Hailee by Penny Zeller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hailee is another great book from Penny Zeller
In 1965 we stayed in a nice hotel in Downtown Denver. Only a few months later the place sat vacant, an eyesore on the street while the building awaited demolition to make room for a new high rise business building.
So when I read about Hailee Annigan and her brothers trying to survive in a vacant hotel, it was easy for me to imagine the orphans living in such a place, working at the jobs they could find, but sometimes stealing so they could eat.
But I’m getting ahead, or should I say behind? Penny Zeller opens the story with Hailee tying up ends so she can travel to her new teaching job in Montana. Among her tasks is posting her new address around downtown Cincinnati so her long-lost brothers can find her.
In the best use of back story I’ve read, Penny Zeller turns back the clock and we’re with Hailee and the boys in the dark unheated building, wondering where the next meal will come from and whether one of them will be caught by police.
After several narrow escapes, Hailee is caught. Her thievery lands her in jail, but then the Sanctuary of Promise becomes her home and her brothers disappear.
Thus begins a story of struggle, worry, and eventually hope and romance. But what if her suitor discovers her background?
Penny Zeller does a great job with this book, creating characters, and taking us from the present to the past. I ordinarily skip much of the back story, but she didn’t tell it, she showed it in vivid detail, and I enjoyed it.
This is another good book from this author and I recommend it.
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