivor. I am not a quitter. I won't give up on myself. I refuse to. I may have my moments, but I will always pick myself up again. It is a book not just about abuse, but also tolerance to anyone who dares to be different, or to anyone who has no choice but be different; tackling racism, fundamentalism, abuse and other issues. It endeavors to resolve the tough subject of self-acceptance with hope. Something we can all resonate with.
Thank you for writing the title: Courage in Patience. It is incredible. Really! My hat is way off to you for putting it together. It seems very realistic. Especially the descriptions of East Texas...LOL I grew up in a town called Whitehouse, Texas. We moved there when I was 12. Three thousand and not growing, Whitehouse was it's own little island behind the curtain of pine trees.
Recently a wise prayer-group leader in his eighties mentioned that four areas of emotion could be the roots of alot of emotional ills. Fear, guilt/shame, hate, low self-esteem....When I read your book I feel these (all four) and they bring tears and real sadness.
In sum, I just really appreciate the writing as I see the possibility of my own story one day emerging. I have been writing all year without a focus...so I have completed and published devotionals, newspaper and magazine articles, but nothing in fiction yet. That is my mountain. Still gaining, but your book touches me so deeply. And motivates me to move forward with my real goal: a fictional book containing the elements of my suffering in a bad marriage.
It is ten years later and we are all still healing. I was not abused sexually as a child, but lacked self-esteem and married a great looking, charming guy. Only he controlled my every move and attempted to control my thoughts. So mean; so cruel. We still have several court battles to go, as he does not commit to support his own two children. I left and this guy and it was the best decision of my life. My two children struggle to love their own father. They secretly just desire unconditional love....something that stirs so deeply in all of us. Your main character was so real and so clear to relate to...thank you. It really touched me.
book was so inspiring and such a boost to everyone who has been
abused. It helps so much to see how another person handled their abuse
and was able to survive in the end and go on with their life. I live in
------- ,Tx now- I was abused in my early teenage years and it
affected my entire life. I finally was able to deal with what happened
after 35years. Now I know why I lived and did the things I did all of
my life. We currently have a middle age lady living with us. She
suffered horrible abuse from four or five years old and has struggled
and fought her way through life-but had always kept her secret in a
"box". She is now confronting all that happened to her and is
starting to bloom like a new flower. She is in college and hopes to
get into nursing school next spring. She and I thoroughly loved your
book. I have told ------- that she too should write a book someday and
then she will be completely free. Keep up your good work and hopefully
you will write another book .
a quick note to let you know that your book is fantastic! I'm confident
you'll find a new home for your book soon. Gina has always spoken well
of you, and I'm sure she'll work hard on your behalf.
- How to Say It Job Interviews
- 201 Knockout Answers to Tough Interview Questions
The Ultimate Guide to Handling the New Competency-Based Interview Style
--- On Tue, 7/22/08, NAME WITHHELD> wrote:
From: NAME WITHHELD
Subject: about your book
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 12:55 PM
Your article was in the Monday morning Tyler paper here in Texas. I read it and reread it and then went online and read the first part and cried that you had to go through so much.
I am a woman from Ohio who moved here to Texas 10 yrs ago and I was raped and abused when I was 13 yrs old and I am now almost 62 and have held this all in all these years.
The only ones that knew were my grandmother who was taking care of me and unfortunatley I got pregnant and I gave the baby up for adoption since I couldnt raise a child at that age ..I knew ther were good people who could give my son a good home that I couldnt and love and everythng he would ever need and back then it was spoken of. Just told people I had a disease and had to stay home. I have never had counseling of any kind and until I moved here and became a CHristian and became married again and I became more involoved int he Lord and my minister's wife and I became such good friends and I knew then that the Lord brought her into my life so I could tell her. ALll these years I have kept this bottled up inside and that was the most terrible thing I could have done but I didnt know what to do then.
We never spoke of this at home whatsoever and I had a loving grandmother. I went on to have 2 more sons but this one son is on my mind every day of my life and I feel so guilty.
The reason I am emailing you is to thank you for coming out with your book and hoping to be able to buy it when it comes out on Sept first..A friend of mine who is also 13 here is Texas was just raped and beated severely last week and I want a book for her too. Because to this day I still feel its my fault and I want to help her.
Bless you and all you do..youhave no idea how many people you will help by writing this book and bringing it out in the open. Its awful keeping this inside as many years as I did..the most pain I have even felt.
Once again thank you so very much and May God Bless You
Thank you for writing Courage in Patience. I read this book because I thought it might help a friend, but it helped me to understand some of my own behaviors. I have many signs of having suffered some sexual abuse, but I have no memories. From time to time I seem to zone out and act less assertive than anyone who knows me now expects. Reading about Ash's recovery and her talks with Bev helped me to understand what apparently happens to me. It is a huge relief, it helps me to forgive myself, it affirms my courage, and it gives me hope that I will continue to heal.
I have read your book, Courage in Patience, and I really enjoyed it. I do plan to post a review very soon on my personal book blog - Bobbi's Book Nook.
I have recommended your book to the Mercer County Public Library, but until they actually have a copy in the library, I can't do a review on their website - MCPLib.
I will send you an email with the link as soon as my review is posted. And thanks for visiting the Mercer Library's book review blog!
July 15, 2009
I just started to write a snail-mail note to thank you for the book. Then I remembered 30 something's only use digital.
How wonderful of you to send me a copy of Courage in Patience. You can be proud of that work! It will be a lifeline for girls (and boys) experiencing that trauma. The writing hit so close to my own life. My heart was pounding as I read. Bless you and keep writing -please. So many have walked that path and have no voice to describe the pain -Ashley sure does.
I thank God for you and for your talent!
Dr. Mary Ann Manos
Eureka Schools - District 140
109 W Cruger Ave
Eureka, IL 61530(309) 467-3737
July 17, 2009 letter from a reader regarding Courage in Patience
finally finished the book. It was so good! Thank you for writing it. I
was raped (If you call forcing a blow job on someone rape) as a
teenager, but did face it and confronted the kid who did it to me.
There are so many out there who do not do that or feel like they can't.
When I realized, a few years later, that it wasn't my fault and what
had happened to me, I got pissed and contacted the guy. He apologized
to me and I ended up forgiving him, but had nothing to do with him
It was freeing though to be able to tell him what he did to me and how it hurt me and affected my life for a few years after that. I will have to tell you in person someday. I would also really like to know your story.
I also loved how you put "truth" out there. I am a Christian, but do not want to be so close minded that I don't see people. That is one thing that I have always feared. Being a Christian means loving people where they are at and not looking down on anyone, but putting others above yourself. Anyway, it was really great to read it! I cried, laughed and was sitting on pins and needles as to what will happen next at certain points. I am looking forward to your next book.
Survivors In Action, Inc.
4354 Town Center Blvd., Suite 114-143
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
(916) 941-7216 fax
July 8, 2009
RE: Review & Support for Courage In Patience
It is an honor for Survivors In Action, a national non-profit crime victims organization, to recommend Courage In Patience as one of the best all-time books regarding the subject of child abuse and overcoming victimization.
Author Beth Fehlbaum has an amazing ability to make her words come to life in a matter of seconds.
Everyone who reads Courage is trapped within its pages until the story ends.
Courage in Patience is a timeless book for all ages. Survivors In Action is proud to be a part of promoting the book on our web sites, blogs, newsletters and other media formats, to help inspire everyone to learn as the protagonist, young Ashley, does, how to overcome adversity, while inspiring others to speak out about the topic of sexual abuse, which is often a difficult one to speak or write about.
Alexis A. Moore, President
Survivors In Action
“No Victim Left Behind”
What people are saying about Hope in Patience:VOYA: At first I thought this book was only for abuse victims, and that it was going to be another weepy story about how miserable life can be. I was astounded to find that anyone can relate to Ashley's story and that the book was remarkably optimistic and fun. It teaches many valuable lessons on overcoming problems in a captivating way. I strongly recommend others to read it. 5Q,4P. Reviewer: Alisa Billig, Teen Reviewer
(To read full review, please visit: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissuecurrentissue/887982-427/grades_5__up.html.csp)
and direct, Ashley Asher is a beacon for at-risk teens. You are not
alone, her story says; others have survived and so can you. This is one
of the hardest and most important things for at-risk teens to remember
-- and believe -- during their long, lonely nights of the soul. Hope in Patience is the kind of book that can save lives. - Allan Stratton, Printz Honor author of Chanda's Secrets and Borderline
Beth Fehlbaum digs down into the intensely painful and unforgettable pain of Ashley Asher, a girl who has every reason to give up all hope, but who chooses the far more difficult path, finding a way to be strong and healthy. An extremely brave work, Hope in Patience takes us places we don't want to go but must, if we are to care about victims of child sexual abuse. -Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of Stuck in Neutral
Hope in Patience is a powerful novel about overcoming abuse, letting go of anger, and learning the true meaning of family. Thankfully, most readers will never endure Ashley's trauma, but all readers can identify with her vulnerability as she journeys on the road to resilience. - Daria Snadowsky, author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend
The grittiest, most uncompromising story I've ever read about a mother and daughter. You've got to meet Ashley Asher, a teen heroine for our tough times. - Robert Lipsyte, author of Raiders Night and The Contender
Ashley's story is both heartbreaking and inspiring, a true testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Written with elegance and fearless honesty, this book is a shot of hope, and quite simply a must-read for anyone who's suffered abuse. - Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List, a 2010 ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a 2009 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Fehlbaum touches on many life issues here, but the book's strength and
Fehlbaum's talent show in her eloquent core story of 15-year-old Ashley
Nicole's painful and courageous struggle out of deep psychological
damage caused by years of abuse and molestation into the beginning of
healing and the gradual return of self-esteem, personhood, and an
understanding of the true nature of love.
--Nancy Garden, author of Annie on My Mind, named by ALA as One of the Best of the BestBooks for Young Adults of the Last 4 Decades of the 20th Century
In this powerful story Fehlbaum scrapes below the surface of the trauma caused by sexual abuse,exposing layer after layer of pain and damage. She then shows how complex the healing process is, fraught with setbacks. Using a cast of delightful, multi-dimensional characters, Fehlbaum also shows that recovery is possible, and the human spirit is indomitable. A remarkable achievement.
--Shelley Hrdlitschka, author of Dancing Naked, an ALA Quick Pick 2003, ALA Best Book Nominee 2003, ALA Popular Paperback Nominee 2003, CLA Y/A Honour Book 2002, White Pine Award (Ontario Readers Choice Award) 2002, CCBC Our Choice Award 2002, International Reading Association Choice for Young Adults, ALA Popular Paperback, 2005
This gripping novel takes us deep into the emotional devastation of Ashley Asher, who finds strength and courage in a small Texas town after her step-father's abuse and mother's abandonment. Readers won't be able to put this book down.
-- Mary Beth Miller, author of AIMEE, a 2002 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Colorado Blue Spruce Book for 2003, & named by Barnes and Noble as one of the Best of 2002 in their teen category
Latest Goodreads Review
From Ashe, who lives in New Zealand:
book absolutely blew my mind. Ashley and I share a lot in common, not
just a name, but also a past that involves being sexually abused by a
step-family member. I read this book from beginning to end in a matter
of hours, and just could not put it down. I only wish that I had had the
support system that Ashley had, when I was in my initial recovery. This
book will remain etched in my mind, forever.
From Teri Lesesne, AKA "Professor Nana", the "Goddess of YA Literature":
It took me entirely too long to read HOPE IN
PATIENCE by Beth Fehlbaum (West Side Books 2010). Somehow this book got
stuck behind other books. I should not be permitted to double shelve
ANYthing. In any event, it kept me good company on the flight to NYC
last week. I am pleased to be able finally to talk about this
remarkable book about the resiliency of the human spirit.
Ashley Asher has moved in with her father and stepmother in their home in Patience, Texas. She has not known her father long, but he has rescued her from an abusive household with her mother and stepfather. Now, Ashley hopes to put some of the awful events of her past behind her. It is not a simple matter; Ashley's stepfather sexually abused her; Ashley's mother defended him instead of protecting her own daughter. Ashley wants desperately to be like everyone else in her class: carefree, happy, "normal." With the help of her new family and some other caring people in her life, there might just be light at the end of the tunnel.
There are no easy answers here. Nor should there be given the circumstances Ashley has to live with and then somehow survive. Fehlbaum has told an honest, searing story that shows Ashley moving slowly toward what will be her "normal." This should offer hope for readers, especially those who might find themselves in similarly frightening situations.
And speaking of the phrase "the light at the end of the tunnel," Natalie rode through her first tunnel (Lincoln Tunnel) on the way into the city. I forget sometimes that things I take for granted are still new experiences for others. Needless to say, Natalie now knows what the phrase "light at the end of the tunnel" truly means.
I read a lot of books. No, I mean a lot! A physical review is required before selection and I read the first three chapters, dip into the middle and read the end of all your fiction that goes into our collection. That said…I read your entire book without stopping. I was crying by the end. What a complex and fragile thing our humanness is. Thank you for this story.
Cathie Sue Andersen
Selector -Youth Fiction
Tulsa City-County Library Support Service Center
1339 N Lansing
Tulsa OK 74106
3.3.11: Flamingnet Book Reviews: Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer KCleve
Ashley Asher is fifteen years old, and is sent to live with her father and his family, after being sexually abused by her stepfather for four years. She seems to be making progress, with the help of her therapist and her new family, but she still struggles with trying to forget the abuse she'd endured for years. With her guard built up, she starts school in her new hometown of Patience, Texas, where she meets all of these new people including her soon to best friend, ZZ. She joins the cross country team with her new friends, when a special boy catches her eye. Josh is cute, funny, and attractive, but Ashley has no confidence in things working out with him. Will she soon learn that forgetting about her past isn't an option anymore? Will Ashley see that there is still hope for her in Patience? Or will she end up losing herself, the progress she's made, and Josh to something that never should've happened to begin with?
I thought that 'Hope in Patience' was a great story about a girls struggle with sexual abuse. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. I was so anxious to see whether Ashley would make it through all the craziness of what was happening in her life, or if she would end up giving up. I loved that Beth Fehlbaum was also a victim of abuse, because she could write from what she knew, and you as a reader, would know that what Ashley was feeling in the book were what real people who've went through this actually felt. I loved the way it let you see into her mind; the whole story was really tremendous. I would definitely recommend this book to any young adult reader, or victim of sexual abuse.
This book has some material that may be considered inappropriate for young readers.
Reviewer Age:13Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, Ohio United States
3.2.11: The San Francisco Book Review: "Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather since she was
little. Her mother and grandparents never believed her, saying she was
telling lies. Child Services finally gets notified, and Ashley is sent
to live with her biological father, David. A good man, he lives in
Texas with his wife and kids. With therapy, love, and support from her
friends and family, Ashley slowly starts to overcome her post-traumatic
stress and fear. But will this be enough to help her chances with a
high school crush?
//Hope in Patience// is very engaging. It takes hold of you and doesn't let go. While reading, I started to share fears with and for Ashley. The other characters are very realistic, and it is easy to connect with them, or see another aspect of the world reflected. The book also looks at ways teens are pressured by their parents, and how that restricts a teen's ability to be herself. The ending was so sweet. It squeezed my heart to see how far Ashley had come. I almost wish there was more about Joshua, Ashley's crush, because he is so kind. If there was a sequel, I'd definitely buy it!"
Reviewed by Amanda Muir