Hanna Who Fell From the Sky by Christopher Meades
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Hanna's grown up sheltered in a community where the men are required to marry multiple women. At 17, Hanna's own wedding to a man her father's age is days away. She's uncomfortable being forced to marry a man of her dad's choosing, especially when that man is so much older. She can't help but wonder what life is like in the outside world.
Enter Daniel. Daniel's also part of the community. He and his family have returned after exploring the outside world. Daniel's brothers will be sent out of the community to seek new experiences, but Daniel's chosen to remain as the man who will follow in his father's shoes. Daniel's not sure he wants the life being chosen for him.
Daniel wants to show Hanna that there is life outside of their community. Hanna's both intrigued and scared. If she leaves, she's leaving her handicapped sister behind, and she simply cannot do that to the girl she loves like a daughter. Can Hanna leave it all behind or will she follow her father's wishes?
Strengths and Weaknesses
The strong protagonist in Hanna Who Fell From the Sky told such an amazing, real, and often heartbreaking story. I felt her indecision and cheered her on as each chapter pulled me further into her world. I just can't imagine going back to days when you had no say in who you married.
The title actually plays a part in the story. As Hanna's wedding day nears, you experience more of her mother's past and relationship within the family that is a blend of sister-wives, children, and the patriarch ruling them all. As this story took a stronger part in the book, I started struggling with it. It had more of a fantasy leaning at that point than the general fiction I'd grown fond of. I started to find myself feeling a little disillusioned and definitely less interested.
RTR's Bottom Line
I kept reading because I needed to see how things ended for Hanna. I did really enjoy the first two-thirds or so, and then I found myself uncertain. Having finished it, I'm still not sure I loved how it played out. Part of me wishes that the author had stuck to the gripping reality of life in a cult and bypassed the magical aspect that played a big part in the rest of the book.
That puts my bottom line at how you feel about magic/fantasy novels. I'm not a fan. I'm certain that's what makes me feel so mixed on how everything ended. If you like them, you'll love Hanna Who Fell From the Sky.