Book Review: Hannah Free: The Novel by: Claudia Allen


Bella Books

Publish Date:
June 29, 2010


Trade Paperback

Order From: 
Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Hannah and Rachel knew, from their first adventure as girls, that they were meant to be together. No creek was too wide, no tree too high for the two of them to conquer. On the fateful day their innocent feelings blossomed into unexpected passion, Hannah was certain she and Rachel were meant to be together, forever.

But Rachel understood Hannah was meant to be free. Wherever Hannah went, it was Rachel, strong and steady, she came home to. After decades of love, hard choices and painful sacrifices, it's Rachel's turn to go, and this time Hannah must stay.

All Hannah wants is to be able to say goodbye.

Review: Hannah and Rachel met and loved as girls, but when Rachel marries a man in order to get out of her abusive home, Hannah ventures out into the world – with only Rachel in her heart. Hannah needs to be free and Rachel knows Hannah will always come home to her. Now, years later, the roles are reversed and it’s Rachel who is leaving – she’s in a coma and on life support – and Hannah just wants more time together. However, Rachel’s daughter is staunchly against Hannah and Rachel’s relationship – denying Hannah the only thing she wants – to see Rachel again one last time. A college student comes to visit Hannah and learns her life story. She ends up helping out 3 generations of women in the process.

The story is told in many voices – Hannah, Greta, Rachel, and Marge. Rachel and Hannah grew up in a small town where their relationship had to be hidden. As time passed, their relationship was an open secret. Hannah is a free spirit and has many adventures while Rachel keeps the home fires burning. This is a love story with depth and emotion – you can’t help but become emotionally attached to the characters and their situation. Rachel’s daughter, Marge, grew up with Hannah around, but when she was older became very rigid in her thinking. She didn’t want to accept Rachel and Hannah’s relationship and did everything she could to keep them apart. Greta is a wonderful character who manages to create bonds where there was nothing before. This is a clear example of the hurt and harm created when people are told their love is wrong and they have no legal recourse to care for each other. I was very moved and touched by this book and also want to see the movie (starring Sharon Gless).

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