Monday, November 21, 2016
Book Review and Giveaway: In the Blue Hour
Sometimes, an end is not only an end; it is also a beginning.
When Elise Brooks’ husband Michael dies in a car accident, Elise finds herself in the place occupied by so many sudden widows: a place of disorientation and disbelief, one of sadness and uncertainty. Complicated emotions for anyone, indeed, yet Elise’s grief is further muddied by nagging memories of a disturbing dream and the feeling that her deceased husband is trying to send her a message she simply cannot comprehend.
Rather than curl into a ball and surrender, Elise sets out on a journey to decipher her husband’s murky message. In the Blue Hour follows the path of Elise Brooks as she ignores the skeptics who surround her and instead heeds the words of a tarot card reader who advises her to visit an address printed on a business card Elise found in her husband’s pocket after his death. Tom, Elise’s friend and a skeptic at heart, joins Elise on her journey, which includes a stop at a haunted bed and breakfast in Arkansas and a visit with a conjure woman in Tennessee.
By exploring her husband’s death, by literally chasing the fleeting glimpses that appear just outside her line of sight, Elise rediscovers her true self and reconnects with her heritage. Elise realizes her darkest fears and faces them head on, transforming herself in a way she didn’t believe possible – or necessary – before her husband’s death.
Much of the beauty of In the Blue Hour flows from author Elizabeth Hall’s writing, which is simultaneously crisp yet colorful. The novel easily transports the reader into Elise’s world and its continually changing settings, as Hall paints vivid images, complete with sight, sound, and smell. Hall’s words carry emotion without ever being overwrought, and she gracefully unfolds Elise before the reader like a flower opening to bloom. Hall writes:
Her worst fear, the thing she dreaded most, was to go on living – trying to figure out how to negotiate a world that didn’t have Michael in it. She did not want to learn how to go on without him. . . . She did not want to absorb yet another loss in her life. All these months, she’d been lost in the icy wasteland of grief, unable to move, unable to think, unable to plan. Frozen, paralyzed with no interest in trying to figure out her own future.
It wasn’t dying she feared – it was living.
In the Blue Hour explores both the often documented, tangible components of surviving a great loss while blending in the more ethereal elements sometimes sought when coping with death: signs, symbols, and dreams. The novel traverses the world of tarot card readers and voodoo witch doctors and psychics and does so in a way that leaves the reader to decide for herself what, if anything, to believe. As such, the title of this novel is quite fitting, as the “blue hour” is the time of day when the sun rests below the horizon, causing indirect sunlight to take on a blue hue. The significance of this time of lies in the fact that the blue light appears twice per day, making it impossible to know whether it is dawn or dusk. And for Elise Brooks, the blue hour just may be a little of both.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the book in exchange for an honest review, and for the copy for one lucky reader! Check out the rest of Elizabeth Hall's tour stops.
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Giveaway ends November 27th at midnight EST.