Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust – Book Review, Preview

Posted July 24, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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The flashing lights were visible from the second floor of the house. It appeared that it was overflowing with firemen and emergency workers. All searching for my little sister.

We were very young at the time. I wasn’t much older than 4 and she, being a year and a half younger, wasn’t much older than 2 1/2. And she was missing. My mom in her panic called 911. I was too young to remember the fear my parents must have experienced. As an adult, I can only imagine how awful that was!

After a diligent search, my sister was found! She had apparently crawled into her closet and fallen deeply asleep! Crisis averted.

Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust – Book Review, Preview

Camp Hope: Journey to Hope

by Sara L. Foust

Series: , ,
Published by Mantle Rock Publishing
Publication Date July 24, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Action/Adventure, Suspense, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Tennessee Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 243


Amy Dawson directs a summer camp for foster children near Briceville, Tennessee. A foster mom for the first time, her responsibilities as mother to a traumatized child bring a whole new set of challenges and joys.

But when Amy’s four-year-old foster daughter is dragged into the mountains of Royal Blue by a former employee, parenting challenges are overshadowed by a new nightmare. The Sheriff's department fails to procure viable leads, and Amy can’t sit idle. Her childhood friend and first love, Jack Evans, returns to lend his skills as tracker. Problem is, he also stirs up romantic memories Amy would rather leave buried.
Jack struggles to let go of his past failures and prove his reliability by bringing Mattie home, but fears when he left camp nineteen years ago and failed to keep a promise to Amy he permanently lost her confidence.
As Amy plunges into the wilderness on horseback to search for Mattie, she must decide who she trusts, let go of her childhood traumas, and learn to rely on hope in God. Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will she succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in the vast wilderness forever?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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As if having her foster daughter kidnapped isn’t bad enough, the police dog is unable to trace the scent and word is that they are going to stop looking. So Amy takes matters into her own hands and heads out to face an evil man alone.

I liked Amy as a character despite not being able to relate to her at all. Her life had been tragic and she had a major lack of trust. She was tough as well. Her love for Mattie was almost overpowering – and wouldn’t it have to be for her to set out on such a treacherous trek? Though she was broken, Amy was strong. She had big issues with God. Why would He allow her to go through such trauma and abuse as a child if He really is good?

There were so many great characters in the story. Not too many, though, to keep track of. It was humorous that the only one that I came across that had me wondering “now who was Cosmo?” was the dog. Oh, yeah. The others were woven in so well, mentioned enough when they were introduced that I didn’t forget who they were when they were named again. I really appreciated that. I dislike having to thumb back through a book to remind myself who someone is. . .

I don’t think there was even one significant character who wasn’t broken in some way. Except maybe Monty and he just wasn’t in the story long enough for us to know his backstory. What made all the brokenness good is the way that they had to figure out how to navigate life despite the brokenness. I think it made things a bit more real.

A strong spiritual element flows naturally through the story as Amy questions God and His ways. Author Sara L. Foust addresses some hard questions in a sensitive and intelligent manner and creates a very natural journey to faith for Amy.

The mystery of who the kidnapper was lasted for a bit, causing me to question what I knew about one of the characters. There was also a mystery surrounding the accomplice. That revelation surprised me – I did not see that coming at all. As a result, other things made lots more sense. I just wish at some point the motivation of the accomplice was explained. I’m still not quite sure why this person would have gotten involved.

There are some ugly things in the story. Abuse, domestic violence, fear, corruption. Though the details were kept to a minimum regarding them, the sexual abuse was mentioned multiple times throughout the book. So be aware of these things in case it is a problem for you.

I love the way that the cover of the book conveys the mood of the story so well. Stormy, broody, mysterious yet with the hope of sunshine breaking through the gloom.

I recommend this book for lovers of Christian suspense stories with a touch of romance.

Preview of Camp Hope

Sarah's East Tennessee Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest) [gs_pinterest user="sfoust25" board="east-tennessee"]

About Sara L. Foust

Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Her debut novel Callum’s Compass won second place in Deep River Books’; 2017 Writer’s Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit

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20 responses to “Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust – Book Review, Preview

  1. Natalya Lakhno

    What a beautiful review! Thank you for sharing! And thank you for the Pinterest Board <3 following 🙂

    • Thank you, Natalya! And I’m so glad you mentioned appreciating the Pinterest Board. I’ve only recently been adding those and wondered what people think. 🙂

  2. Martha Troxel

    Looking forward to the party later today! I think this book sounds great!

  3. Dorothy Bronstein

    Interesting description please sign me up for the giveaway