A huge Thank You today to my friend Bev who brought Diane Hammond’s wonderful novel Hannah’s Dream to my attention via a review on her books blog. It is very rare for me to read an entire novel in one sitting, but Hannah’s Dream was so engaging and compelling that I quite literally could not put it down. Sam Brown has for most of his adult life been employed as the caretaker of Hannah, an elephant at a small zoo in a fictional town modeled after Bellingham, Washington. Sam is getting older and nearing retirement while Hannah’s feet and legs are suffering from her confinement to a hard concrete surface, when a new zoo director (Harriet) conceives of Hannah as the star attraction to turn around the failing zoo, and a new animal keeper (Neva) is hired who is skilled and trained in modern animal husbandry methods which Sam knows nothing about.
It quickly becomes clear that Hannah really needs to be moved to an elephant sanctuary in California, but how will they ever convince Harriet? Neva is able to improve Hannah’s life somewhat and becomes involved with the zoo’s assistant director, a very orderly and methodical man named Winston who is raising his very orderly and methodical son by himself after his wife, a very wild and crazy sort of woman left them and hit the road. At length it develops that Sam is Hannah’s legal guardian and that the trust and income the zoo has been using for her care is in his control, rather than Harriet’s and Hannah is whisked away to the elephant sanctuary. The novel also encompasses the story of the late Maxine "Max" Biedleman, an amazing woman who traveled extensively in Africa and left her property and animals to the city to form a zoo. Hannah’s Dream is a very charming and well written story that is sure to appeal to animal lovers. Highly Recommended. Buy now for only $9.50