Comfort & Joy

Author: Kristin Hannah

Publisher: Ballantine

Release Date: November 2005

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: PRINT

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Joy Candellaro has had a rough year. When she catches her husband in bed with her sister, the reality of her marriage comes crashing down around her. Now she is divorced and having a tough time this holiday season. No matter how many overtures her sister makes to try to bridge the gap between them, Joy resolutely rebuffs them. She can't imagine ever forgiving her sister and right now, all she wants is to get away. She can't face spending Christmas alone while her sister and her ex-husband make plans to get married and to welcome a new baby into the family. Joy has no joy left inside her body.

On the spur of the moment though, Joy decides to take a trip. After hearing the devastating news of her sister's pending nuptials, Joy knows she has to get away, if only for a little bit, so she heads to the airport. When she arrives, she notices that a plane is heading for a town called Hope. Joy feels like it is serendipity and she quickly buys a ticket. The plane ride is not the comforting journey she imagined it would be though. In fact, it is downright horrific as the small charter plane crashes and explodes. But Joy makes it out alive and walks to a small local town where she rents a room at the Comfort Fishing Lodge. It is there where Joy's adventure truly begins.

Daniel O'Shea and his son Bobby are going through a rough patch in their life too. Bobby's mom just died and Daniel, who was divorced from Bobby's mom, has come back to raise him. Daniel wants to sell the Comfort Fishing Lodge, Bobby's home, and make the move to Boston. Joy's appearance in their lives signals change and as Joy starts to become close to Bobby, she can't help but wish to become closer with Daniel. They are making her believe in love, in magic, and in the Christmas spirit again. But can this new happiness last? What will happen when the real world intrudes? Kristin Hannah has penned a tale of the struggles, the ups and downs of life, and the powerful nature of love.

COMFORT AND JOY is a novel that will truly touch you. Joy's story has a poignant sense of reality to it that makes the truths she discovers about her sister and her husband all the more hurtful and devastating. However, Joy has the resiliency and the strength to try to find a new happiness, which she does when she meets Daniel and Bobby. They make her smile again, and they make her realize some startling truths about herself and her marriage. These truths are subtly evoked so as to not disrupt the peaceful tone of the story that surrounds Joy's time with Daniel and Bobby. What makes this novel so intoxicating is not only Joy's struggle to find herself again, but it is also the twists and turns Ms. Hannah creates. Though this novel is set around the Christmas season, it is the perfect treat to read any time of the year as a pick me up. You can discover, along with Joy, all the powers and wonderments that love and family can bring into your life. This is another fine offering from an author who always knows how to touch the heart.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Sarah W

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