Carol Award: Short Contemporary: Winner: A Father for Zach
Title: A Father for Zach
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Love Inspired (Melissa Endlich, Editor)
Category: Short Contemporary
Reviewed by: Lacy Williams
Widowed mother Catherine Walker and ex-con Nathan Clay both hope to find the same thing on Nantucket Island: a fresh start.
Irene Hannon deepens the internal conflict for both by bringing their deepest fears to life.
Catherine wants to open a bed-and-breakfast and help her son find healing. Nathan is trying to decide what to do with his life now that he’s a free man again. He’s afraid his past won’t ever let him go, and when Catherine finds out about Nathan’s history, her doubts seem to solidify his fears. Is love big enough to heal both their hearts?
Irene Hannon has a way of instantly drawing the reader to both main characters. She creates sympathy for them by showing that both hero and heroine have partially overcome tough situations in their past. And yet, the reader is also shown that they still have a ways to go to find complete healing. The backstory for both characters is brought into the story in small snippets so the reader doesn’t find out about it until it is necessary to advance the plot.
As the hero and heroine draw closer to each other, Hannon deepens the internal conflict for both by bringing their deepest fears to life: for the heroine it is the fear that the man she’s coming to love still has bad tendencies from his past; for the hero it is whether a woman like Catherine can really love him enough to see past who he used to be to who he is now.
This novel is a deserving Carol Award winner because of its excellent characterization including supporting characters, Hannon’s deft hand with scene descriptions that place the reader in the scene, and a satisfying, emotional ending.
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