Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “If You Believe” as Want to Read:
If You Believe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

If You Believe

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,225 ratings  ·  87 reviews
In a dazzling career spanning a dozen acclaimed novels, Kristin Hannah has distinguished herself as an amazingly sensitive writer who can tap into the deepest, most precious mysteries of the heart. If You Believe is one of her finest books--a timeless tale of two lonely people who witness the miracle of second chances.

Mariah Throckmorton was hiding from a past filled with
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published December 4th 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about If You Believe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about If You Believe

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bark's Book Nonsense
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.

Mad Dog Stone is a fighter who works odd jobs in between matches. 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 har
It's a good thing this wasn't the first Kristin Hannah novel I read, because it would have for sure been the last. One of her first novels, written when I presume she was trying to be a Harlequin romance novelist. Seriously, it was hard for me to believe this was the same author who wrote "Winter Garden" and "Firefly Lane". Not only did it read like a dime store romance novel...the lonely spinster with a broken heart who vows never to love again and the handsome drifter who refuses to settle in ...more
Melissa Norton
Reminiscent of LaVyrle Spencer's early works, If You Believe is a lovely and emotional historical romance from Kristin Hannah, perhaps better known now for her excellent contemporary novels (Firefly Lane, etc). She has always had a deft hand with creating realistic, likable and complex narratives, whatever the setting.
In 1890s Washington State, drifter/boxer/frustrated writer "Mad Dog" Stone hires on as a handyman to the Throckmorton household/orchard, comprised of a lonely widower and his agor
Ehhh so so. Hannah's earlier books in her own words are not as good or gripping as later ones. The later ones make me cry and hold my attention raptly, the earlier ones leave me debating whether I should finish the book as they are more formulaic, predictable, and somehow shallower emotionally. It's neat to see her growth as a writer though!
Ok. Not as good as many of her other books.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was so different from what I have come to expect from Kristin Hannah. What a love story -- I wasn't sure about it for a long time. You have a drifter, Mad Dog, who goes from town to town, just working to get enough money and then be with many different women but he loves his boxing too.

However that changes when he meets Rass and his daughter Mariah. Mariah on the other hand hasn't left the farm in many years, her heart being broken by another man who just up and left her.

Mariah builds
Angie Outland
This is a very good book. While reading it, I laughed, cried, and celebrated with Mariah as she learned to deal with the tragedies in her life. If You Believe, is a love story between two unlikely people. Mad Dog is a loner who drifts from town to town gambling, drinking and sleeping with women. He has no intentions of settling down or giving up his freedom...until he wonders into an apple orchard. Mariah is a heart broken woman who, after several tragedies, has decided to live her life without ...more
I have always liked the books of Kristin Hannah. If You Believe was only OK. It was a usual love story and the reader could easily figure out the ending. I always enjoyed reading her books. I thought her characterization was outstanding. Not so with this book. This was one of her older ones. I think her more recent ones are much better.
It was a bit steamy, no it was really steamy, but I loved the characters, so real and relatable, and the German cooking was a bonus for me with my background.
Karen & Gerard
This is an historical novel about love. Three lonely people find each other, Mariah, Mad Dog, and Jake. Although very predictable, I enjoyed this book because of the issues Mariah and Mad Dog both had. Jake following his dad hoping for a happy reunion was heartwarming. Rass, Mariah’s father, was my favorite character because of his concern for his daughter and his kindness toward Mad Dog and Jake. He kept seeking to improve his relationship with his daughter and help her let go of the past so sh ...more
Samantha Ovitt
Kristin Hannah is becoming one of my favorite authors. This was truly an enjoyable read!
Carla Johnson-Hicks
A good family drama and romance rolled into one. Some sad parts, some happy, but lots of emotion.
One of her early books.
Not so good.
Quick fluff read ...
I love everyone of Kristan Hannah's early books.
A little slow for me, but still a good story.
Hannah writes fairly simple people books and this one falls right into her normal pattern. There is the requisite pain and personal dilemma, along with the necessary love story underlying it all. In other words, the books are pretty fluffy. Still, despite their being easy books to read, they are still enjoyable, especially when using them as filler between much heavier books. I don't think this is my favorite Hannah book by a long shot, but it is sufficiently enjoyable to give it a thumbs up.
The story has a hopeful tone about finding love then having the courage to love despite fear. Our hero Maddog Stone is a drifter who has come to work for Mariah and her father. Maddog was depicted as strong in character but low self-esteem. Mariah didn't know what to make of this man and she didn't want to be attracted to him. I liked how the relationship developed and the era the story was set in. This is my first book by the author and I want read more of her backlist.
I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I wasn't entirely sure of the setting at first, an old western town in the late 1800s but that characters sucked me in by chapter two. Kristin Hannah is wonderful at writing about complex relationships and feelings and this book has it all- grief, shame, fear, love, hope, etc. The story kept opening up new discoveries about the characters that made me want to keep reading. I would highly recommend this book.
A nice women's fiction book set in the late 1800's. Mariah hasn't left the home farm in 16 years, ever since she came home pregnant and her premature infant died. A drifter named Mad Dog answers her father's ad for a handyman, and sparks fly quickly between Mad Dog and Mariah, who are very opposite, but opposites attract. I think the book could have ended with Mad Dog leaving the farm, but it continued to the usual happy ending of him coming back to Mariah.
not really interesting to me..too slow to start
Jannette Kyger
Wonderful story of love and family.
Ok, so not the best. However, you know what my first thought was upon finishing? 'Gosh, I love Kristin Hannah'

This is one of her older books, which have a different tone to them then stuff from this decade. I love that she plays with different story lines that aren't realistic. Although, this one is more so then others. However, sometimes I felt this was more a family in the late 1980s then the late 1900s.

Anyway, Hannah sucked me in like always.
Kristin Hannah really only wrote one book -- she just kept changing the settings! Mariah Throckmorton has been injured by love, and vows Never to Love Again. Mad Dog has always shied away from committment. So, two emotionally injured people have to get it together and Learn to Love Again. Blah blah. She did this much better in When Lightning Strikes and Handful of Heaven. I wonder what her non-romance books are like?
This was a story about healing, learning to love again and growing up. Mariah is a woman who spends her life hiding from her past. Mad Dog is a drifter who finds himself on a nowhere apple orchard looking for work and finds more than what he is looking for. If You Believe is a typical, historical romance and a pleasant read. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good love story.
This historical novel is the story of Mariah, who lives with her father on an apple farm as a recluse after her first tragic love affair, and Mad Dog, a drifter who is a fighter and never stays in one place long enough to develop any lasting relationships. She develops the characters and their feelings throughout, and gets the reader to really want them together. Quick read!
Hard to believe this is the same Kristin Hannah who wrote all those other books I love! This must have just been practice for her other stuff. This was ok, although I wasn't dying to read it to see how it unfolded because it was horribly predictable. Lonely spinster meets love-em-and-leave-em drifter and oh hey, here's his surprise son along for the ride. Yawn.
This is also one of the romance books that I've read time and time again because I like the characters. Mad Dog is so aggrevating at times, but he's got other qualities, like how perceptive he can be. And Mariah has her reasons for acting the way she does, whether it's wrong or not. I loved that they were deeper than I suspected at the beginning.
H.S. Contino
pretty good read, but not my favorite by this author. She does an excellent job of writing characters that are really "human," and as a result it is easy to relate to them. She's also great at writing about family relationships-- especially those that have been severely tested. I have yet to read a book by Kristen Hannah that didn't make me sniffle!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • With Love
  • The Wives of Bowie Stone
  • Sunshine and Shadow
  • Shades of Grace
  • Life Without Summer
  • The Passions of Emma
  • Summer Light
  • Wild at Heart
  • The Lightkeeper
  • Kiss River (Kiss River #2)
  • Blackwood's Woman (The Protectors, #6) (Silhouette Intimate Moments #707)
  • The Dangerous Duke (Series, #2)
  • Nantucket Nights
  • Anywhere You Are
  • Keep a Little Secret
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and #1 bestsellers Night Road and Home Front. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.
More about Kristin Hannah...
Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1) Winter Garden Night Road Home Front True Colors

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Goddamn, sometimes it hurt to be free.” 24 likes
“And no one drank just one shot of tequila.” 11 likes
More quotes…