As a father of twins, I can understand some of the spooky closeness experienced in Hannahwhere. Twins are more than just siblings; they have an uncanny friendship which some will struggle to understand. My two for example, are convinced that they’re going to marry the same woman. Twins aren’t two people, but two halves of a whole. Not it in a ying and yang sense, it’s far more complicated that. McIlveen captures an understanding of this twinship in Hannahwhere, in which sisters Hannah and Anna are divided by a tragedy, but remain linked in a world like no other, the truth of which will shake the foundations of reality for every living (and dead) person on Earth.
Despite keeping its locations small, Hannahwhere barrels on with great pacing, keeping the reader engaged throughout. Utterly heart-breaking in parts, fantastical and humorous in to others, it feels like early Dean Koontz when he diverts from his usual monster and crime lore and concentrates of the more saccharin supernatural elements of speculative fiction. Not that this is a bad thing. It’s good to read a novel that can be both horrific and uplifting at the same. It’s not an easy task to pull off, but McIlveen gets the balance just right, putting the reader right behind Hannah and her social worker, Debbie, in their quest to right a wrong and find happiness.
Mary Ann Jacobs reading, scratch that, performance is fantastic. Juggling voices, ages and genders with ease. When a narrator goes the whole hog and immerses themselves in a story, not just telling it, but becoming the characters, squeezing every emotion from every line, I find I enjoy it much more.
Hannahwhere is fantastic little read if you want something to uplift and take you a journey of emotions. If you enjoyed What Dreams May Come or The Lovely Bones, then Hannahwhere might be worth a visit.