BY KRISTIN HANNAH
REVIEWED BY LINDA WICKLUND
As you may have noticed Ms. Hannah is one of my favorite authors. Mainly because her writing is so beautifully descriptive and she often writes about the struggles of women trying to help others which in turn helps them to heal. This novel is no exception.
The theme of this book is very special and unique. It centers around two sisters who are very different, but have a common goal. Trying to help a tiny six-year-old girl who appears one afternoon “hidden high in the autumn-colored leaves of the maple tree.” The little child will not speak and holds a snarling wolf pup in her arms.
The story begins with one of the sisters, Julia Cates, a psychiatrist who lives in Los Angeles going to court to respond to a charge that she was partially responsible for the suicide of one her patients who killed three of her friends and then herself. She is exonerated that morning, but unfortunately her reputation and practice are ruined.
Meanwhile, her sister Ellie Barton, who is the Police Chief in their hometown of Rain Valley in the Pacific Northwest is dealing with the little girl in the Maple tree who won’t come down! Ellie had read all kinds of manuals about police procedures and dealing with murder and mayhem, but there was nothing to prepare her for a silent child and a snarling wolf pup. She needs help and that would be her sister Julia.
Julia and Ellie then take on the extremely difficult task of finding this abused and battered child’s family. Alice (the name they give her) is malnourished, dehydrated, and covered with evidence of severe physical abuse including ligature marks on one ankle indicating she’d been tied for a long period of time.
With infinite patience and love, Julia and Ellie work tirelessly to save this beautiful child and discover her past. It is a story you will long remember as one of tender healing and recovery as Julia makes remarkable progress with one word at a time – safe.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful story of two sisters saving Alice and themselves as well.