on July 18, 2001
This book is hard to read. Ever seen the movie 'The Blue Lagoon'? Especially late at night? It left me with a hollow feeling, a sadness that echoed into the depths of my very soul. This book is about 2 people in their mid-thirties who fall in love against their wills. Its painful to read because of the depth of emotion, the heroine's relationship with her father and Mad Dog, as well as his relationship with his son, whom he doesn't know is related. Make any sense? ...Anyway, if I could go back in time I wouldn't have read this book. It left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth - a compelling tale, but I think I'll stick to lighter reads from now on.
on April 29, 2001
I encountered Kristin Hannah a couple of months ago when I read the book, ANGEL FALLS: a nice book with a somewhat ... plot. I thought ANGLE FALLS was well-written with some beautiful prose, so I gave Kristin another shot with ON MYSTIC LAKE; it blew me away. ON MYSTIC LAKE is her best by far, but IF YOU BELIEVE comes mighty close. For those of you who are not familiar with Kristin Hannah, IF YOU BELIEVE is one of her earlier novels, and I can tell why she has been a productive writer and storyteller for the last ten years. IF YOU BELIEVE is a simple story about a woman, Mariah Throckmorton, who is hiding from a past that's filled with hurt, and her colorful, intelligent father. They live on a beautiful, secluded farm that happens to be graced with few visitors. Mad Dog Stone is a drifter who wanders by to find a meal and a place to sleep. Mad Dog becomes enthralled with Mariah, and wants to find out more about this simple, but beautiful woman. Lonely people are thrust together and the emotions fester until they become a full-blown hurricane. The plot works, the chemistry between the characters is wonderful, and couple that with the mystery of the landscape; you've got yourself an excellent book. Kristin Hannah will be a mainstay on my bookshelf for a long time. I only regret that I didn't discover this wonderful writer earlier. Blow the dust off your favorite book list, get your best pen out, and slowly write IF YOU BELIEVE at the top of the list; you won't be dissapointed.
on October 17, 2000
If You Believe is one great love story by Kristin Hannah. This is the fourth book of hers that I have read and I simply cannot read her books fast enough! This book is incredibly emotional and it pulls you right into the character's world with such intensity, that you will definitely need a box of Kleenex handy!
Hannah has the talent of making her characters come alive with such depth and emotion. You feel their struggles, their losses and their loves. You feel their fear and you understand it all. Hannah writes with such emotion that you cannot but help becoming lost in the story line. She once again has you so connected to the characters, that you feel that you know them and this what endears readers to her. Hannah does not write your typical mush and gush romance novel - the love and romance is more real, down-earth and believable. Her heroines all seem to face reality-based challenges, which anyone can relate to, as well as to overcoming those challenges.
Hannah's writing is laced not only with depth filled emotions, but also with a unique sensitivity that touches the reader at a level most other authors never come close to. She manages to weave her magic from the very beginning and the reader is gently released from that magic web at the very end, with a very deep sigh! But her story will linger with you for days. As with all of her books - you want a sequel!
What more can I say? Kristin Hannah has fast become one of my favorite authors and her stories will leave you thinking, pondering and wondering as well as feeling good! This book is definitely a keeper and wish I could rate it with more than 5 stars! Angel Falls, On Mystic Lake and Home Again are others by Hannah, which I have read and fell in love with!
This is a story of love and hope eternal which I could not put down until I finished it. On to the next Hannah book!
on April 25, 2000
If you haven't read Kristen Hannah's IF YOU BELIEVE you are missing out on one of the best character driven, emotionally wrenching stories the genre has to offer. If the rest of her books are even half this good I'm rushing out to purchase them all!
Mad Dog Stone is a fighter who works odd jobs in between bouts. He never stays in one place long enough to form any kind of emotional attachment and has broken many a heart along the way. His life is about to change when he answers an add for free room and board in exchange for a little work at the Throckmorton apple orchard. How hard can picking apples be after all?
The last thing Mariah Throckmorton wants is change in her life, especially in the form of a big, shiftless male. She is living in a self imposed exile while hiding from a scandalous past and a tragedy she has never allowed herself to recover from. She does her darndest to get this lazy critter off of her farm, which tends to make him all the more determined to hang around and take whatever new torture disguised as work she dishes out. She intrigues him as no other woman has and her obliviousness to his charms makes her all the more alluring.
The author writes with such emotional intensity I found myself either smiling or crying on nearly every page. She skillfully blends raucous wit with tender and heartbreakingly painful moments of emotion making IYB a powerful, not soon to be forgotten read. You won't find any fancy locales or wacky adventures in this book. What you will find is an honest down to earth book about two lonely people overcoming their fear of emotional intimacy and learning about the healing powers of love. What more could a reader ask for?
A full box of Kleenex read and a definate keeper!
on July 22, 2000
I believe Hannah is one of the best romance writers around today. "If You Believe" is the 3rd book by Kristin Hannah I've read in the past 2 weeks and she climbed to the top of my favorites list with the first one I read, "Mystic Lake".
Hannah wrings every emotion out of you by the time you've completed the last page. Her characters, Mad Dog, Mariah, Rass & Jake spring to life and draw you right into the pages of the book to experience their happiness, pain, love and tears with them.
So, go forth and read. If you aren't already grabbing up each Kristin Hannah book you can, you soon will be!
on February 11, 1998
This story about Mad Dog (Matt) and Mariah is so touching and bittersweet. Although many tragic things occur throughout the book, Hannah expertly wove a story with humor, tragedy, and compassion. It is a love story between man and woman, father and daughter, and father and son. It is a story about family and fear. It made me laugh and cry and encourage all I know to read this book.
on June 4, 2000
I truly enjoyed the story of Mariah and Mad Dog, as they find that love is not always where we seek to find it. They each overcome private conflicts, as well as with each other...finding freedom and courage to continue to live, and love. Looking forward to reading another book by Kristin Hannah.
on May 25, 2011
This was one of the best books I have evere read!!If you have girlfriends and you have been through good times and bad it will put your memories in perspective. It will make you laugh and cry. But most importantly it makes you think you should live each day to the fullest. Live Like You Are Dying!
on July 16, 2001
This is a book about finding, forgiving, loving and letting go. The characters aren't perfect, but all have good qualities. There isn't the usual falling into each others arms and living happily ever after. They work at theirs lives and fight for a chance to love. Ms.Hannah gives a good read.
on February 15, 2001
This was the first novel I had ever read by Kristin Hannah. I loved it from page one. Once I had finished this book, I ran to the book store and purchased everything she had published. This was 1993. Now it is 2001 and I look forward to each and every new book she puts forth.