If You Believe

Kristin Hannah, Author Ballantine Books $7.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-449-14837-2
Old Rass Throckmorton hires Matt ``Mad Dog'' Stone to help with the harvest of 1894, hoping that he is an honest, steady man who will remain on the Washington State farm and take care of Rass's 34-year-old daughter, Mariah, after Rass is gone. But Mad Dog is a fighter, a womanizer and a would-be writer who constantly drifts--not someone who can help fiesty Mariah overcome loneliness and the trauma of an abusive relationship that still haunts her--until they fall in love. Mariah, Mad Dog, Rass and an adolescent runaway, Jake, stitch together a patchwork family from the scraps of their damaged lives as they make peace with their pasts and prepare for a cold winter. But when Rass dies, the remaining three must make difficult decisions that test the strength of their values as well as that of their relationships. Hannah ( The Enchantment ) writes with candor, tenderness and vivid detail. Her characters are endearing and admirable--notably Mariah, who despite her dark past, retains her sharp wit and strong convictions. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/1993
Release date: 12/01/1993
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