Book review: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

BOOK: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope
AUTHOR: Rhonda Riley
PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan Australia
RRP: $24.99

THIS is one of the most engaging, intriguing and unconventional stories the reader is likely to encounter.

At its heart is an enduring and passionate love story, but a dash of fantasy provides a piquancy that will ensnare the reader.

Towards the end of the Second World War, young Evelyn Roe takes on the role of caretaker of her Great Aunt Eva's nearby farm, following the death of her aunt.

Some months later, during a brief break in intense rainfall, Eva's dog, Hobo, begins barking and growling near a puddle.

The dog's obvious agitation draws Evelyn to the spot where she discovers what she assumes to be a badly burned soldier, partially encased in the mud.

As the rescued body begins to heal with unnatural speed, physical changes also occur.

The body soon morphs into a more human form, first into a mirror image of Evelyn, but eventually it becomes Evelyn's beloved, Adam.

Adam proves gifted with horses and together he and Evelyn establish a horse-training business.

They raise five daughters, each of whom possesses a hint of Adam's supernatural gifts.

When a tragic accident strikes the family, Adam, in his grief, reveals his extraordinary character to the local community.

After this, the family is virtually ostracized and they flee to Florida to avoid social isolation.

Adam's tale will pull at you because it's the story of an ordinary life, interwoven with a wildly imaginative premise that is irresistible, tender and provocative.

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