Book of the week: Finding Hannah by Fiona McCallum

Sometimes the biggest step to healing comes from the smallest of things . . .

Fiona McCallum takes us on a heart-breaking and ultimately heartwarming journey from grief and loss to acceptance, renewal and what lies beyond. Finding Hannah will tug readers along by the heartstrings from the opening lines to the final pages.

Hannah Ainsley’s life has always felt blessed, and never more than at Christmas. Growing up the only child of loving parents, she’d never had any of the family dramas others complained about. She has great friends, and really hit jackpot with her husband, Tristan – who was close to the perfect partner, give-or-take a few forgivable flaws. But this Christmas, an unimaginable tragedy smashes through the veneer of her happy life. Broken by profound loss, Hannah must somehow pull what’s left back together. So when Christmas – now a black hole in her calendar – rolls around once more, how will she cope with a reminder of the worst day of her life? And where can she possibly go from here?


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Through Hannah, Fiona McCallum convincingly conjures the legacy of grief, and the things that ameliorate it. How the smell of a loved one clings to bed linen like a painful memory. The feeling that doing the things you once loved ‘no longer felt right’. That sudden sense that – now that the worst has happened – anything is possible. And the moments when unasked for kindness lightens the heavy load. Until, unexpectedly you realise, you’re going to be okay.

At the core of this novel, though, is a tale of the kind of love that books all too often overlook: the love and support of true friends. Without her tightknit loving circle, Hannah couldn’t have coped. And McCallum really delves into the many ways that the family you choose can really help get you through the toughest of times.

Hannah’s experience may be extreme, but it’s one that will resonate with anyone who has loved and lost. But the hard-won lessons of learning to accept help, and ultimately let life go on, are also in these pages. A moving, compassionate and uplifting read.

Fiona McCallum has enjoyed a life of contrasts. She was raised on a farm in South Australia. She now lives in suburban Adelaide, but remains a country girl at heart. Fiona writes ‘heart-warming journey of self-discovery stories’ that draw on her life experiences, love of animals and fascination with the human condition. She is the author of eight Australian bestsellers. Finding Hannah is her ninth novel.

Click here to grab a copy or start reading the opening pages!

Better Reading aims to be a great source of independent book recommendations for Australian readers and their families. They’re all about sharing great stories, and helping people discover new books and authors.

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