Miracle in New Hope by Kaki Warner
December 11, 2012
Western Historical Novella
Reviewed by Mandi
I love, love, love Kaki Warner’s voice. Both of her previous western trilogies have been a big hit with me. Even though this novella has a ghost-type set-up, which I do not like in my otherwise ‘normal’ world books, I decided to try it because I enjoy this author so much.
Set in the 1870’s, Daniel Hobart lives in a small Rockies Mountain town. He lost his wife and child years ago, and has been a recluse pretty much ever since. At the store one day, an avalanche comes and he gets buried underneath a lot of snow. Injured, he hears a small girl asking him for help. After he gets rescued, he asks the doctor if the girl was rescued as well, but the doctor informs him there was no little girl trapped under the snow and examines his head wound a little more closely. As he recovers at home, he hears the little girl’s voice again, asking him by name to come find her. He even sees her (a vision of her) standing outside near his shed, but she disappears before he can talk to her.
He soon learns that Lacy Ellis’s daughter disappeared a year ago and when he tells her what she looked liked (based on his vision of her standing near his shed) Lacy crumbles. Lacy has barely put her life back together after her daughter disappeared from a store a year ago. Her brothers have moved in with her to help her move on with her life, but she just can’t. Daniel feels this strong urge to go find this girl, and Lacy decides to go with him, even with her brothers strong disapproval. No one really believes Daniel saw or heard this girl, but he refuses to give up.
The whole premonition, hearing voices, seeing the actual girl frustrates me, as I just don’t like this kind of set-up in my books. However, one thing I did like is that although Daniel gets visions and hears her to alert him that she is missing, the visions don’t let on in any way as to where she is. She doesn’t stand there and say, hey come to this town! She does tell him the people talk funny, which gives him a clue as to where to go. But it was still a lot of work for him to find her, and at least that played out well.
I really enjoyed Daniel; a quiet, lonely, sad man who feels like finding the missing girl will redeem himself somewhat for his own lost child. As this is only a novella, there isn’t a lot of time for Daniel and Lacy to become romantically engaged. I’m glad the romance wasn’t forced upon Lacy as she is devastated by her child’s disappearance. She is starved for friendship though. She has lived a lonely year, and I also liked how she desperately clings to any hope Daniel, a mere stranger can give her. She is so desperate to find her daughter, her brothers anger that she is being misled by this man is done well too.
I think when the girl is actually found, she is very well adjusted when she comes home and the ending just all seemed rushed. I wanted just a bit more time with Daniel and Lacy happy together. It felt anti-climatic at the end.
I was happy to see a short excerpt at the end for another full length western coming form Kaki Warner next summer.