The cover to most editions of this novel shows a man and a woman from the waist down, standing barefoot on the sand. The man holds a rough branch for a stick. The woman wears light summer pants and from the position of their legs and feet it appears that she is reaching out to him for a hug.
Charming, except that it has NOTHING to do with the novel at hand, where none of the scenes take place on a beach. It is not even a beach read, because it is replete with the hurt feelings and toxic anger that inevitably emerge when people are abandoned, locked up, and denied their basic human rights.
Why the PUBLISHER attempted to make this book into a piece of INSIPID FROTH, I have no idea. It does this novel, and Kristin Hannah a GREAT DISSERVICE.
Having got that out of the way, I will say that I appreciated this novel very much. I am just getting to know novelist Kristin Hannah, having enjoyed “The Nightingale” and “The Four Winds.” So I am dipping into her oeuvre, starting with some earlier novels and moving forward.
What makes this novel so great is that the author takes the time to let the emotions spill onto the pages. We can feel Angel’s rage, Lina’s hurt feelings, Father Francis’ compassion and Madelaine’s sense of bewilderment as she tries to navigate around these powerful emotions that emanate from the people she loves.
If you want to read some of Kristin Hannah’s earlier work, you should definitely read this. Five stars.