The Cover Story~
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. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.
Sharing my take~
Meet the major players. Tracy Campbell, part time accountant and full time cranberry farmer. Michael Hunter, guilt-ridden, grieving businessman from Chicago who came to Hope Harbor to honor a wish of his late wife. Anna Williams, recluse, taking in wounded animals to make up for the two-decades-long rift with her estranged son. Charley, artist and taco maker (and angel?). And Floyd, a lonely seagull.
"In the beginning he brought his wife, but he's been coming by himself for the past four months. I guess something happened to her."
A husband and wife seagull pair.
Tickled by that fanciful notion, Michael dug out a few stray pieces of taco filling and tossed them to Floyd, who scarfed down the treat. "Maybe he'll get married again."
"He might, down the road...but gulls mate for life, and this one's still in mourning."
Lonely and wounded by love...kind of sums up all of the characters in Hope Harbor except Charley, who seemed to be the orchestrater of healing. I enjoyed the story and how the characters grew during the course of the book, and I appreciated the parallel of their relationship with that of the seagulls. That said, the romantic chemistry was stiff and a bit lacking for me.
Ever read a book where you almost felt as if you were there? This is one of those books. The "charming Oregon seaside village" came to life. At times I felt like I was walking along the dikes of the cranberry farm flicking away bees or sitting on the picnic table outside Charley's food trailer, the sea breeze kissing my cheeks.
But what really ramped this book up for me was its theme of forgiveness and restoration.
"Are you condoning her behavior?"
"No. But I guess I've gotten more tolerant of mistakes as I've grown older and made plenty of my own. It seems to me it's better to treat people in the midst of a crisis with compassion than censure or criticism."
Hope Harbor isn't a fluffy book to wile away a lazy afternoon. It's deep and packs a powerful message. Don't pick up this book for the romance. Pick it up because of the story.
Disclaimer: Sending my thanks to NetGalley and Revell for the privilege of reading and reviewing Hope Harbor. I was provided a free copy of the book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. I was in no way compensated for my review.
Labels: Book Review, contemporary romance, Dora Hiers, Excited about Reading, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Hope Harbor, inspirational romance, Irene Hannon, kindle, NetGalley, Revell