Amidst the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains in 1871, Daniel Hobart keeps to himself—a man with a hole in his heart that matches the scar on his face. But when Daniel starts having visions of a young girl crying out for help, he begins to fear that solitude may have caused him to lose his mind. Determined to find out the truth about the mysterious girl, Daniel travels into New Hope and learns that she’s the missing daughter of widow Lacy Ellis.
After a year of heartbreak, Lacy isn’t sure what to make of Daniel’s claims of seeing her daughter. But when he sets out to find Hannah on his own, Lacy decides to join him, allowing herself one last chance to hope. And as they retrace the long-cold trail of Hannah’s disappearance, two broken people manage to take some small comfort in each other, and in the possibility of a miracle…
Unexpectedly Daniel Hobart finds himself stuck in an avalanche while in the middle of the town mercantile. There’s something that doesn’t happen everyday! When he calls out to see if anyone is around he hears a child’s voice calling to him. They have a bit of a conversation but they he loses consciousness. When he comes to he discovers that it was just the owner of the mercantile and Daniel who were trapped – no children at all. He puts it down as a symptom of his head injury but yet he can’t get the little girls voice out of his head.
One day he actually meets the little girl, Hannah Ellis, but then she almost virtually disappears in the snow storm. He heads to town to find out about the girl and to berate the parents for letting their child run around in so little clothing when the weather is fierce. When he arrives what he finds out blows his mind. Hannah is dead. Well, she’s presumed dead as she went missing a year before and no one ever found her. Daniel, however much he thinks he might be losing his mind, honestly believes that Hannah is alive and sets out to investigate and find the little girl.
This was such a wonderful novella. I don’t know if I can explain the different parts of it that I liked because part of what I liked was the cohesiveness of the whole story. Daniel and his grief over his wife and son who died. Lacy and her grief over her deceased husband and the even more painful disappearance of her daughter. Daniel’s determination to find Hannah and the bond and connection that both Daniel and Lacy have as well as Daniel and Hannah. The whole story was just so good.
I wasn’t sure what was going on with Hannah and Daniel being able to hear her and then actually see her. That’s a bit of the supernatural that’s not really explained and was a bit hard to accept within the story but Ms. Warner definitely made it work, and work well. There really isn't much of a romance but it's very typical 1871 relationship if that makes any sense at all - and that worked too. If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas novella to read then I think this one is a must.