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Hannah's Hope    by Karen Kingsbury order for
Hannah's Hope
by Karen Kingsbury
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Fifteen-year-old Hannah feels lonely and abandoned. Although her life is full of activities, many friends, and money to buy anything she wants, it's not enough. Her father is the US Ambassador to Sweden and that's where her parents live most of the year, leaving Hannah with her dour grandmother.

To make matters worse, this year her mother tells her they won't be home for Christmas. Hannah asks her driver to pray for a Christmas miracle. She wants both parents home for the holiday. When she tells her mother how she feels, Hannah receives amazing news. The man she has always thought was her father is not. Hannah's dad is Mike Conner, a man her mother loved for years but never married. Reeling from the news, Hannah sets out to find Mike. Her quest leads her to the military and the possibility that he may be in Iraq. Will Mike want to hear from his daughter after all these years?

This uplifting story is the final installment of the Red Gloves series. It reflects the importance of hope and belief that God can cause a miracle, even when circumstances seem bleak. Hannah is tenacious and mature beyond her years, mostly because she has been left to fend for herself. She has memories of her father than don't match the way he acts toward her. The distant politician is not the man she remembers playing guitar for her as a child. When she finds out about Mike, it's as if puzzle pieces click into place. Although heartwarming, the overall plot of the story is a bit thin. Its short length doesn't lend well to detailed development of character or plot. As a holiday tale, it's sweet and perfect for the season. However, if you're looking for a deep spiritual story with a clear gospel message, this isn't it.

As with other Red Gloves stories, Hannah's Hope lists projects at the end, this time focusing on the military and ways to bring hope and encouragement into the lives of those in the armed forces. It was actually these suggestions that brought tears to my eyes as I realized the sacrifices these men and women are making for our freedom on a daily basis. That inspiration alone is worth the price of the book.

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