Sunday, August 15, 2010

An Echo of Hope by Dianna Crawford

She might be named Hope, but Hope Underwood gave up on marrying her true love, Michael Flanagan, years ago. After waiting seven years for Michael to return to Reardon Valley, Hope reluctantly married Ezra Underwood and later gave birth to her son, Timmy. When Ezra is killed in the war, Hope continues to live with her in-laws, the Underwoods, and tries to build a loving home for her son. The day that the soldiers of the war return to Reardon Valley is filled with joy and homecoming, but the messenger that brings Ezra's last letters to Hope and the Underwoods is none other than Sergeant Michael Flanagan. His very appearance causes not only a stirring in Hope's heart, but also a stirring of anger and prejudice in the community. Will Michael be able to overcome his father's reputation and establish himself as a man worthy of Hope Underwood? It's not going to be an easy task, but Love always finds a way.

An Echo of Hope is well-named by the author. At the beginning, it seems that there is barely an echo of hope remaining for Michael and Hope's love. At one point it seemed like there was no way the main characters could ever be together without leaving where they live. Yet, the author found a way to bring them together in a satisfying resolution that was neither cliché nor unrealistic. I loved it. While I would not consider this a mystery, there is an element of drama in the plot that keeps the reader guessing who did it, why it was done and what will happen next? This helped to keep the pace of the story moving and made for a delightful read.

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