Hannah by Kathryn Lasky

Hannah has lived in the Boston Home for Little Wanderers all her life. As the other orphan girls dream of being the long, lost daughter of a wealthy family whom they will eventually be reunited with and live happily ever after, Hannah has never had such dreams. Instead, all she dreams of is the sea... the salt water, the sea breeze, a cottage to live in with a view of the ocean. She has always been different from the other girls and they have definitely made her feel the outcast. As she reaches an age where she has to leave the safety of the orphanage and make her way in the world, she gets shipped off to dry, Kansas, to work as a farmer. But the further she gets from Boston and, more importantly, the ocean, the more she starts to realize exactly how different she is from other girls.

With faltering health, she is returned to Boston where she secures a job as a scullery maid with the Hawley's, one of Boston's most elite families. While learning her duties, she meets the dashing, Stannish Whitman Wheeler, an artist who has been hired by the Hawley's to paint a portrait of the three, young Hawley daughters. But while Hannah catches the eye of Stannish, she also catches the attention of the eldest Hawley daughter ,Lila, who is quite creepy really. Lila and her equally evil cat Jade, dislike Hannah from the start and will do anything to wreak havov with poor Hannah's feelings.

The bulk of the story is mostly about Hannah's life as a servant at the turn of the century. And to be honest, I really liked this part of the book. I loved reading about the in's and out's of servant life - from the butler to the scullery girls. I loved the evilness of Lila and her sidekick cat and all the trouble that ensues. I almost felt as if the mermaid part was an oversight and just tacked on at the end. So there definitely wasn't as much mermaid action as I would have hoped.

Knowing this book is a trilogy explains why there were some things that just felt unfinished - although the story did end. I'm not sure how to really explain it, but in the end, I just felt like... that's it? Don't take me wrong, it's not a
cliffhanger ending, but it was very anti-climactic and left much to be desired.

All in all, I can definitely recommend this to young teens as well as older teens. I think the pacing was a bit slow but in the end it did hold my interest throughout. Once again, my main complaint would be the ending, but hopefully the next two books in the series will redeem that. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book in the series (although it seems a publication date has not yet been announced.)


Juju at Tales of said...

Great review. I've been wondering about this one. I just adore the cover.

Maria said...

Wonderful review!:) I really like the cover.

Haleyknitz said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know I've given you an award (well actually two) here:


miss cindy :) said...

It sounds pretty interesting, I might add it on my TBR list. Great review :)

Beth F said...

Humm, thanks for the review. I haven't decided about this one yet, the slowness makes me hesitate.

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