Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.
*May Contain Spoilers*
The final book in the American Journey series, Hannah's Moon, gives readers both an adventure into the 1945 and the end of WWII and a summary of the time travelling benefactor, Geoffrey Bell. This series, which has taken readers to various points in the 1900s, continuously focuses on the idea of family, adventure, and experiencing history. Hannah's Moon is no different.
There are three main characters who share the experience of travelling back to 1945 in this series conclusion. However, I believe Claire, Ron, and David are the only travelers who go back in time for a very specific purpose: to adopt a baby. Claire and Ron have been trying to expand their family for years and have been sadly disappointed each time. Adoption becomes their only option and they soon learn that the desire to adopt comes with more hurdles and red tape then they would have ever imagined. Geoffrey Bell, long time time traveler, decides to help his niece and nephew with the chance to make the adoption process easier. In 1945, adoption regulations were less strict and travelling back to the past would expedite the process. Claire and Ron jump at the opportunity, even if time travelling seems impossible.
Claire and Ron are both fantastic characters. Though readers will probably feel more connected to Claire, as they will have a stronger empathetic connection to her as a woman with fertility issues. Her emotions are presented more often than Ron's and, therefore, reach the reader at a deeper level. For everything that Claire has gone through, she is an extremely strong character. Her perseverance and sunny disposition light up the darkness that experience and loss have created. Claire keeps moving forward with unabashed courage and resolve. These characteristics are amplified in 1945 when trouble ensues.
Unfortunately, Ron's character brings most of the trouble and a lot of the excitement to the novel. Ron is a loving man who cares for his wife and wants to give her the world. In 2017, he's a coffee shop owner, but in 1945 his protective nature kicks in. It leads him to a back alley fight, in which he saves someone's life, but is also sentenced to enlist in the military. With no other options, Ron serves his country as a time traveler. Things heat up quickly for Ron because, although the war is ending soon, he stumbles into a very dangerous position that threatens his life. Ron's character shines as courageous, level headed, and brave with all that he's put up against.
David Baker is Claire's bachelor brother who travels to 1945 to help his family fulfill their wish of being parents. He's a history teacher in 2017 and also serves as the historian for the 1945 experience. He also offers a love story as a sub-plot, as he meets the beautiful Margaret Doyle (who I believe would have died in 1945 if not for David). This adds a little intrigue to the downtime between Ron and Claire's story while also adding to the main plot. David's loyalty to his family and respectable nature makes him a very likeable character that readers will want a happy ending for.
Readers who have enjoyed the American Journey series will undoubtedly want to read this last installment. Perhaps it's the plot, or the concrete mission, or the actual involvement that Claire and Ron stumble into, but this final book feels different than the others. It feels like it has more weight in terms of circumstance and even danger. The main issue I had, as I've had with the other installments, was the dialogue. At times it felt stilted and lacked the flow of a conversation. Though that doesn't really interfere with the enjoyment that this book offers. My favorite part of the book was the end, as Geoffrey Bell brings all the time travelers together to meet each other. It was a fitting end to the series, with a possibility of more to come if the author chooses to ever keep going.
Rating: 4/5 Cups
Other American Journey series books: