In Finding Hannah, Fiona McCallum takes the issue of tragedy and grieving, weaving a heartfelt and yet healing story around Hannah Ainsley. For anyone who has suffered the tragic loss of a family member or friend they will immediately relate to Hannah’s story of love, loss and the eventual healing which takes place.
Hannah has always loved Christmas, to her and her family it has always been a special time of the year: presents are searched for wrapped, placed under the tree with great reverence and excitement. Traditional foods are prepared and enjoyed with her family and friends on Christmas Day.
Tristan goes to collect her parents while Hannah puts ticks the final items of her too do list, but he is away far longer than the usual 20 minutes it takes. Friends who have been invited to lunch begin to arrive and when a knock on the door is heard, it brings with it the most terribly horrific news possible: Tristan and her parents have been killed in an accident. Hannah’s life splinters in that single devastating moment.
She eventually comes to the place where she realises that her parents and Tristan would expect her to be strong, to cope, to go on in life and to rebuild; but that, while great in thought and principle, Hannah decides, is not so easy to accomplish in real life.
As the months go by she draws on her friends love and support to help her through the tough stuff, eventually taking the first small step to beginning again, learning to understand and manage her feelings and arrive at the understanding that the people around her simply want to help.
Christmas begins to loom once again, and she is faced with the issue of what to do, stay home of go away. She decides to unwrap the presents left from that fateful Christmas Day and discovers a clue to a surprise trip to New York as the final gift from her parents. Does she take one more huge step or not and will it help Hannah begin to look towards a positive future once again?
Beautifully written, McCallum has gone from strength to strength in her writing and in doing so takes the almost taboo subject of grief and grieving out of the dark and into the healing light.