3 December 2012

Review: A Hand To Hold by Shawna K Williams

Caleb Langley grew up in the mining town of Brady Hill, but left to pursue his career as a journalist, and has returned to Brady Hill for a funeral. Sarah Sheldon idolised Caleb as a child, and is now nineteen and still harbouring feelings for him even though he all but ignores her. Now the town of Brady Hill is dying due to the closure of the zinc mine, and Sarah feels trapped in a town where there are no young men, yet she feels she can’t leave because she has to look after her mother, who has tuberculosis. When circumstances mean that the town might finally die, Sarah feels relief... but Caleb has a plan to save the town.

The descriptions in A Hand to Hold give the reader a real picture of the changes in America in the 1950's, cleverly weaving the information into the dialogue and plot, showing the author has done her research but without dumping the information on the reader or making a big deal of it. There was a poignant description of the boarded up town that reminded me of an old Amy Grant song. These scenes about the death of the town are bittersweet, but tinged with an underlying sense of hope, which should remind us that nothing is ever finished with God.

"Your perception is a choice. And choices are something we make for ourselves."

I recently read another Christian novel that expressed the same idea in different words: what we believe is important, because what we believe becomes our truth, the filter through which we see the world. So what we choose to believe is important, and this is something we can choose, regardless of external circumstances.

Although A Hand to Hold is a sequel to Orphaned Hearts, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel, as this is Caleb's romance, while Orphaned Hearts was the story of Caleb’s adoption and the romance of his adoptive parents. I was expecting to enjoy this, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how good it was. Recommended.

Thanks to Shawna K Williams and for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Shawna Williams at her website.


  1. I've been intending to read Shawna's books for sometime and you've reminded me to put her at the top of my TBR stack. I always appreciate your reviews, Iola.

  2. I love the cover of that book! :)

    Anna Labno

  3. I have to get some time to read the rest of Shawna's book. Her writing is engaging isn't it? Easy to read, too. Thanks Iola.