BOOK HOARDER’S SELECTION (18): Comfort and Joy, by Kristin Hannah

BOOK HOARDER’S SELECTION, is a feature of Reading In Winter, which will feature one book from my collection that I plan to read in the coming week. These are NOT review books, but books I’ve purchased — or books that have been given to me, which have been neglected for a long time.

comfort and joyTITLE: Comfort and Joy

AUTHOR: Kristin Hannah

HOW LONG I’VE HAD IT: Since the beginning of 2012! It was one of the first books I won in a contest.

WHY I’M READING IT: It’s the holidays! And this book is super short, which means I should be able to get it read during the week of festivities. 🙂 I also really love Kristin Hannah and have been itching to read this one, but it only seemed fitting to save it until Christmas.

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SYNOPSISNew York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah is beloved by readers around the world for her unique blend of powerful emotion and exquisite storytelling. In Comfort & Joy, she offers a modern-day fairy tale—the story of a woman who gets a miraculous chance at happiness. 

Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.

In the small town of Rain Valley, six-year-old Bobby O’Shea is facing his first Christmas without a mother. Unable to handle the loss, Bobby has closed himself off from the world, talking only to his invisible best friend. His father Daniel is beside himself, desperate to help his son cope. Yet when the little boy meets Joy, these two unlikely souls form a deep and powerful bond. In helping Bobby and Daniel heal, Joy finds herself again.      

But not everything is as it seems in quiet Rain Valley, and in an instant, Joy’s world is ripped apart, and her heart is broken. On a magical Christmas Eve, a night of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, Joy must find the courage to believe in a love—and a family—that can’t possibly exist, and go in search of what she wants . . . and the new life only she can find.

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BOOK REVIEW: Home Front, by Kristin Hannah

Released: August 22 – 23, 2012
Genre: Adult Contemporary

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Listen to a clip from the audiobook (courtesy of MacMillan)

In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war. 

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life—children, careers, bills, chores—even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own—for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.

My Thoughts
Last summer I fell in love with Kristin Hannah and told myself I would read EVERYTHING she released. This one didn’t grab me immediately, but I saw it there on the express shelf at the library and decided to finally pick it up.

When Kristin Hannah’s latest book, Home Front, was released, I was hesitant. I read the synopsis and saw that it was a story that had to do with war heroes and families torn apart by war and I figured it wouldn’t be for me. While I maintained earlier in the year while reading Night Road that Kristin Hannah cannot disappoint me, I thought this might be the book that I skip. Don’t judge. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Night Road, by Kristin Hannah

Released: January 3, 2012 (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Source: Purchased
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For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices. 
To hold on… 
To let go.. 
To forget… 
To forgive… 
Which road will you take? 

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. 

Jude does everything to keep her kids safe and on track for college. It has always been easy– until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them. 

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive. 

NIGHT ROAD is vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

My Thoughts

If you don’t know by now, I’ll tell you: I adore Kristin Hannah. I had never heard of her until the summer of last year when I was aimlessly scouring the shelves of my local library and came across her books. After reading only one of them, I knew I had another favourite author on my hands. Continue reading