Author: Fiona McCallum
Fiona McCallum is an Australian author with her ninth novel just released. I have read the majority of her novels, I think there’s 2 I need to catch up on, and they have all had a rural setting though not necessarily a strong romance theme. Finding Hannah is similar in that it is a story of friendship, healing and facing the aftermath of trauma but this one is set in Melbourne which is far from rural.
I didn’t do any real research before jumping at the chance to book club Finding Hannah because I have enjoyed Fiona’s earlier books so knew that I wanted to read it. I did read the blurb before I picked up the book so I knew that we were in for a tragedy but I still wasn’t expecting to be hit quite so hard with it. And really that’s all I can say without spoilers because I don’t want to impact on other readers experiences and make it less powerful by preparing them.
Hormones make me emotional, and they make me crazy (crazier if you ask my husband). So reading this four and a half weeks post-partum may not have been the best idea. It made me very emotional and definitely increased the crazy factor. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad read or a bad story; it was just a very powerful story that touched me.
Sometimes I think the measure of a good story is one that makes you think and makes you put yourself in a similar situation. I couldn’t imagine myself all the way into Hannah’s situation but the story certainly made me think about a couple of things in my life.
Finding Hannah is a book that is going to hit you right in the emotional soft spot. This is heart shattering grief that could easily destroy you.
A story that opens with such positive optimism and festive cheer, only to have it all destroyed in the very first chapter. Hannah is beyond shattered and doesn’t know how she will go on. Fortunately her best friend Sam is on hand when her world falls apart, and she stays with her. Hannah has a beautiful support network around her to help her get through but sometimes it seems that all the support on offer isn’t going to be enough.
Finding Hannah takes us on a roller-coaster ride through the hell that is the first year of grief with Hannah Ainsley as she learns to live again after a soul destroying tragedy. It is a story of the strength and support of strong friendships and building new friendships; and learning to create a new life out of the ashes of grief. Nothing will ever be the same again so you don’t just get back to normal but you find your way to a new normal, a normal you can live with and smile through.
I find McCallum’s writing quite simple, I’m not sure that’s the best word for what I’m trying to say but it’s late and I’m hormonal. The way McCallum writes means that this book that was such a heavy and heartbreaking story was still a light read.
This is a really good read that I enjoyed and that I would recommend, but I would suggest you be aware it could definitely hold some triggers for readers.
Finding Hannah is book #15 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.