Book Review: Hannah’s Journey

Carmen Peone’s expert horsemanship and knowledge of northeast Washington territory shines through in the second of her Gardner Sibling Trilogy, Hannah’s Journey.

At sixteen, Hannah is the oldest child of a mid-1800’s pioneering ranch family. Hannah’s burning desire to race horses with her adopted Indian Aunt Spupaleena is a constant worry to her parents. They fear not only that she’ll be injured, but that their daughter is not preparing herself for the expected future role of wife, homemaker, and mother.

Hannah’s parents aren’t the only ones against her racing. The Indian boys resent her barging into their sport. Not only is she a girl, but a white girl. The only encouragement she gets is from Aunt Spupaleena and Spupaleena’s brother Pekam.

Heedless of others’ opinion, Hannah participants in a difficult, dangerous race. Not only is there danger in the race itself–riding horseback fast on uneven terrain–but also enduring vengeful rough treatment from other racers. It’s a bold, bloody event.

Hannah’s parents, frustrated and worried about their daughter’s rebellious behavior, threaten to send her to live with an aunt in Montana, a fate totally unacceptable to Hannah. She runs away to the Sinyekst village along the Columbia River, the village of her Aunt Spupaleena.

Hannah’s Journey delves into many of life’s challenges, especially of a young girl with non-traditional dreams. Along the way she must learn to exercise patience, to have faith, to slow down and pray for guidance. She learns that life comes with compromise, and sacrifice. Life isn’t easy and for someone with extraordinary desires, it’s even more difficult.

I found Hannah’s Journey an absorbing, well-written book, a story intriguing to a wide audience. The author speaks with authority about Indian history, and the Sinyekst people. Peone is knowledgeable about the northeast Washington area, the Columbia River and the diverse area surrounding it. Many of this novel’s characters have appeared in the author’s previous books (The Heart Trilogy), but the transition into this second book of the Gardner Sibling Trilogy is smooth and stands alone.

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: Hannah’s Journey

  1. I grew up a “city gal” so never learned to ride horses. During my adolescent years, about the only “sport” young women could participate in was ice skating – a free afternoon of entertainment – once you shoveled off the pond ice. So I must learn by osmosis this horseback riding stuff. I better get reading.

    • I grew up in the city, Too, Judith, but my sister was into horses big-time, so I learned a lot from her. She had horses all her life, from about the age of 16. Reading is good, too!

    • Believe it or not, Judith, I grew up just outside of Spokane, in the valley. My heart was always in the country. I was not and am not made for the city. I cringe when I go back to the noise and traffic. I’m in my element on the back of a horse. Something my dad and I share.

  2. Hannah’s Journey sounds like a terrific book. Thanks, Mary, for posting a review. I am looking forward to Carmen’s launch party too, if I can attend. No streaming in my rural area! I always enjoy your reviews and have read a number of books you have recommended, including your own!

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