Hope Knocking

Fiction - Southern
254 Pages
Reviewed on 07/30/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Hope Knocking by Nova Mann is based on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic of the past three years. We follow the thoughts, fears, and adventures of a small family grouping in the mountains of East Tennessee. Amantha, her husband Matthew, and her aging mother, Nancy Mae, live in a tiny settlement called Mavie on the banks of the Diamond River. Although born in the mountains, they have spent most of their lives living and working down in the towns of the flatlands. Finding themselves isolated and scared as the pandemic sweeps across the United States, Amantha is terrified not only for her and her husband’s health but more so for that of her elderly mother. This story examines how deep-rooted faith, ideals, and political views will be tested during this pandemic and how friendships will be stretched and sometimes destroyed by people’s attitudes toward the virus.

Although I have read some books this past year that have mentioned the virus in passing, Hope Knocking is the first that puts the pandemic and its consequences front and center of the story. Author Nova Mann takes us deep inside the hearts and minds of her three lead characters. For a debut book, she does a superb job of getting inside the motivations of these characters, their fears, dreams, and hopes of coming out on the other side of this tragedy intact and with a united country. What I particularly appreciated was the inclusion of the many beautiful songs the author had written to convey the depth of feeling the characters were experiencing during this time. I enjoyed that in this particular community of their dear friends, they were often at odds with their pastor, friends, family, and the community in general as to how to cope with and react to this deadly disease. The story is narrated from three clear and distinct perspectives, which gives the reader a well-rounded and full understanding of the raw emotions, anger, and often the helplessness the pandemic and its lockdowns brought to people all over the world. This is an insightful, thoughtful, and at times, beautiful narrative that I thoroughly enjoyed and gave me much thought and contemplation. I can highly recommend this read.