Neva Shilling's life was comfortable despite the effects of the Great Depression. Her twins Belle and Bud helped her manage the family's small store during the weeks their father was out on his sales route. As Neva prepared a modest supper for his return, she was certain that there would be leftovers enough to share with the hobos who often appeared at their back door. In no way was Neva prepared for the Sheriff's Deputy that would arrive from Beloit, Kansas with news that would change her life forever. Soon she would learn not only that her husband had died of botulism, but that he was a bigamist with another family. Having been raised in an orphanage, Neva knew she could not abandon the three children her husband left behind from his other family, but neither did she give them her heart. As she struggles to provide them a home and protect her own children's memory of their father, Neva learns that she will have to forgive her husband if she is going to move ahead with her life. As the months pass and the community begins to sense the truth of why the children are with her, Neva's business falters, son Bud rebels, and Neva feels at a loss. It is with the help of the pastor, the deputy, and a neighbor that she realizes that she must love these innocent children as God loves her.
I enjoyed this book, and always felt that there should be a romance between Sheriff Jesse Caudel and Neva, but it seems that the author had other ideas ( can't spoil the story). Vogel Sawyer has written a story about surviving with one's head held high without losing one's faith in the toughest of times, a story of recognizing that others are hurting more than you, and that in order to be comforted and loved, one needs to give comfort and love. ROOM FOR HOPE does end just that way, with room to hope that Neva's life will improve, that the family will bond and become strong, and that there might be someone who cares deeply about her. I obtained this book from our library system.