Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review: Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah (no spoilers)

Book: Magic Hour
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication: November 2007
Source: Local Library
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Until recently, Dr. Julia Cates was one of the preeminent child psychiatrists in the country, but a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career, and made her a media target. When she gets a desperate call from her estranged sister, Ellie, a police chief in their small western Washington hometown, she jumps at the chance to escape.

 In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens--until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Julia has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. When word spreads of the "wild child" and the infamous doctor who is treating her, the media descend on Julia and once again her competence is challenged. State and federal authorities want to lock the girl away in an institution until an identification can be made. But to Julia, who has come to doubt her own ability, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. To heal this child, Julia will have to understand that she cannot work alone and must look to others--the people in the town she left long ago, the sister she barely knows, and Dr. Max Cerrasin, a handsome, private man with secrets of his own.

 Then a shocking revelation forces Julia to risk everything to discover the truth about Alice. The ordeal that follows will test the limits of Julia's faith, forgiveness, and love, as she struggles to ascertain where Alice ultimately belongs.

 In her most ambitious novel to date, Kristin Hannah delivers an incandescent story about the resilience of the human spirit, the triumph of hope, and the mysterious places in the heart where love lies waiting.

My Thoughts:
Magic Hour is about Dr. Julia Cates who has a shattered reputation after one of her patients murdered three people. Everybody blamed Julia and Julia began to blame herself for her patient's actions also. Her business as a physchiarist was dwindling until Julia got a call from her estranged sister, Ellie. Ellie told Julia she needed to come to Rain Valley without telling her the really reason Ellie needed her sister. Ellie who is a police officer found a girl in a tree with a wolf pup. The girl has suffered unimaginable trauma and does not speak or respond to her world. Julia is insecure and isn't sure she can help this girl. Magic Hour is all about finding yourself, learning to trust others, and surprises.

Magic Hour was a book that made me really think and wonder. Could there be people like Alice in the world? How is Julia going to get Alice to speak? Is there even a way to help Alice? I love children so at times it was hard for me to think about all the horrible things that had happened to poor little Alice to make her so afraid of our world. It also brought out another side of Julia when she was with Alice. The longer Julia was with Alice the more she let her professionalism go and she just started being Alice's friend. Julia softened up a lot during the novel and I loved that side of her that loves Alice.

Ellie was an awesome character. She has had three failed marriages so she is afraid of love. Ellie could be hard when she wanted to, but really the only thing she cared about was finding Alice's parents. Then there was Alice's doctor Max. He had also been scared by love, but apparently was the hottest man in town. He only had eyes for Julia through out the book. I really loved watching their complex relationship form. Julia wasn't ready for a relationship and even though Max seemed like he was I don't think he was.

Julia will have to jump through many hoops and have lots of patients to "cure" Alice. I think overall Julia discovered through Alice that her one patient who ruined her reputation wasn't the end of Julia's career. By the end of this novel I was incredibly attached to Alice, Ellie, and Julia that when something happened that upset their balance I was worried and scared for Alice. I let you read the novel for yourself to see what that event was. This novel was incredibly emotional as all of Kristin Hannah's novels are. I really enjoyed her creativity that she put into creating this novel's story. I was not ready to let these characters go when I finished the book and would highly recommend the novel.



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