Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
It’s been several years since I’ve read an Alice Hoffman book but I’ve always loved her striking & thoughtful writing style & how she infuses her powerful stories with magic.
The Invisible Hour is another story in that vein, with a story that celebrates books & bravery & love, especially that of a mother for her daughter.
Playing with time, the book offers several different perspectives & time periods.
When the book opens, Mia Jacob is leaving the community where she’s lived her entire life, under the thumb of her adopted father who is also the strict leader of the community.
Despite its strictures, Mia has found solace before in books—especially The Scarlet Letter—& in her mother, whom she had a secret bond with. But now her mother is dead.
In the outside world, Mia forms new relationships, deals with the lingering threat of the community leader, & is haunted still by the words of Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose work offers her so much.
This fixation on Nathaniel Hawthorne struck me as a bit odd in moments but overall it adds another haunting note to a story of love & sacrifice & freedom. There’s a compelling parallel between Hawthorne’s time period & Mia’s life in the Community.
Though I found the story of motherly love & self-freedom inspiring, I also wanted more from Mia’s story itself. Some final, permanent proof that she would actually give herself the life she deserves on a daily basis.
But this story raises some captivating points & as always, I was moved by Alice Hoffman’s voice.
4⭐️. Out 08/15.
Please see a trusted reviewer’s list of CWs.
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