Believing in and Creating Christmas Miracles
Book Review - Hannah's Hope by Karen Kingsbury Reviewed by Lisa M. Hendey
During our annual Christmas break from school, the boys and I typically take a lazy afternoon in pajamas and share a special Christmas book. As they've grown older, we've evolved from picture books to lovely inspirational novels. Our selection for this year will be Hannah's Hope by the inspiringly prolific Karen Kingsbury.
Hannah's Hope (Warner Faith, October 2005, hardcover, 176 pages) is the fourth installment in Kingsbury's popular "Red Gloves Series". The series combines compelling stories of love, faith and belief with real world opportunities for service to others.
Hannah's Hope is both an encouragement and a page-turner. From multiple perspectives, the book tells the story of a trio of family members separated and isolated both emotionally and physically. Teenage Hannah appears at first glance to "have it all". She is a busy, intelligent, wealthy girl attending the best school and keeping up with an active extracurricular life. As we come to know Hannah's heart, however, we recognize her acute loneliness, brought on by the fact that her parents live halfway across the world due to their careers.
Hannah's mother, Carol, hasn't let being a mom slow down her drive and ambition. She's made the tough choices, even though this has meant leaving her daughter to be raised by an unfeeling grandmother. Carol daydreams about her eventual run for political office and hiring her daughter as an intern - perhaps then they can have a close relationship. Upon informing Hannah of an impending separation during Christmas, Carol reveals a major surprise that will change the course of Hannah's life.
Carol's secret introduces us to a third character in the book, Mike, and to his life as an officer and helicopter pilot in Iraq. Separated from the only family he knows, Mike longs to be reunited with someone special, and finds a true faith in God and the power of prayer along the way.
Hannah's Hope offers an exciting plot line and a few twists that will keep readers glued to the story. But the true value of this lovely book is in its message of faith, family and belief. If we believe that God ultimately loves and provides for us, we can turn to Him in faith regardless of how insurmountable life's problems and difficulties may seem. He hears us, and in His own way responds to our prayers. Our Christmas miracles may not be as dramatic as Hannah's, but His love for us makes great things possible for each and every one of us.
I am looking forward to sharing Hannah's Hope with my family this season. The "Red Gloves Projects" listed at the end of the book offer wonderful ideas for reaching out to and supporting the men and women of our military, who may be serving far away from loved ones this holiday season. Along with praying for our own Christmas miracles, perhaps our family will have the opportunity to create a few miracles for others in need or lonely this Christmas. It is thanks to our belief in the greatest holiday miracle, the birth of our savior Jesus Christ, that we celebrate this season. In Jesus' name and with his example, sharing love and belief with others should be at the top of our Christmas list this year.
For additional information on Hannah's Hope visit Amazon
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including
http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader. Visit her at
7010 N. Marks, Suite 103 PMB 262
Fresno, CA 93711
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