Praise for Adelaide Piper

From Publishers Weekly

“Debutante Adelaide Piper grows up in the small industrial community of Williamstown, S.C., with dreams of attending a faraway prestigious college and honing her poetry skills. She soon arrives at Nathaniel Buxton University, an elite liberal arts school in the mountains of Virginia, only to discover it to be more about fraternity parties and fashion than learning. When a hazing incident goes awry, one promising life is snuffed out and another ruined. Then, a casual date turns ugly, and Adelaide loses her moorings. Her parents aren’t helpful: Dad is obsessed with an Amway-type pyramid scheme; her mother with her failing marriage and two difficult younger daughters. There’s more fodder for tragedy—perhaps too much—as one of Adelaide’s best friends grapples with an eating disorder and another grieves an abortion. As she discovers religious faith—in a conversion scene that is expected, but nicely done— Adelaide begins to recover the core of who she is. Hart’s faith-based debut is intelligent and promising. (May, 2006)

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From Booklist *Starred Review*

Adelaide Piper, precocious and overconfident, leaves her little South Carolina town for a fancy liberal-arts school. She seems to be taking the place by storm when she is date-raped. Of course, this being Christian fiction, Adelaide is a virgin and a bit of a prude, too, but, anyhow, all her world comes crashing down. Her grades fall, and she fights depression. She tries on feminist politics but remains troubled. Maybe there is no cure, unless that boring little town she thought she escaped has some merit after all. Hart, with humor and a nice southern accent, has written a fine follow-up to her highly praised first novel, Grace at Low Tide (2005).

- John Mort Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From “In the Library” Reviews by Joyce Handzo

Adelaide Piper is a woman I would like to meet in real life! Her delightful mix of Southern charm and intelligent independence allow her to experience life with all of her emotions. These pages call readers to walk alongside this college student as she confronts the complexities and uncertainties that make up her world.

Filled with sensitive and skillful writing, this book gently reveals the character of Adelaide Piper, one moment at a time. The author has generously used diverse and often contradictory settings to allow Adelaide to develop into a woman with a will. This transformation is gracefully portrayed, as supporting characters interact with her, for better or for worse.

The college campus serves as the arena in which Adelaide’s life and horizon begins to stretch as a result of a tragedy. Although she tries to cope, her usual defense mechanisms prove useless. Almost as an act of desperation, she turns to God. Her searching for comfort and hope are showed in a startling realistic way, as she sincerely questions the events in her life. When she decides to trust the Lord, readers will understand the depth of emotion that went into this decision.

Scattered throughout this book are snippets of poetry from the mind and heart of Adelaide. These words reveal an intimate look at this character and help to chronicle the changes that come over her. The ending is perfect, as Adelaide’s life comes full circle. She’s a remarkable young woman and someone who will enrich every life she touches.

Adelaide Piper is a song from the heart!

From Aspire Retailing

Adelaide Piper views college as the magic ticket to freedom from her mundane, unsophisticated life in South Carolina. But during her freshman year, she’s raped, and suddenly college doesn’t seem like such a safe place. In fact, nowhere does. This novel follows her through the remainder of her academic career, and her search for life’s meaning, which ultimately leads to a saving faith in Jesus. Grittier than most contemporary novels for women, there’s no male protaganist, and the story doesn’t wrap up as neatly as readers might expect. Adelaide Piper deals with several weighty issues – eating disorders, drugs and alcohol, divorce, abortion and rape, to name a few. Suggest this novel to college students, twenty-something women looking for an alternative to traditional chick lit, and readers who enjoy Oprah’s picks.

- Christy Pitney (May, 2006)

From Christian Book

Adelaide Piper by Beth Webb Hart focuses on a typically vibrant 18-year-old freshman who is excited about attending her first year at a prestigious college. And, indeed, things seem to be picture perfect upon her arrival, right down to linking up with a fantastic guy. However, in short order, this “perfect” guy starts moving Adelaide in directions that go against her moral standards. Similarly, the environment of college puts challenges on her in every regard — her time, goals, friendships, values, and dreams. Adelaide faces conflicts as minor as an annoying younger sister to those as major as the death of a young man she greatly cares for. Event by event, she is made more aware of her alienation, and, simultaneously, she is made more aware of her need for “oneness” in Christ. Her story is one most teens and young adults will not only relate to, but also will see themselves living out, in whole or part.

Hart is very good at creating a variety of vivid locales. The reader is there, whether in the dorms, the classrooms, or back at Adelaide’s home. The secondary characters in the story are developed well enough to represent types found on most college campuses, i.e. the brainy type, the gossip, the party animal, the clothes horse, etc. Hart knows her turf, and her story is genuine in its portrayal of 21st century young folks.

The central theme of this story is that God loves his children enough to give them the freedom to make some mistakes; yet, that same love always provides a father’s grace to forgive them and accept them back. This is enjoyable, contemporary reading that is entertaining but also laced with a message.

- Jodi Kuhrt, Christian Book

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