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Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for…
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Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for Those Who Have Endured Abuse (edition 2008)

by Beth Fehlbaum

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267591,028 (4.6)None
Member:jasonpettus
Title:Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for Those Who Have Endured Abuse
Authors:Beth Fehlbaum
Info:Kunati Inc. (2008), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Courage in Patience: A Story of Hope for Those Who Have Endured Abuse by Beth Fehlbaum

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Through Ashley, the main character of Courage in Patience, Beth weaves a heartbreaking, powerful tale. I think that it can give hope to those who have suffered abuse, or it can give a first look at those who have not, but may have someone in their life who can.

There are really dynamic characters in this book besides Ashley herself. One of my favorites is Bev, her stepmother. She has so much wisdom, patience, and individuality. I wish that a mold of her could be made. Ashley's biological father, David, is a perfect example that people can change. He is not perfect, he admits it, and he works hard each day to be better than the last.

While Courage in Patience is Ashley's story- her abuse, her rising out of it, and her healing, it also has many other powerful themes. It shows what people say or profess shouldn't always be taken at face value. For example, talking about faith-
"Somehow, I don't think Mrs. Glover's brand of Christianity was what Jesus had in mind when he said 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' From what I have read about him, it seems like He would hope that people who call themselves His followers would do so in a way that didn't make Him hang His head in shame."
One of the most powerful scenes in the book is when practically the whole class stands up and defends their teacher. They are learning who they are, what they believe and making a stand for something they believe is important. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Jan 4, 2011 |
Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather since she was nine years old. When Ashley finally finds the courage to expose her abuser, her mother turns her back on Ashley and insists that Ashley is lying. The only person that takes Ashley’s claims seriously is her high school English teacher, who in turns gets Ashley the help she needs.Ashley moves to Patience, Texas to live with her biological father, his wife and his adopted son. It isn’t surprising however that Ashley has a hard time trusting her new family. Bev, her step mother is an English teacher at the local high school and when she finds herself unexpectedly teaching summer school Ashley asks if she can take the class as well.Ashley’s eyes are opening in the class when she discovers the problems of various students within the class, ultimately helping Ashley in the road to recovery.Courage in Patience is the debut novel for Beth Fehlbaum. Not since the poetic storytelling of author Catherine Ryan Hyde has a book moved me so emotionally. At first glance you would assume as I did that this was a novel about sexual abuse, but let me assure you that there is so much more to this story. While sexual abuse is the main theme in the novel the story also touches on the topics of racism, acceptance, fear and most importantly hope. The novel conveys a powerful message, and I’m so very thankful that I had the chance to read it. ( )
  the_story_siren | Jul 2, 2009 |
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  kimmi | May 26, 2009 |
As the title implies, this book is about courage. The courage to be yourself, to love your self and others, to fight for what is right and the courage to survive.

Ashley Asher survives one of the most horrible things that could ever happen to a young girl, sexual abuse by her stepfather. When her mother chooses to believe him and stay with him, Ash goes to live with her father whom she has never met. She visits with a counselor and enrolls in her stepmother's summer school english class where she meets and makes friends with a great cast of characters (that reminded me a bit of Stand and Deliver). With the help of her new family and new friends she is able to find normalcy in her life again.

Most of the book focuses on Ash and sexual abuse, but once in Patience, TX other issues start being addressed, as well. Bigotry, teenage pregnancy, censorship. At first I was a little confused and felt this was an unneeded addition to the book, but in the end I understand their place in the story. Just as Ash was finding the courage to get past the horror she lived through, the people of Patience also had to find theirs. ( )
  maribs | Jan 10, 2009 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

So before anything else, I want to make it clear that I liked this book, and consider it just as good as any other mainstream release when it comes to the building blocks of literature, things like complex characters and believable dialogue. No, it's the premise of the book itself that makes it difficult to tackle as a reviewer; written by a public teacher who has aided several child victims of abuse over the years, Courage in Patience is deliberately written as a cautionary tale to other at-risk kids, an utterly "typical story" that adults can give to any youths in their lives they think might also be abuse victims, in the hopes that the kids will deeply connect with the story on display and seek help themselves. And this is an incredibly noble aim that should be congratulated, with the book itself wildly succeeding at this specific thing it's trying to do, and with it indeed being a title I would highly recommend for the specific purpose just mentioned, of helping kids self-identify whether or not they're a victim of abuse; but by its very definition, the actual storyline out "afterschool special"s any actual afternoon special ever written, with most mainstream book lovers well able to guess nearly every step in this book's plot well before each is revealed. As a tool to aid at-risk youth, this book is great, almost indispensable, which is why I refuse to give it a low score; but as just a general-interest novel for a general-interest audience, not so much, which unfortunately why it doesn't get a high score from me either. It's the eternal problem with niche publishing, one always difficult for a mainstream book critic to express adequately with a simple thing like a 10-point scale or a thumb pointed in a certain direction. ( )
  jasonpettus | Nov 12, 2008 |
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A fictional exploration of the ordeal often faced by teenage victims of sexual abuse as told by an English teacher who works with abused children.

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Beth Fehlbaum is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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