Another long book of 564 pages, Her Daughter’s Dream picks up where Her Mother’s Hope left off. (If you haven’t read my review of Her Mother’s Hope yet, you might want to read that review first.) Hildemara is sick with tuberculosis and her mother, Marta, moves in to help with the children, Charlie and Carolyn. The first half of the book is told from Carolyn’s perspective.
Carolyn is glad that her “Oma,” Marta has come to live with her family. From Carolyn’s 4 year old perspective, her mother doesn’t care about her. Because of Hildemara’s illness, and later her work schedule, it seems as if Carolyn’s mom never has time for her. Her Oma, however, has all the time in the world for her, and they grow close, making Hildemara feel left out of her own child’s life.
As Carolyn grows up, the rifts between the generations become deeper and resentments grow. Eventually Carolyn gets caught up in the 1960s San Francisco sub culture.
After losing track of her daughter for a year, Carolyn finally comes home to Hildemara, pregnant and alone. But once again the chasm between mother and daughter seems insurmountable as Carolyn feels Hildemara’s judgement for being pregnant and unwed.
When Carolyn’s daughter, May Flower Dawn, is born, Hildemara tries to help out, but in doing so, Carolyn is pushed right out of her child’s life, and she deeply resents her mother for taking over the role she should be playing.
Halfway through the book, Rivers begins telling the story from May Flower Dawn’s perspective. Dawn, as she is called, feels the rift between her granny and her mother, and she often feels caught in the middle. She loves them both, but cannot seem to please one without alienating the other.
But after one trip to see her great-grandmother Marta, Dawn is determined to do better. She desperately seeks God’s will for her life and prays that one day the generations of her family will learn to forgive each other.
Her Daughter’s Dream deals with some difficult subjects: child rape, drugs, alcoholism, and pre-marital sex. Spanning the period from 1950 into the 2000s, the events surrounding the story are told with accuracy.
Once again, I was reminded of how important communication is in relationships. And through the story Rivers illustrates how easy it is for sin to take hold, generation after generation. However, through Christ, there is always hope for change. Though not always easy, Christ can change hearts and mend even the most broken of relationships.
Her Daughter’s Dream is a great read with some important lessons.