Irene Hannon examines grief and the providence of God while also exploring the nature of guidance and the importance of cleaning up our messes while they are still fresh. There’s an ocean of wisdom pouring out along the narrative flow of her new work of contemporary fiction: Hope Harbor.
When Michael Hunter takes a leave of absence from his job in the mid-west and flees to the Oregon coast, he plans to “get his life back” and tend to some unfinished business in grieving for his deceased wife. To his surprise, in two weeks’ time, he has become delightfully enmeshed in the community of Hope Harbor with its charming coastal atmosphere and its enigmatic food vendor who serves up fish tacos and godly wisdom through his open window. Irene’s fresh and vivid portrayals enrich the unfolding plot as Michael risks getting better acquainted with Tracy, the lovely yet aloof young woman who nearly mowed him down with her bike on his first day in Hope Harbor. As the ice between them thaws, they ponder the mystery behind Michael’s crusty landlady’s uncharacteristic friendliness toward him — and then go on to tackle the thorny issue of rescuing Tracy’s family farm from imminent financial disaster. With her heart already wounded, is it wise for Tracy to trust her growing feelings for Michael when he has made it clear that he has no plans to stick around?
Irene Hannon’s characters are authentic on their feet of clay, so their struggles feel genuine, and yet they manage to serve as credible role models for readers who are also on a journey toward hope. It turns out that grief and regret often go hand-in- hand, and that these twin sorrows are part of the story for more than one resident of Hope Harbor. Anna the crusty landlady with “hard miles on her odometer” and a growing determination to start fresh; Tracy with her farm-girl work ethic and fierce loyalty to her family; and Michael with his vision and his gifting for helping the helpless all find that unexpected grace comes in every-widening circles as they discover the miracle of second chances.
This book was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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