This is not a suspenseful murder mystery that I usually think of when seeing the name “Irene Hannon.” Hope Harbor: A Novel is set in a small town with a family run cranberry farm, and there are no villains aside from the problems of life. I found it interesting with a nice steady pace as well as a bit different from the run-of-the-mill light Christian romance.
The characters are mature – no bubbly college students here. The hero and heroine both lost their spouses within the past 5 years and are struggling with moving forward and what they should do with their lives. Tracy, the heroine, is dealing with life by working hard at multiple jobs and helping her community whenever she can. Michael, the hero, does the opposite by taking a vacation and taking lots of time to think. You’ll understand why when you read his story. Both of them go through emotional changes and come out stronger; they are people that I would like to be friends with.
The point of view bounces between the 2 main characters and Anna. Her story is a great subplot that could almost be it’s own story. Anna is a self-imposed recluse that slowly re-opens her windows, doors, and life with the help of the hero. She, in turn, draws us into the life of another family with a troubled daughter. Hannon uses her ability to weave stories together in a wonderful way in this small town.
There are some other interesting supporting characters, but I’ll let you read about them for yourself.
There are no long religious discussions but faith, prayer, church, God, trusting, learning, etc. are mentioned throughout.
Here is some backcover copy:
Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life—and love—altered her plans. Now she’s home again—with a floundering farm to run…a tragic secret…and a wounded heart. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter’s. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets and devastating regrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help with a project that is close to her heart, winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives—including their own.
You can find more information at the author’s site. You can read the first chapter at Where the Story Begins. Published by Bethany House. This book was sent to me through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for the book tour. The words are fully my own and my affiliate link is in this post.