Disclaimer: Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon was provided by Revell in exchange for an honest review.
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. Now she’s home again—with a foundering farm to run…a tragic secret…and a wounded heart. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter’s. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets and devastating regrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help with a project that is close to her heart, winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives—including their own.
Hope Harbor is nothing new or original or anything beyond merely average. Yet it does tell some touching tales, even with the tired-out “I’m scarred by former romance and so don’t want current romance” aspect. It’s a decently good book, and while it didn’t blow me away or keep me on the edge of my seat, it did tell a nice story—and communicated some messages that I appreciated.
Hannon emphasizes listening with love, which I think is a needed message today. Too many people speak without listening first; too many people never take the time to get to the actual root of the problem: why did the person act this way? Why do they believe that? And best of all, Hannon emphasizes listening without compromising, being able to listen and support someone while still disagreeing with and/or disapproving of their actions. The book is aptly named: it’s brimming with hope and grace, done in a way that encourages and helps all the parties involved.
And yes, the writing is nothing spectacular, and the romance and the plot are formulaic and obvious, but Hope Harbor does have some bright spots to it, even when it goes slightly into sappiness. And Hannon managed to keep the novel from being boring, too, with her viewpoint-switching (which was subtle, not jarring) and progression of plot, which is always a plus. Although, I do wish that Anna hadn’t done nearly all her contemplation while she was doing the dishes. There’s only so many times I can read about her scrubbing pans clean while thinking about her life/son/state of mind.
My rating: 3/5
Genre: Realistic, Christian
You can buy this here: Hope Harbor: A Novel