Review: The Sweetest Hallelujah

hallelujahThe Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: Courtesy of Harlequin MIRA

Two women from opposite side of town found a reason to come together amidst pain, betrayal, grief, friendship and love. This is a novel of forgiveness, of being true to one self, and fighting for what you believe is right despite opposition. A remarkable story woven across the boundaries of race, sex, and social class. In the end, a small group of courageous women who believe they can change the world one step at a time.

”I’m not afraid of the future, my friend.” Cassie wrapped her arms around Betty Jewel and half lifted her off the swing. “This world’s got to change. What if it could start with four women?”

The story is told from 3 perspectives: Billie, the about-to-be-orphaned-child; Cassie, a childless widow still trying to come to terms with her grief; and Betty Jewel, dying and wanting much for her beloved child. These threefold hurt makes the book sad and yet, the beautiful friendships forged and explored in this book made it bearable and hopeful. They are a strong reminder that women, in all their fragility, are made of sterner stuff. We are made to endure and endure we will.

The universe was whispering, and Cassie was listening. You can’t go through life with a shut-down heart, is what she was hearing. You can’t crab walk backward and crawl into a hole. To live abundantly, you have to race toward the future with arms and heart wide open. You have to risk everything and let the universe take care of the details.

I understand that some people are superstitious and looking at the time this book is set in, they were even more so then. However, the extent of looking for signs (either from God or other dead people) for what they are to do etc got to the point where it was starting to be really annoying. Believe in yourself, woman, and just do what you believe is right! There was also one point which was repeated, pretty nearly word for word, 3 pages later. I’m not sure whether that was intended as it felt strange and overdone to me. In saying that though, I could also do with an additional 100 pages to the book of additional perspectives of minor characters –them fine strong ladies deserve some more words!

My book covers noted “For the fans of The Help” and I’d have to agree. Whilst I don’t think it’s as good as The Help, it is definitely similar, especially in setting, and its own charms. It is a lovely book to curl up with along with a cup of hot tea (it’s winter here) though the book is set in the heat of summer so it will make a fine summer reading for those of you on the other side of the world.

Thank you, Harlequin MIRA, for providing copy of book in exchange of honest review.

View all my reviews

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