Sunday, 18 May 2014

Review: Hannie Rising by Jeanette Baker

Mickey Enright isn’t ready to be dead. His life on earth has been more than satisfactory. He is an icon in Tralee, a “typical Kerryman,” an easy-going, life-of-the-party jokester, a man’s man, a decent, although unexceptional provider who took for granted the faithfulness of his wife, the love of his children, Kerry football, and a few pints with the lads in Betty’s Pub on Rock Street. Convinced there has been a mistake, he demands another chance at mortality.
St. Peter, with an agenda of his own, sends Mickey back to Tralee as a stranger.
Meanwhile, Hannie, Mickey’s widow, has begun to resurface from her loss and celebrate her freedom. She has also learned a thing or two about her late husband, enough to convince her that life after marriage might be more satisfying than it was during.
Mickey, his original purpose to win back a few more years of his former life, finds himself in the unique position of attempting to court his wife, a woman he believed held no surprises for him and, in so doing, learns a thing or two about Hannie as well as playing directly into the hands of St. Peter.

Paperback, 428 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by Createspace

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I have mixed emotions when it comes to this book. Basically it is about a family as they struggle through life after the death of their husband/father. He is sent back in the form of another man to make amends and right the wrongs from his time on earth before he moves on to his final destination. Sound good?? That's what I thought and was excited to read how it would all play out.

The entire book moved slowly and at times it was a little too slow for my liking. It alternated between Mikey, his wife Hannie, their son Liam, daughter Kate and his mother in law Dolly. Each one of them is struggling with their life and find themselves in limbo. All of them find themselves back in Hannie's home after she is just starting to get use to living her life and enjoying it on her own. Mikey then comes back as Patrick and enters their lives. Here is where I struggled a little bit. Considering he was suppose to be finding a way to help his former family, he wasn't really in the story a whole lot. When he was, he was always coming up with great words of wisdom and advice for the struggling family. Where did that come from? Was it because he was dead that he was suddenly so knowledgeable and wise? It just seemed a little too neat and tidy and a tad bit unbelievable. The story just fell a little short.

I enjoyed reading the progress that each family member made throughout the book but I have to admit that there were times that I found most of them, with the exception of Dolly, rather annoying. I believe it was the intent of the author to show the selfishness of the characters but I still found it a bit much. It was hard to connect with any of them because of it.

In the end it was an OK read for me but I didn't love it. The concept was good but the story could have been a whole lot more.

About the Author

I love all things Irish, the language, a good cup of tea, soda bread, stew, smoked salmon, banoffee pie, green hills, happy cows, chedder cheese,... and all things Southern, sweet iced tea, southern hospitality, everything written by Anne Rivers Siddons and Johanna Trollope, blazing sunsets, driving through hot desert nights with the windows open, coffee and conversation with good friends, Katherine Hepburn movies, dessert, intimate gatherings and bright breezy days.

I live in Southern California during the winter months where I teach school to remarkably well-behaved 6th graders. During the summer months I live in County Kerry, Ireland where I take long walks, listen to traditional music, sigh over gray skies and write, write, write.  


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