This is my latest review delivered as part of the team at
American Journey Book Five
Author – John A Heldt
Pages – 481
Released – 8th February 2017
Format – ebook
Reviewer – Julie
I received a free copy of this book
After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel. Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short.
For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.
Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.
This is the fifth book in the ‘American Journey’ series by John A Heldt and the second I have been asked to read and review. ‘Hannah’s Moon’ is written in the third person from the point of view of several of the main protagonists.
After a powerful and poignant start, Heldt wastes no time in getting on with the story. As previously, he has stuck to his formulaic time-travelling theme which is delightfully far-fetched. It is best not to overthink it, as the plot itself is wide-ranging and for the most part, engaging.
This time we meet Claire and Ron as well as Claire’s brother David; all of whom have a familial connection to characters previously introduced by the author in his earlier work. If we accept that these players have been transported back from the present to 1945, we can then immerse ourselves in a tale filled with love, romance, pathos, hope, danger and endurance.
There is a bit of backstory in places to help flesh out the characters as they live in an unfamiliar world, devoid of modern technology, with the ever-present underlying threat of exposure.
We are given historical facts which are well-placed throughout the story to fix the era in the mind of the reader. We feel for the new mother as she realises her daughter’s healthcare is limited to what is available in the 1940s. Claire also laments the fact she can’t have the coffee she likes, send a text message or skype her husband. These are clever devices used to demonstrate the limitations between the things we take for granted today and life 70 years ago.
As the time-travellers were told to keep low profiles, it did seem rather foolhardy of Ron to get himself noticed in such a dramatic and life-changing way; however, without this arguably avoidable situation, the story wouldn’t have had much backbone. I felt the plot lost a little momentum in the middle but there were a few tantalising snippets of information with a bit of foreshadowing to keep the reader interested. The mood then changed dramatically, the pace picked up and I was gripped by the harrowing scenes that followed.
For a long time, I wasn’t sure of the significance of the cover design as it didn’t seem to have any bearing on the plot. Towards the end I understood the symbolism and compliment the author.
As this is the last in the five book series, the author devotes the final chapters to neatly binding the characters together; this will mean more to those readers who have read every book. Nevertheless, the linking character of Geoffrey Bell is given a rather bitter sweet conclusion to his own story which was definitely a nice little twist.
‘Hannah’s Moon’ is overall, a compelling read and I finished it in four days. If you like a bit of sci-fi and fantasy blended into a love story, then this book will appeal to you and I award four well-earned stars.
About the Author
John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series.
The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction.
When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life on his blog.