Synopses & Reviews
An elephant never forgets...but can she dream?
For forty-one years, Samson Brown has been caring for Hannah, the lone elephant at the down-at-the-heels Max L. Biedelman Zoo. Having vowed not to retire until an equally loving and devoted caretaker is found to replace him, Sam rejoices when smart, compassionate Neva Wilson is hired as the new elephant keeper. But Neva quickly discovers what Sam already knows: that despite their loving care, Hannah is isolated from other elephants and her feet are nearly ruined from standing on hard concrete all day. Using her contacts in the zookeeping world, Neva and Sam hatch a plan to send Hannah to an elephant sanctuary just as the zoo's angry, unhappy director launches an aggressive revitalization campaign that spotlights Hannah as the star attraction, inextricably tying Hannah's future to the fate of the Max L. Biedelman Zoo.
A charming, poignant, and captivating novel certain to enthrall readers of Water for Elephants, Diane Hammond's Hannah's Dream is a beautifully told tale rich in heart, humor, and intelligence.
"Hammond (Going to Bend) shares the story of 'charismatic mega-vertebrate' Hannah, the elephant star of the failing Max L. Biedelman Zoo, in her sweet but slow third novel. Since the 1950s, Hannah; her loving caretaker, Sam; and the zoo have been languishing. Enter Harriet Saul, the zoo's ambitious new director, and Neva Wilson, an expert elephant keeper; both want to change things, but in different ways. Harriet's plan involves her dressing up as the eccentric zoo founder to give presentations and 'commissioning original theme music' for a publicity campaign. Neva's idea is to move the aging Hannah to an elephant sanctuary, a plan supported by nearly everyone, including the zoo's milquetoast business manager. If the conflict sounds weak, it is; the friendship between Hannah and Sam and the gently informational lessons about elephant care are more memorable than the late-breaking battle. The narrative, with its sprawling cast (and attendant relationships and personal histories), often bogs down, but the moments of genuine emotion will charm readers in search of a happy ending. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Irresistibly touching, delectably uplifting, Hammond's understated yet gargantuan tale of devotion and commitment poignantly proves that love does indeed come in all shapes and sizes." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Hannah's Dream runs at a quick pace but feels substantial, and the humorous bits sprinkled throughout make it a very satisfying read." Oregonian
About the Author
Diane Hammond has worked as a writer and an editor. She was awarded a literary fellowship by the Oregon Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in such magazines as Yankee, Mademoiselle, and Washington Review. She served as a spokesperson for the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and currently lives with her husband, Nolan, and daughter, Kerry.