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Returning to Hattie
Book Reviews

“I don’t recall ever having read a book as quickly as I read Returning to Hattie by Lynn Ellen, which just recently was published by Goose Lake Press. Returning to Hattie is Lynn Ellen’s first novel, and coming in at just over 225 pages, this debut packs a powerful emotional punch. It took me only a few hours to read, because it sucked me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let me put it down until I reached the end.

This is not so much a duel timeline novel as it is a novel about past lives and being able to recall one in extremely vivid detail, as though reliving the same life over again. The protagonist, an extremely wealthy white man in his mid sixties, lives for nothing more than his money and his prestige. The close, loving relationship he once had with his wife and children are long gone, having been replaced by his self-absorbed ego. Suddenly, he remembers living a very different life before he ever was born into this one: the life of a poor black man hopelessly and devotedly in love with a young, beautiful wife and their two year old son. His vivid memories cause him to reevaluate his current life and strive to turn around his marriage, his relationships with his children, and his attitude towards his business dealings and his friends. I cried when I reached the end of the book, feeling a satisfactory conclusion to the turmoil of the novel.

I eagerly look forward to reading another book by Lynn Ellen and hope she has begun to write it already. I thank her, her publisher, and BookSirens for providing me an advanced, digital readers’ copy of the book. This review is wholly VOLUNTARY.” —reviewed by Marcia for BookSirens. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“ Returning to Hattie is an extraordinary novel by Lynn Ellen. Derek Worthington has neglected his wife and relationships with those closest to him. Derek has changed from being a dedicated and loving husband to a man who is motivated by his desire for wealth and the influence it gives him over others. Jane is fed up with Derek and despises the person he has become and is secretly planning to divorce him. After surviving a brain aneurysm, Derek starts to see intense, recurring visions from another period. he decides to have a past-life regression because these visions interfere with his daily life. The results of this past life regression reveal that he was Charles Richardson, a struggling black man who died in the 1940s in a previous life. To learn more about his life as Charles, Derek keeps this information to himself but digs deeper into his life as Charles.

In Returning to Hattie, Lynn Ellen delves into topics of self-discovery, personal growth, and the consequences of neglecting one's moral principles and relationships in pursuit of wealth and power. It was interesting to see Derek's dual personality and how he changed from being a haughty and callous person to someone who was struggling with Charles' memories and experiences. Derek’s character did a good job of balancing the differences between his rich present and his former life as a destitute black man. The rebirth premise and the notion of bringing one's previous actions into the present give the story depth. Beautifully written and character-driven, the story forces us to consider our own lives and the effects we have on others around us.” —Alma Boucher for Readers’ Favorite ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Returning to Hattie is a paranormal romance novel by Lynn Ellen. Derek Worthington is a real estate tycoon who believes anyone not in his wealth class is simply not worth the time. His wife, Jane, is disillusioned with his arrogant and obnoxious behavior and secretly plans to divorce him. But an unexpected brain aneurysm turns Derek's life upside down. He begins to have lifelike visions of himself as a young black man from 1935 named Charles Richardson. Charles was in love with the preacher's daughter, Hattie, who was set to be married by her parents to Willie Thompson. As Derek witnesses the love story of Charles and Hattie first-hand, he realizes who he has become. Will he be able to right wrongs and make amends with his family?

A love story with a hint of the paranormal, Returning to Hattie is an absorbing novel for romance readers. Author Lynn Ellen masterfully showcases the trappings of wealth and how it can change a person's entire outlook on life with this beautiful tale of romance, regret, and redemption. With a nicely paced narrative complemented by brilliant character work, Ellen weaves a captivating plot filled with well-placed unexpected reveals you never see coming. Each character has a satisfying story arc where they change as people and end up different than when they first appear, none more so than Derek. Derek's evolution from a man obsessed with wealth and class to someone who begins to care about others was the primary highlight of the book for me. All in all, Returning to Hattie is a treat for romance lovers” —Pikasho Deka for Readers’ Favorite . ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Returning to Hattie - What an emotional, tearjerker of a wonderful, sweet story of everlasting love, betrayal, and returning to the Fold. At first, I did not care too much for many of the family members except for Jane and Felice, the rest were worthless, but I hung in there. The wonderful characters that changed the fabric of their lives returning to the better times of their pasts kept me blended with the interesting and intriguing story lines wove a tapestry of emotions, behavior changes and forgiveness. The catalyst that began everything rests with a bit of magic that added so much depth. The end is a bit of a tearjerker but the magic does not come with a wand and a talking cat, a different sort of magic, a Miracle actually. Good wins. There is humor, and happily, not a bit of stupid, mindless drama.” —reviewed by TexasTexan for BookSprout. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This book really brings out some thought provoking items. It's one of those stories about families and the journey of self transformation. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good all the way around.” —reviewed by Ann Vetter for BookSprout. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Derek Worthington is a rich property developer. His wealth as well as his social standing are what matter. To him and his family, most of them, anyway. When a sudden medical emergency gives him visions, his whole life changes. A change of heart is in the cards for Derek when his "past" and present collide in miraculous ways.

This story was a bit slow to start, but once it grabs you, it won't let go. The story follows loosely along 2 storylines. One past, one present. This story is simply captivating. I found this book to be intriguing and kept me reading. It had drama, romance, pain, and redemption. The characters were real and heartwarming. The emotions were very raw and real. You could feel the love and the pain with every page turn. It was really a beautifully fantastic and well written story.

I have to add, for those readers that need the warning, that the ending was amazing and may cause tears. *insert sniffle* You WILL need tissues.”

*I want to thank Netgalley and the author for this book in return for my honest review* —reviewed by Stormi Ellis, Boundless Book Reviews for NetGalley . ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Felice Worthington dreads taking Ryan to dinner at her home. It is there he will meet all of the family. The family has it all: they are wealthy and highly educated with careers. Around the table they are not just served coffee. They are serving dishes of ego. Felice cringes in her seat as Ryan is made to feel smaller than small. One wonders do we realize we are acting like fools or are we just pretentious? It is always fun to read about families. All families are so different. We can learn from them as they stand or fall apart. I would love to remember the statement written by Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina. I am sure it fits Lynn Ellen's novel Returning to Hattie.” —Blue North, NetGalley ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Returning to Hattie" by Lynn Ellen promises a thought-provoking and emotionally charged narrative that explores themes of redemption, self-discovery, and the profound impact of one's past on their present life. The novel introduces readers to Derek Worthington, a man who has sacrificed personal relationships and compromised his values in pursuit of wealth and power.

The story takes a compelling turn when Derek survives a brain aneurysm and begins to experience vivid and recurring visions from a different time and place. This intriguing premise sets the stage for a journey of self-exploration as Derek decides to undergo a past life regression, leading to the revelation of his past life as Charles Richardson, a poor Black man from the 1940s.

The duality of Derek's character, his transformation from an arrogant and uncaring individual to someone grappling with the memories and experiences of Charles, is sure to captivate readers. The theme of reincarnation and the idea of carrying the weight of one's past actions into the present add depth to the narrative.

As Derek delves deeper into Charles's life and uncovers unexpected connections, the story promises to be a poignant exploration of identity, race, and the consequences of one's choices. It's likely to resonate with readers who appreciate character-driven stories that challenge us to reflect on our own lives and the impact we have on others.

"Returning to Hattie" appears to be a novel that offers both a compelling narrative and an opportunity for readers to contemplate the complexities of human existence, personal growth, and the possibility of redemption.” —K.S. NetGalley ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I really enjoyed the book. I would definitely recommend it and read it again.I enjoyed that the characters grew and found their own happy endings.” —Danielle, NetGalley ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Derek Worthington and man of privilege and wealth begins to have vivid and recurring visions of a different time and place it happens after he has a brain aneurysm. In his past life he was Charles Richardson, a poor Black man who died in the 1940s. A great story that kept me turning pages. This is a new Author to me. I received a copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.” —reviewed by Babs from BookSprout. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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