All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Making Peace by Fiona McCallum

on April 17, 2018

Making Peace
Fiona McCallum
Harlequin AUS
2018, 362p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Does one simple act of kindness have the power to completely turn someone’s life around?

It’s been a year since Hannah Ainsley lost her husband and parents – her whole family – in a car crash on Christmas morning. Despite her overwhelming loss, she’s worked hard to pull the pieces of her life together with the help of a group of dear, loyal friends. But while Hannah is beginning to become excited about the future again, she’s concerned that her best friend and talented artist Sam is facing a crisis of her own. It’s now Hannah’s turn to be Sam’s rock – can she save Sam’s dreams from unravelling?

When Hannah returns to work after her holidays, she can’t settle. She’s loved her job for a decade, and it’s been her lifeline during her grief. But something’s changed. She’s changed. And for all this time she’s avoided knowing the details of the accident or investigation – what would be the point, she’d thought, when nothing will bring her loved ones back? But after a chance meeting, it’s all there in front of her – and, like ripples in a pond, it extends beyond her own experiences. Could knowing be the key to her recovery? Could her involvement be the key to someone else’s?

This is the sequel to Finding Hannah but it could probably stand up well enough read alone in most ways. It’s been a year since the tragic incident that changed Hannah’s life – a year of grieving intensely and now it seems that Hannah is ready to put a foot forward and although she’ll never forget what happened to her or those she lost, her life must go on. She’s still very young (32 I think) and has a lot of opportunities ahead of her.

Hannah finds herself caught up in her best friend Sam’s crisis and I think she probably embraces the fact that now it gets to be her that is the strong one. Sam and some of Hannah’s other friends provided strong shoulders for Hannah to lean on during her tragedy and now she gets to repay that in a way, by being there for Sam and helping her out. Not only does Hannah be a sounding board for Sam and a support base but she’s also a motivator. Sam is a gifted artist but lacks confidence in her own work. Hannah and their other friend Jasmine get to really push Sam, trying to make her see her talent and embrace it, wield it with confidence. She could really make something of it, if only she could believe in herself and her abilities. But Sam’s self-esteem has taken a pretty severe beating and that seems to be leaking into all areas of her life so Hannah has to take it upon herself to step up for Sam and help encourage her and push her to live up to her potential.

One thing that really came through in this book for me was the whole “build your tribe” thing. It’s become a bit of a hashtag on social media etc but it’s an idea I’ve always liked. Hannah had some of her tribe taken from her but she still has some other real core members, such as Sam and Jasmine (the wife of her boss). In this book, Hannah finds more people and befriends them, building relationships with them and bringing them into her tribe. It creates a group of women who are unfailingly supportive of one another, who would drop anything when one of them needed something and who can always be counted on for a sympathetic ear (but also a bit of a kick in the pants when required) or a good catch up. Hannah has an incredibly forgiving nature, something which is expanded upon greatly in this book. She has a capacity to see the whole picture, even when it’s about something that altered her entire life and her generous heart is definitely a huge part of this story. It probably also greatly enhances her ability to be able to move forward and begin to heal, even as she’ll never forget. Hannah does occasionally feel a bit too forgiving….in ways where she gets a bit too involved with things that don’t really concern her…but it all seems to work out very well. This is a very positive book in that pretty much all of the interactions and events are beneficial and there are not any real conflicts or setbacks, other than the one that Sam experiences, which even though she is a victim of, it’s not really about her as such. It’s part of the other main component of this novel, which is the ripple effect.

I did struggle a little with Finding Hannah and the quietness of the story, I kept looking for more. But with this one I thought I was more aware of how the story would go so I didn’t have those expectations and I was able to enjoy this a lot more. It’s a journey of healing and friendship and creating your own destiny. Hannah is obviously a much more confident person in this book, time has helped her even though what occurred is always going to leave a permanent scar. It was good to see Hannah providing support for others and strengthening her circle of friends, creating her own family. The title of this book is very apt.


Book #69 of 2018

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