I'm having fun already with my new series of book reviews. To start with I read something I would probably have never gotten around to reading otherwise. I haven't read a mystery of any sort for quite some time and I can't say I've ever read a genealogical mystery before. Following is my review as posted on Goodreads.
Coincidence by Danette J. Hansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A historical, genealogical mystery, this book is set in Holland during World War II. Is is clear that the author did her research. I learned, in a pleasant way, about that era in Holland's history.
The book is two stories in one, a modern day romance and a family history mystery. Both stories were delightful and the transition between the two worked well. It is tied together as well by the family link of Annaliese and her great aunt. There is also a rather awkward love triangle that livens things up.
Annaliese has gone to Holland to be part of a research team that studies the hybridization of plants. When she arrives, she boards with a woman who leads her into the shadows of the past and that is where the mystery begins.
If you have ever had the genealogy bug you have probably experienced the feeling that one of your ancestors is trying to tell you something. Annaliese goes beyond that, having visions and hearing voices. Sometimes making the solving of the mystery seem a little too convenient, but I didn't mind that, the journey was fun enough that I believed it.
The only reason I didn't give the book a full five stars is that I thought the parts that were supposed to be from her aunt's diary read more like a novel. I took me out of the story a little. Nobody writes that way in their journal, at least not in my opinion. Also there was a slight problem with my believing that the journal would still be where it was found, and still readable.
Coincidence is still a really good read and I recommend it to readers from young adult up. It's squeaky clean and even a little educational.
(View all my reviews on Goodreads)
Now for a little about the author. If any of you are in the Logan UT area today. Danette Hanson is doing a book signing at Hastings in Logan.
If like me, that's too far to go you can learn a little about her on this blog. I asked her four questions. Here are the answers. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I'm a mother of four, with a wonderful husband. My children get a kick out of my made up words. It's not like I'm
trying to make up words, they just come out funky and weird sometimes. Like when my daughter had her learning permit,
I'd say, "Turn on your dinky donk," or "Reverse and go real slow." My children all wonder what kind of things I'll say
when I turn 80.(My husband too I'm sure) Maybe I can create fun characters in my children's books like Dr. Suess did.
My crazy children stories usually have to do with bubblegum. I've always loved gum. One thing you should know about me is, I love to laugh
2. Where do you live and what it like to live there?
I live in Cache Valley, (Utah) in the small town of Wellsville. It's a lot like my home town of Alamosa, Colorado in where it snows too much, for too long and is much too cold.
Even though I don't like the snow per say, my children can actually tube down the hill just in our back yard––which they love. So I guess that's not a bad deal. They can be out in the white, cold stuff while I stay warm inside and watch them out the window. I really live in a beautiful place, love the area and the people. It's a great area to raise a family.
3. Tell me a bit about your family/home life (if you don't mind).
Let's see what is there to tell.... if I get on the computer too early, I'll get sucked in and none of my house chores get done. True story. My husband teases that he hasn't had a home cooked meal for months. My children are older now (my baby is 14) so I can get away with writing more, which can be a good or bad thing. I make jewelry out of spoons and forks. Love all things artsy. (So pinterest can eat up my time too) That's probably why my children are so creative, they've been around crafty things their whole lives. (Grandma is real creative and artistic too and they love to spend time with Grandma) I draw, some. Have always loved art. However, I do more coveting of those who draw more than anything.
4. Why do you write? What do you write? Do you have any weird writing habits? (I know that's 3 questions, just tell me about your writing.)
Well, I didn't really want to write until later in life. In fact, in school if we had to write a book report, I just watched the movie instead. But I guess I've always had a vivid imagination and I've always named anything that looked to have a personality. It's got to have personality to get a name. I did a course with Children's Literature Institute and loved it. Now I can't stop writing. In fact, I have too many ideas and not enough time. When I ask my children to listen to what I've written, they say, "Oh, I've got things to do. Maybe later." Then I duck tape them to the chair and make them listen. NOT really. They all support me (as long as I cook them dinner. That's why Katee is in our family so she can do the cooking.) I absolutely LOVE my family! And they would be lost without me––who else is going to talk like they're from another planet without even trying?
I love to laugh, write, read, and go to the movies. I’m a foot zoner so I like to learn about holistic living.
I believe there are magical moments in life––and if there isn’t for a time, then that’s when you wish for magic. Writing is magic. I get to discover the story just like a reader. As the magical elements fall into place in a story I've learned to recognize that’s really how life is; magical when you least expect.
To learn more about Danette J Hansen and her books, check out the links below.
Coincidence Amazon / Barnes&Noble / Kobo
Space Gum picture book Amazon