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FINDING HANNAH BY FIONA MCCALLUM

PUBLISHED BY HARLEQUIN
REVIEW BY BECK BARONA

Harlequin’s new imprint HQ fiction has launched withSouth Australian author Fiona McCallum’s ninth novel; “Finding Hannah”.

While McCallum’s other novels take place in country Australian settings, mirroring her upbringing in rural South Australia, “Finding Hannah” is a contemporary story. Set in Melbourne, it’s about a young, adored and married woman (Hannah), who faces a shattering tragedy for the first time. On Christmas day, Hannah loses her husband and parents in an accident and is plunged into a lonely and broken state.

The story displays the stages of trying to recover from loss, particularly for a sheltered young woman who was in the early years of her marriage, and trying to start a family. It made me hold my husband tighter after the first few chapters; I had anxiety waiting for the inevitable to happen.

The story shows Hannah realising her supportive network; the old and new friends she has around her. They help her through the difficult times, as well as getting in touch with herself again. I enjoyed how the story sent the message of regaining individuality. It’s so easy to involve ourselves heavily in your partner’s or family’s lives, that sometimes we forget the things we were interested in, or perhaps we never really got to find out what they were before committing to someone else.

The story is gentle and progressive, with no specific conflict between other characters, as this is about a battle of the self. McCallum had me swept up in Hannah’s sad, but new journey. After the horrid events at the beginning, the story almost becomes a ‘feel good’ tale. It’s reminiscent of “PS. I Love You”.

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.