Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
New 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.
This book was really good! I know, it's a romance novel -- a Christmas romance novel to boot, but it was really good. I started it last evening and finished it today. It's the story of Joy, a high-school librarian who's marriage has collapsed into divorce because her husband was sleeping with her sister. Definitely a tragic start for a Christmas novel. Then, after leaving her sister in her driveway, she drives to the airport and on a whim buys a ticket for Hope in Canada. The plane crashes -- yes, the tragedy gets worse. After getting thrown from the wreakage and seeing her mother (who has been dead for 15 years), she decides to walk away from the crash site and have an adventure. She walks through the woods and eventually comes across a closed Bed and Breakfast Lodge manned by a little boy and his father. She spends a few days there and gets very attached to the little boy...and his father...when another surprising twist takes place. I'm not going to ruin it for you, but let me tell you this -- I was surprised and screaming, "No! No! No1" to myself while reading. I had to finish this book today. I couldn't wait. I had to know what happened. It's that kind of book. And, it's a very clean read -- no sex. Sex wouldn't have fit in this story. Love was definitely there. The kind of love that everyone dreams about. A great read!
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