What Bloggers are Saying About
Somewhere between pages forty and one hundred the small web of peoples lives in this book snuck into my heart. It's simple and beautiful. —Carlie
I hugged this book when i was finished. —Tarra
A charming book that makes you want to pick it up day after day (even when your tending to your screaming baby.) —Crystal
I absolutely loved Hannh's Dream. At the top of my favorites list along with Water for Elephants. You will fall in love withSam, Hannahs' caretaker, Hannah the elephant and his wife Corinna. Every character will live onin myheart. I imagine what they're doing now. Such a feel-good story. The author, Diane Hammond, has truly written one of the best stories I've ever read. —Dottie
The characters are beautifully realized. I loved the subtle ironies, like how one character's ex-wife keeps accusing him of being deadly boring while he's in the middle of secreting an elephant out of a zoo. There is much to learn from this book on the art of crafting a distinctive voice for each character.
The book is remarkable for a literary adult novel--the characters are likable, and the ending is uplifting. —Linda
I'd heard about this book on NPR ... I've heard it called a love story, and it is- but the thing I like most is the development of each of the characters right up until the end. I love Miles the pig and he and Truman's budding relationship. I laughed out loud so many times because I felt as though I had known a miniature pot bellied pig at some point and that Hammond has written about him from my point of view. —C.liddelle.a
I am going to enjoy recommending this book to lots of people. . . . A gentle read--easy to recommend to anyone. —Michelle BF
This is truly a wonderful book to start the new year. . . . This book is full of memories, sweet and sad, along with the hope for the future. —Gail
I was quickly and completley absorbed by the story and so will any reader who has ever looked into the eyes of an animal and seen a familiar soul looking back. —Laura
I love, love, love, love, love this book! I could not put it down. —Patti
This is a beautiful book. . . .There are many odd, quirky characters who captured my heart and restored my faith in human kindness. (I cried at the end and that hasn't happened in a while with a book.) —Sarah
October 16, 2008 - I don't believe that I've ever read a novel that told of a love story between an animal and humans. But this book covered that, and did it in a way that I loved it throughout it. Hannah's character is just so loveable that I found myself rooting for her and wanting to really go into the book to see her in action. And this is something definitely out-of-character for me. Mostly because I'm afraid of all animals. I think I like animals in the way that all kids do, when they choose their "favourite animal"-- it's for the most part, from afar. But to actually be near an animal scares the wits out of me. Anyways, back to the novel, I loved the idea of a pig bonding with the organized father and son pair. It's a funny thing to imagine yet totally captivating. Definitely a book worth reading for those who haven't yet.
WithBookinHand . . .
Ocotber 12, 2008 - "How could I possibly enjoy this book so much? There is no murder, no mayhem, no mystery. Just a terrific book with a great plot about an elephant (Hannah) in a little zoo who needs to be moved to an elephant sanctuary. and what the people who love her go through getting her there.
"You'll fall in love with Sam, her caretaker for 42 years, and his wife Corrine, who loves Hannah almost as much as she loves Sam. You'll love Max Biedelman of whom the word "lesbian" is never spoken, though her love for her beloved "Miss Effie" is a beautiful thing to see. When Max died, she left a trust for Hannah, but lawyers somehow kind of forgot to tell Sam that he was the trustee.
"You'll meet Neva, the woman who comes to work in the zoo and changes Hannah's life; a pig named Milton; his people Truman and his son Milton; and Harriet. the new owner of the zoo who, unwillingly, becomes Hannah's saviour.
"This is a wonderfully uplifting book, based on the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, which I have been supporting for many years. It ranks up there with Water for Elephants, and I highly recommend it.
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A book filled with heart, with character, with inspiration; "Hannah's Dream" is story-telling perfection. By far the best book I have read in ages, it is sure to strike a chord in every reader's marrow.
Samson Brown has been Hannah the elephant's caretaker for over forty years at a small zoo in Bladenham, Washington. His health and agedness require he retire soon, but he knows he cannot leave his beloved Hannah in the conditions she must subsist in at the Max L. Biedelman Zoo. His empathy with Hannah, combined with the devotion and hard work of those around him, work together to better the pachyderm's life.
This book is beautiful. The characters are each detailed with such color and flavor and voice. The writing is very smooth and fluid, yet smart and to-the-point. The story is quick to capture the reader's attention, making the book difficult to put down, and impossible to forget once finished.
One of the most impressive aspects of "Hannah's Dream" is the easy way the author inserts details of the characters' histories. For example, the reader can see what a character looks like and learns where a character has been, all with the same thought:
"Sam steered his old Dodge Dart back into morning traffic, making sure the coffee and the bag of donuts were secure. He was a careful man and it paid off. At sixty-eight, even by his own lights, he looked damned good. He stood upright and proud, no gut whatsoever, not even a little one people would have forgiven him for, at his age. A little snowfall on the top of his head, just a light dusting; no gray at the temples, either. Seeing him from the back, you might think he was twenty, but when he turned around his face gave him away. It was deeply lined, like a roadmap starting someplace far away---Cincinnati, maybe, where he was born, or Yakima, Washington, where his daddy had had a truck farm; then Korea, where Sam had served in the war; and ending right here in Bladenham, Washington."
"Hannah's Dream" is a book without murder, sex, over-used profanity or needless, directionless thoughts. It is "just" a nice book. It is a relief from so many books that try too hard. The reader never feels like they are being manipulated or that the story is too contrived. "Hannah's Dream" is a blessed accession to the literary world. "
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Nurse Pam's Books & Music
Sept. 28, 2008 - "I fell in love with each and every character, from Truman Levy, the zoo director of operations and his young son Winfred, their pig Miles, to Neva Wilson the tough, emotionally protected zoo keeper, and her landlord Johnson Johnson who bakes cookies, builds a cat tunnel from his house to Neva's converted garage, and paints the inside of his toilet and sink in beautiful psychedelic colors.
"Even the "evil" Harriet Saul won my heart in the end, a lonely woman awkwardly reaching for love and acceptance who finds her calling in recreating herself as the colorful Max L. Biedelman in an effort to revitalize the zoo.
"Hannah is the center of this zoo revitalization and the drama that surrounds the efforts to find Hannah a new home drew me right into the maelstrom, breathless to see this story to the end.
"This was the sort of book that left me moved and satisfied; a gem to turn over and over in my mind for some time to come."
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Confessions of a Real Librarian
Sept. 28, 2009
"I just finished Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond. What a beautiful story!!!
"I found this to be a completely charming story about a beautiful friendship. The conflict seems a bit predictable, but the characters really make the story. Each character brings with them their own history, which relates to the relationships they have formed with Hannah. These stories you read about each character add a tenderness somehow. For me, the story just seemed to have a nice flow to it. And while I wasn't surprised by the ending, I was touched - it even brought a little tear to my eye.
"So, all that said - I enjoyed this book, and I am glad I read it! It touched me, and I was entertained, and really that's all that matters!"
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September 18, 2008 - "On the surface "Hannah's Dream" is the story of a motley crew of characters who come together to save an elephant living in a run-down zoo. On a deeper level it's about how we find and choose the people who will become a part of our life's story.
"I can't say strongly enough how much I loved this book! For me, it was all about the characters. I simply fell in love with each of them and became immersed in their story. From Johnson Johnson the eccentric artist to Truman the precise and careful accountant, Neva the expert elephant handler and Sam the intuitive one, even Miles the pig was irresistible! I was not ready to let any of them go by the end. This is a funny, generous, warm book that will leave you feeling good.