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Magic Hour: A Novel Hardcover – February 28, 2006


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345467523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345467522
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hannah's melodramatic 15th novel (after The Things We Do for Love) tells the addictive soap opera story of a feral child and the adults who rally to help her. The cast of stock characters is led by child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates, whose reputation was ruined when she failed to prevent a teen patient from staging a Columbine-style massacre. Her sister, Ellie Barton, a smalltown former homecoming queen–turned–chief of police, summons Julia from Los Angeles to their Pacific Northwest hometown of Rain Valley to take on the case of a mysterious lost child, who appeared one day on the edge of town, presumably raised by wolves. With the dashing doctor Dr. Max Cerrasin at her side, Julia works diligently to tame the mute girl, whom she names Alice. Max, like Julia, is running from demons of his own. Though she initially rebuffs his overtures ("When I love, I risk my heart. All or nothing," Julia declares), their romance inevitably blossoms while they work to solve the mystery of Alice's parentage. The novel's real love story, though, is the passion between Alice and Julia, and it's hard not to root for the vulnerable little Wolf Girl. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although a judge rules in her favor, child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates is found guilty of incompetence in the press. Her entire life has centered on her exclusive practice, and now all her patients have abandoned her. Salvation comes unexpectedly at the behest of her estranged sister, Ellie, the chief of police in their hometown of Rain Valley, Washington. Julia never wanted to go back to their small logging town, where she was the scrawny bookworm and Ellie was the homecoming queen, but now, even though they refuse to admit it, the sisters need each other as they try to save a young girl found in a forest in the company of a wolf. She behaves like an animal and doesn't speak. Julia works hard to break the mute silence of the mysterious little girl; Ellie tries to find out where she belongs; and both of them defend the girl they decide to call Alice against those who would exploit her. Through helping this young lost soul, Julia and Ellie learn a lot about themselves and about their relationships in one of this perennially best-selling writer's most compelling and riveting novels to date. Magic Hour will enhance Hannah's popularity and affirm her dominance in women's fiction. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. "But you're going to be a writer" are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on the worst, most clichéd historical romance ever written.

After her mom's death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper they'd collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she'd read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That's when her husband reminded her of the book she'd started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she'd finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got "the call," and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back. In all the years between then and now, she have never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer.

Customer Reviews

Magic Hour This book is one you cannot put down.
Lorna
This was a very satisfying book to read because it was well written, with an easy flow to the story.
barb
I loved the relationship between Dr. Julia Cates and Alice, it was so touching and emotional.
LOVE THRILLERS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By a reviewer in Seattle on March 20, 2006
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
So many people have already reviewed this book and told you what this story is about, so I don't think I need to give you the same details again. Let me tell you how this story made me feel. I was moved to tears and I was warmed inside by the depth of this gentle story. I didn't want this book to end.
I quickly fell in love with the child Alice who had been silenced by so many horrors and the town people who came to her aide. The way Ms Hannah lets us see what Alice is thinking since she is unable to speak the words to express herself made the book all the more interesting. All of the relationships in this book are so heart warming.
I have read most of Kristin Hannah's books and I think this just might be my favorite. She has become one of my very favorite authors. I can only give this book the highest marks!
JMHO //(*_*)\\
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A reader from the Pacific Northwest on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a long time fan of Kristin Hannah's. I've read everything she's written and unlike some multi-published authors, Hannah just gets better and better with each book she writes. And MAGIC HOUR is no exception. The title says it all---this book is pure MAGIC!! I don't like to read reviews that give away the plot and so I'm not going to comment on that except to say that this story blew me away. It was everything I'd come to expect (and love) from a Hannah novel--true emotion, deep characters--but it was also a story line so unique and fresh, I could not put the book down. If you've never read Kristin Hannah give yourself a huge treat with Magic Hour. And, if you're a Hannah fan like me, I'm sure you've already pre-ordered the book!! Another winner from an extremely talented writer.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Donna Reynolds on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have become a big fan of Kristin Hannah, and this book did not disappoint. The story is engaging, and once I started the book, I literally could not put it down. I had to know the identity of the little girl and yet dreaded the end of the book because I became so involved with the characters. The end of the book is satisfying on many levels, however.

Hannah has developed her writing skills over the years. Her characters are alive and her descriptions of the scenery are vivid. The interation between her characters is also realistic. I can't say enough positive things about this book. Kudos to Kristin Hannah for her work. I would encourage people to read this one.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Becki Robins on May 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book at first but my opinion of it rapidly declined as the improbabilities started piling up. The characters--even the purportedly intellectual Julia--don't really seem real. They behave irrationally at times and they seem to miss a lot of things that are obvious to the reader. The Alice character in particular seems like pure fabrication (she is, of course, but it was really hard for me to even pretend like she was real).

It's mostly little things that bothered me, but there were enough of them to really detract from the overall appeal of this story. Some examples: It takes forever for it to dawn on anyone what was made painfully obvious in the early pages--that Alice is not just a little girl who "wandered off during a camping trip." At one point the characters lament that they might have to turn the girl over to parents who have hurt her, which is ridiculous because I'm sure no court in the world would blindly turn over a child who'd been so obviously abused without some kind of evidence that the parents weren't the abusers. And then there's all that nonsense about Alice's ability to communicate with animals--give me a break. There are also inconsistencies--we are told that the girl only understands a few words, but then we are told that she'd been warned in quite explicit terms about how there are bad people out in the world who might want to harm her, something she supposedly understood quite well. And maybe I don't know how to treat starvation, but I'm pretty sure if you give a starving person waffles with sugary strawberry syrup and whipped cream, or greasy hamburgers and French fries you might actually kill her. Also, babies aren't born in the O.R.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Talbott on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a big Kristin Hannah fan. I like her usual love story but this was different for her. This book was the best I have read by her! It was amazing. I was moved to tears, many of them. I LOVED this book. I could not put it down. I muted my favorite TV shows to read (which is unlike me). Glad I bought this book so I can lend it to others!!

If this was the first book you read by her... read more. They are great.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S. Geuy on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm always a little hesitant about an author that is new to me. With Kristin Hannah, and The Magic Hour, I'm glad I chose this one! This is a wonderful book. Julia, a psychiatrist, has lost a teen with major problems, and is blamed for the death of the girl, and others. Drained and wounded by the press and her own guilt, she goes back to her home town. There, her sister Ellie is a cop, in a small town with not too much going on. Ellie find a wild little girl, with a wolf pup, in a tree, and the story begins. The child is unable, or unwiling to speak, and has been through unspeakable horrors. She has escaped from the forest on the edge of town. Julia feels that she can help the broken little girl, and a bond is made. This book has it all. Joy and sorrow. Love and loss. Laughter and tears. The best part is the way the family circle and town friends come together for the sake of one little girl. Sometimes, I don't like the way some books end. With this one, I wasn't sure of how it would end. I can say that I was in tears as I read the last few pages. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the way a story comes together, and my highest praises to Ms. Hannah for a wonderful read. I'm looking forward to her other books, I may have found a new favorite author.
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