by Kristin Hannah

November 2005
ISBN: 0-345-48367-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

Every Christmas many authors put out a book whether it is a short story in an anthology or a short stand alone novella. This year fans of Kristin Hannah will be eagerly awaiting her gift to readers…Comfort and Joy.

Joy Faith Candellaro was coasting through her life. She had dreams of having a great adventure someday. As she is a high school librarian she had no problem doing the research and cataloging of different places she dreamt of going. Her husband Thom made her keep her research in file cabinets in the garage.

Suddenly life changes and Joy finds herself divorced from Thom, and estranged from her sister Stacy. Her home is for sale, and isn’t selling. She feels it might be cursed as the couple who had it prior to her and Thom was also divorced.

It’s Christmas break from the high school where Joy is a librarian. She decides that she must start to heal from her divorce, and small baby steps are better than no steps at all. When she arrives home from buying a Christmas tree she finds her sister awaiting her. When she hears the news her sister has she runs off. As to where she is going, she’s clueless, but it soon becomes the journey of a lifetime.

Joy goes to the airport and wants to purchase a ticket to a place called Hope. The flight is a charter, and she manages to get a bargain ticket from the man in charge. The plane crashes, and Joy believes that she has not only survived the crash, but walked away from it.

She walks until she finds a place called The Comfort Lodge. There she discovers a small boy and his dad trying to find their way together after the loss of the boy’s mother. They kindly take her in, and she begins to heal not only from the crash, but from the wreck of her personal life.

Comfort and Joy is really a two part story. After Joy leaves The Comfort Lodge she reunites with her sister. Life is very much changed, and what she has held onto and believed is challenged. What will it take to totally heal the relationship with her sister, and what will it take for Joy to believe that she’s not totally insane?

Ms. Hannah wrote a story that pulled me in from the very first page, and had me truly believing in the magic and love that only Christmas can bring. Years ago I discovered Kristin Hannah, and since then I’ve been eagerly awaiting each new book. I know that I’m guaranteed a read that will touch my heartstrings.

If you’re looking for a special gift for a special friend this year, then I truly believe you should offer Comfort and Joy.

Reviewed in October 2005 by Sandi.

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