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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

Book review: The Hero by Robyn Carr

From the blurb:

In a moment of desperation, Devon McAllister takes her daughter and flees a place where they should have been safe and secure. She has no idea what is around the next bend, but she is pretty certain it can’t be worse than what they’ve left behind. Her plan is to escape to somewhere she can be invisible. Instead, an unexpected offer of assistance leads her to Thunder Point, a tiny Oregon town with a willingness to help someone in need.

As the widowed father of a vulnerable young boy, Spencer Lawson knows something about needing friendship. But he’s not looking for anything else. Instead, he’s thrown his energy into his new role as Thunder Point’s high school football coach. Tough and demanding to his team, off the field he’s gentle and kind, just the kind of man who could heal Devon’s wounded heart.

Devon thought she wanted to hide from the world. But in Thunder Point, you find bravery where you least expect it, and sometimes, you find a hero.

From the first page of this book, I was hooked. The story is compelling, and as a reader I so wanted to see Devon escape and build a life of security. The writing really keeps you on the edge of your seat at times, and throughout the book the threat of Devon’s past lingers, so that you know a dramatic climax indeed is coming.

I liked Devon as a character, though I’d perhaps have liked a little more emotional exploration, and I liked her relationship with Spencer. But what really stands out in the book is the town, Thunder Point – such a wonderful sense of community that reading this book is heart-warming and pure escapism. There are more stories at play here than the book’s blurb suggests, and I found myself interested in all of the characters – but most of all with Devon and her little girl, Mercy.

I found the exploration of what it is to be a woman in a commune (effectively a cult) very interesting and intelligently drawn. Rather than thinking Devon silly to have ever got involved in such a place, we see how the abusive leader tricked and manipulated her, and we see her conflicted feelings in the fact that while she knew the bad elements of the commune were untenable, there were in fact good aspects too; not least the sisterhood she enjoyed there – a sisterhood that ultimately was in part to thank for her salvation.

This is, first and foremost, a novel about courage. There is no singular eponymous hero: the title, The Hero, could apply equally to several characters. There is physical courage here, in terms of people plunging into dangerous situations to save others, but also plenty of emotional courage, which I warmed to the most in the book. To move on from heartache, to trust others when you’ve once been hurt – such courage has the reader cheering along as s/he reads.

The ending will surely please any reader, exciting and meaningful as it is, and overall this is a book to read in one or two sittings that offers plenty of story to get lost in.

The Hero is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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