Title: Hanna Who Fell from the Sky
Author: Christopher Meades
Length: 320 pages
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), New Adult
Hanna has lived in Clearhaven all of her life. In fact, she has never left the town at all. Soon she will turn eighteen and marry the man her father chose for her. She will be Edwin’s fifth wife. Hanna has always believed she was meant for more than being just another wife of a man more than twice her age. She often thinks about leaving Clearhaven and becoming the person she always wanted to be. But that would mean disobeying not only her father, but the Creator. When she meets a boy who has spent the last year outside of Clearhaven, she wonders if maybe leaving is actually possible. But will it be worth it if she has to leave behind her mother, her siblings, and everything she has ever known?
This book is beautifully written. I am a sucker for beautiful sentences and this book provided them for me. A character is introduced with the words, “She’d emerged from the womb with a strong mind and a twisted back.” At another point, Hanna wonders, “How long in my life have I been waiting for the wolves to pounce?” which draws a perfect parallel between her situation in life and the actual wolves in front of her. Along with beautiful sentences, Meades did well creating characters that were believable. He provided a good sense of the impending troubles without giving away too much too soon. A few times I felt the writing started to lean a little more toward telling than showing but overall it was well done. The story is engaging and kept me interested up until the end. There were surprises and unexpected developments that kept me guessing throughout.
I think the only part of this book that I wasn’t quite on board with were the fantasy parts. (I don’t want to give too much away here, so I’ll just say what you already know, Hanna fell from the sky.) I wouldn’t say that the whole story contains fantasy elements, just some of it. I would have preferred there to be either more fantasy throughout or none at all. Since there was just a little bit here and there, it didn’t seem to quite fit into the rest of the story.
Life in Clearhaven is not what most would consider to be normal. Meades is able to shed light on what life can be like in a cult and the type of experiences some people have lived, which isn’t often talked about. The reader is able to see how hard it can be for people involved in this kind of life to break out of it. Hanna has only known this life and has been told that the world outside is not a good place. She yearns for it but worries that everything she has been told is true. We get to see her internal, and sometimes, external struggles as she tries to figure out who she will become.
After the book ends, Meades takes the time to share where the idea for the book came from and how writing the book helped him through a really hard time as he was healing from a brain injury. I enjoyed getting to see this glimpse into the author’s life. I was able to get an idea of just how much work he put into the story and how special it is to him.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Hanna Who Fell from the Sky. A good story coupled with beautiful writing is a winner in my book. I would recommend this book to others. Go check it out!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I expressed here are my own.