Reading time 3 mins

Reading the synopsis of HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY really peaked my interest. For some reason, I love reading about cults and this book was all about that. This story features a polygamic religious cult in a city called Clearhaven.

The main theme of the story is fear. Hanna is the oldest in her family’s clan of 9 children. The story starts 10 days before Hanna’s 18th birthday. On Hanna’s 18th birthday a man twice Hanna’s age, with 4 other wives, will marry and deflower Hanna. Hanna meets a boy named Daniel at church who starts to change her views for her future. He opens Hanna’s eyes and makes her question her options. Hanna, her siblings, and her mother and sister mothers live in constant fear of displeasing their father and the elder of the community. Disobedience in any form means immediate punishment. Hanna must decide if she will follow her marital fate or try for something beyond the community and leave her family behind.

This whole story takes place in about a weeks time and has a magical element that I didn’t see coming at all. I liked he descriptive details this author sprinkles throughout the story. I had no problem imagining the crumbling house she grows up in or the lavish accommodations of her betrothed. It felt like I was right there next to Hanna seeing things as she saw them.I had a hard time picturing the magical element but it did help the story progress.

This is a coming of age story about a relate-able girl. Hanna has hopes for herself and her sisters, especially her handicapped sister Emily. Her bond with Emily and need to protect her is admirable. There are quite a few female relationships in this story that, while uncomfortable, make perfect sense. I liked the closeness between Hanna and Kara, her real mother, and the almost rivalry between Jessamina, her families youngest sister wife. The dynamics of these females are pretty insightful.

What I didn’t like about this story were those descriptions of the elder men in the community. I have a hard time believing these people would cast most of their sons out, or that this whole community of men could all be so evil. Other than a few choice boys, all the males in this book are pure evil. I do wish there would have been more explanation for Hanna’s gift. I feel like the author left the reader hanging as to why and that left me a little disappointed. I also didn’t like Hanna’s choices at the end for her sister Emily.

This was a pretty addictive read for me from start to finish despite my small issues with the story. There is much more I could say about Hanna and town but I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers. I would recommend this to people who don’t mind wondering about the author’s intentions. This could be a story of coming of age, or a fantastical story about a girl with a rare gift. The author left that for the reader to decide.

My Rating

Review: HANNA WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Christopher MeadesHanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades
Published by Park Row Books on September 26th 2017
Pages: 352
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Coming of Age, Family Life
eARC provided by Park Row Books

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From highly acclaimed, award-winning author Christopher Meades comes a magical, provocative tale of forbidden love and one girl's struggle for liberation 
Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven. She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters. And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age. 
But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will. Then her mother tells her a secret--one that could grant Hanna the freedom she's known only in her dreams. As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven. But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she's ever known? Or is there another option--one too fantastical to believe? 
With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating, unknown world--and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

About Christopher Meades

Christopher Meades is a Vancouver author whose novel The Last Hiccup won the 2013 Canadian Authors Association Award
for Fiction.

His first novel The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark was released by ECW Press in 2010, followed by The Last Hiccup (2012) and For The Love of Mary (2016). Fall 2017 will see the release of Hanna Who Fell From The Sky (Park Row Books).

His story The Walking Lady won the 2009 Toyon fiction prize. His fiction has been featured in The Fiddlehead, Upstreet, The Dalhousie Review, Vancouver Province, Write On, The Delinquent (UK), Welter (Baltimore U.), Inch, Cause & Effect, Inscape, Toyon, The Offbeat, Delivered (UK), The Feathertale Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Canadian Stories, The Potomac Review, The Penguin Review, Thema and Nonymous.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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