Courage in Patience
(The Patience Trilogy #1)
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Courage to endure.
Courage to survive.
Courage to overcome.
Tenacious 14-year-old Ashley Asher claws her way back to normalcy after enduring six years of an unimaginable Hell. Uprooted from her negligent and selfish mother, Ashley finds solace in the safety of her father’s home. Building a relationship with her stepmother, she’s finally able to open up and confront the past that haunts her.
With the help of her stepmom, therapist, and a group of troubled adolescents, Ashley battles her demons, struggling to find the normal teenage life she’s always wanted. Can Ashley find the strength and courage to overcome the horrors of her past while fighting for the future she so deserves?
Courage in Patience
This story. My goodness. Though the worst of the things that happen were not explicitly described just knowing that Ashley had to suffer through them was heart wrenching. There were times when I felt ill as she found out what had happened to her body.
Ashley’s story was horrific, but unfortunately all too true for many girls. As the story played out and those more horrific situations were laid bare the feeling were visceral. My heart ramped up with her fear, my stomach ached as she was fell apart. In those moments I felt as if there were no Ashley, no me, only the depth of pain that was conveyed through the words on the page. It was masterful writing.
I truly appreciated that Beth didn’t gloss over any of the fallout of Ashley’s recovery. Ashley’s anger was poured out on the page, her fear was vividly represented. Her mistrust, clearly established. Often it seems those things are played down or quickly healed. I was happy to see them played out.
Courage was my favorite book in the trilogy and a powerful tale the fallout of abuse and negligence.
Hope in Patience.
I was so invested in Ashley’s recovery I was delighted to start Hope. Very quickly, however, that excitement dwindled. The author spent much of the beginning retelling the first book. I felt as if she didn’t trust her readers. There has to be an agreement between author and reader, especially in dealing with sequels. That is, we both have to trust the other. Readers have to believe that the author is invested in her story enough to do whatever it takes to do right by the characters they love and authors need to trust that readers have read the previous works in the series.
By the time I made it past the bulk of the retelling (there were passages of rehashing throughout the entire thing, but the majority were in the first 15%) I felt irritated. I honestly wouldn’t have continued reading had I not been invested in Ashley’s recovery.
I felt like the writing was forced at different times in the book. It was as if the characters wanted to go one way, but the author had a plan and was sticking to it no matter what. It was frustrating and made me disconnect with the story as a whole.
Truth in Patience
Truth had much of the same flaws as Hope. I really wanted to be invested in Ashley and her recovery, but it was nearly impossible by the end of the story. I got the distinct feeling that the author really wanted to do GOOD with this story, had a specific direction, with set obstacles, and the plan she so strictly adhered to removed the life from the story. There were so many difficult things that she tried to address: abuse (sexual/physical/psychological), racism, alcoholism, gay rights, that the story was lost in the activism. I appreciated the statements she was trying to make about the state of our nation and its discriminatory practices, but there was far too much trying to be packed into a story that should have been more fully focused on one damaged girl and her recovery.
In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is a high school English-Language Arts teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading.
Beth is a featured author on the 2015-2016 Spirit of Texas Reading List- High School for the Kirkus Starred Reviewed Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014) and The Patience Trilogy: Courage (1), Hope (2), and Truth (3) (Steady On Books, April 2016).
Beth is a member of the RAINN (Rape , Abuse, Incest National Network) Speakers’ Bureau. She has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups.
She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope.”
Beth is in-demand as a panelist, having presented/appeared at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, the American Library Association’s annual conference, YALSA, and N.C.T.E./ALAN, and she is a member of The Author’s Guild.
She is a survivor of a traumatic childhood, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.
Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.