Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond

Hannah’s Dream was one of the books chosen by my book club, I probably wouldn’t have read it otherwise as I’m not sure the description would have inspired me to keep hold of it in the first place but, that being said I found this an enjoyable book.

Simply told this is a love story but not in the traditional sense. This is the story of Hannah the elephant and her keeper Sam, who has looked after her for over 40 years. Basically neither Hannah or Sam are in the best of health. Hannah has spent too much time in isolated captivity reliant only on Sam for her needs and comforts and Sam is no longer fit enough to continue and needs to retire but doesn’t feel he can. Now, put like that, it probably won’t make people want to rush out and buy a copy, but,it really does have some lovely quirky characters and is a well told story.

In terms of the story I don’t want to elaborate too much. It’s a fairly simple story that revolves around a few of the main characters helping Hannah to move on to an animal sanctuary where she can live the remainder of her life in the company of other elephants.

What is really good about this story is the characters, because Sam and Hannah are supported by a great cast and the back story of the original founder of the zoo, Max. Max (or Maxine) is the rather eccentric woman who brought the collection of animals together that eventually became known as the Biedelman Zoo. We learn her story through recollections of Sam’s when he is telling people about how he came to the zoo and started working with Hannah, and it is a lovely tale and Max is easy to summon to the imagination.

I really enjoyed reading about Sam and his wife Corrine. They are just adorable people and the sort that you would love to call a part of your life. I also think they are surrounded by an equally nice, if slightly out there, bunch of characters.

My criticisms? I think the story is a little bit overly nice sometimes as are the characters. They sort of all have their own faults but in a very regimented way. Nobody makes any major gaffs or steps out of character at all (except for the villain of the piece in a rather strange, and slightly unrealistic way). It reads a bit like a script for a Disney movie.

But, criticisms aside this is a really nice book to read (sorry if that sounds a bit like damning with faint praise as it isn’t intended). I think that if you enjoy books such as Water for Elephants or The Secret Life of Bees, then you may enjoy this book – but I in no way intend to imply that they are the same sort of content. Just that they all have a sort of fairytale feel to them somehow.

Anyway, I enjoyed it and I predict that some of you out there will definitely need tissues on standby.

Rating: -A

Hannah's Dream

Hannah's Dream

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2 Responses to “Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond”

  1. Carmen

    I loved Hannah’s Dream, though I agree with you that it is overly sweet, but I connected with the plot, the characters and the writing.

    • lynnsbooks

      I also liked it – it was a book club choice and it made for interesting discussion. It is a sweet book but I think sometimes sweet is what you need.
      Lynn 😀

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