In small communities, past crimes and indiscretions can sometimes never be lived down. Even when those crimes were committed by someone else. In Reardon Valley, Tennessee, judgements and emotions still run as strong as they did ten years ago when the Flanagans were forced to leave under a cloud of shame.
Michael Flanagan has come back to Reardon Valley. Whispers start up the moment he sets foot in town. Will another barn burn? Will he extract revenge for how he was treated all those years ago? He has helped the sons of the Valley return home from fighting the war of 1812. Michael has come back to see his first love, Hope and to deliver to her a package from her deceased husband. With a lingering love in his heart and dreams for the future, Michael sets eyes on Hope and realizes that he would never stop loving her. He will never give up on the chance of marrying her and living in peace with the people of the Valley.
Hope Underwood can't believe her eyes when Michael Flanagan comes to town. She had finally given up and married a man she could never love. Now, her husband is dead. She must raise their young son on her own. Then her first and only love returns, determined to marry her and convince the town that he isn't anything like his father. Hope must decide what to do and if she should listen to her heart.
Ten years ago, Michael Flanagan's father had destoryed any chance that Michael might be respected by the people of Reardon Valley. Can Michael and Hope overcome the anger and judgement of the townspeople? Will forgiveness for their own fathers grow in the hearts of Michael and Hope?
Dianna Crawford has written a wonderfully inspiring tale of forgiveness and loving your neighbor. Her characters are well developed. The reader gets a nice feel for small towns and the historical touches are gently added to give the book a full feel to it. Seeing Michael's determination to stay and marry Hope makes the thought of love conqueroring all a reality.
An Echo of Hope is a book full of forgiveness and love. A sweet story well-worth reading.