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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Engrossing, powerful, and mysterious, "The Lost Hours" by Karen White is sure to win this talented author more awards.

When Piper Mills was only six years old, her parents died and she moved in with her grandparents in Savannah. Years later, her grandmother gave her a mysterious box that Piper and her grandfather buried in the backyard; an event that would soon be forgotten.

After the death of her grandparents, and now a grown woman, Piper seeks the answers to questions she never had the courage to ask while her grandmother was alive. Digging up the mysterious box from the garden, Piper sets forth on a journey that uncovers her family's secrets and tells a story of past hurts, regrets, and the need for forgiveness.

After reading Karen White's "The House on Tradd Street", I was eager to read her next novel. White definitely did not disappoint.

"The Lost Hours" combines Southern living and style with friendship, tragedy, and a quest for the truth.

As with "The House on Tradd Street", this novel's characters move the story forward. Told from multiple points of view, the reader is totally captivated by the story of three girlfriends who are separated by a monumental tragedy and the granddaughter seeking to learn more about the grandmother she never really knew.

"The Lost Hours" is a powerful story that involves Alzheimer's disease, race relations in the 1930's, a charm necklace, a scrapboook and a love of horses. Piper was an accomplished equestrian, until a horrific accident left her scarred and afraid to get back in the saddle again.

In addition to Piper, readers will find a host of interesting and multifaceted characters. Helen, a blind daughter living at Asphodel Meadows, who has a flair for fashion; Tucker, Helen's brother, who has left his medical practice after a family tragedy; and Mr. Morton, Piper's family's attorney who pretends he's deaf, but really hears every word you say.

Perhaps the best part of "The Lost Hours" is how White is able to combine all these people, their pasts and their presents, to create an emotional story that will leave you satisfied, but also feeling sorry that you've read the last page.

"The Lost Hours" will make you run out and buy every book written by Karen White.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
"The Lost Hours", by Karen White, is a three generational murder mystery set in Savannah, Georgia. Piper Mills, orphaned at six, went to live with her grandparents in Savannah. She learned to ride horses and became an Olympic hopeful. Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper's dreams of Olympic glory, and her own zest for life. Her grandfather dies, and she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn't exist, and caring for her grandmother in a nursing home.

Piper remembers a box belonging to her grandmother that she and her grandfather had buried in the backyard when she was 12. Inside the box are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace--and a newspaper article from 1939 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace's charms tell the story of three friends during the 1930s-- each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. And there lies the mystery. What murder separated the 3 friends?

`The Lost Hours" is a fast-paced, introspective, and drama filled story that takes us to Savannah of Jim Crow and the KKK of the 1930s. Plantations, gardens, horses, equal-rights, Alzheimer's, old-age, children and sibling deaths, and family traditions are all elements of this nicely woven emotional story. Lovely settings, a bit of history, great drama make this a fast and enjoyable read and a bit of reflection on my own family secrets.

(Review by Steve, my husband.)
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2009
The Lost Hours are what I ended up with after wading through way too much extraneous narrative. The plot is excellent, but I thought the writing/editing was awful and the pacing was mind-numbing. I skimmed through at least a third of the book looking for the parts that actually moved the story along. I assumed this was the author's first attempt at a novel, but she's got nine published already! Then I looked at the book jacket reviews and realized that they were "praise for the novels of..." rather than for this one in particular. I'd suggest getting this from the library if you must.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2011
When I took this book with me on a two week trip after my mother died, I didn't know exactly what it was about. When I found out it was in part about a woman who had Alzheimer's and had died, I thought I don't want to read this. My own mother had died months previously from a horrible disease and I just thought this would not be something to read.

In spite of myself, I settled into my lovely hotel room on a gloomy day and began to read it anyway. I became engaged in the story and then could not stop. I ordered hot chocolate to my room because I didn't want to go out. I finished the book, set it down and thought "this was just what I needed".

It isn't about Alzheimer's, so forget that part. It is about so many things. It is about the secrets to which people cling, and it is about at last understanding those dear to us, but mostly about understanding ourselves. It is a wonderful read. I highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
I loved this book, I had never read Karen White before and was worried that this book would turn out to be a light/cookbook style mystery/romance. Boy was I wrong!

The book had great depth of characters, an intriging and bittersweet plot, and the ability to bring you into the book's southern setting by way of sight, sound and smell. This is one of the few books
that I HAD to read through, and couldn't put it down.

The only critism I had was the author changed perspective frequently, and it kind of threw me off, but not enough to keep me from completely enjoying the book, and immediately ordering other Karen White titles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
She doesn't disappoint. This is a great story. The main female role is a broken yet you are drawn to her. The story builds and surprises, the characters are genuinely likeable, and as usual she paints the south perfectly. This is great female fiction that doesn't feel the need to bash men in the process. I really love this author, and that is a lot coming from a yankee!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
This was an interesting story about the relationships between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. It makes you really think about the lives our grandmothers and mothers lived before we came along and what we do not know about them and in some cases it is too late to find out. It was an easy read, and one I also had a hard time putting down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
I enjoyed The Lost Hours. It is a great story of struggle, despair, realization and finally finding a way out of the darkness. For anyone who has struggled in the past with letting go of loss or sadness, I highly recommend this read. It will speak to you in various ways that are very helpful.

I enjoyed the setting and characters in The Lost Hours. The story was a delightful read but also a page turner. I found that I was sucked into the story and into the lives of the characters. Although much of the story was easy to figure out along the way, some of the twists and turns were not expected.

I would recommend this book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2009
While reading The Lost Hours, I was unable to grasp Karen White's writing style - it lacked a certain "flow." The pace was so slow, I found that I just couldn't wait to finish it. The plot was certainly interesting enough, I just can't put my finger on why I didn't really LOVE this book. I won't be recommending this one to friends...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2010
I picked up The Lost Hours and another one of Karen White's books at a consignment store. I had never heard of her but the novels sounded interesting.

The Lost Hours was my favorite of the three books I picked up that day but it was very close among them all. The story started off slow, but as things pick up I couldn't put it down, even reading until four in the morning to finish it.

The characters and their stories really brought this book to life for me. Helen is a wonderfully written character, her ability to understand and 'see' things, despite her blindness, is beautifully written. I really began to sympathize both for Tucker and for his girls, especially with the truth of his wife's death comes out. The fact that Piper, who suffered a career-ending fall off a horse, is convinced to ride again by a little girl is a very beautiful scene.

The plot is nothing that I could have imagined it being. It starts with a box buried in her grandmother's garden, and includes a little blue baby sweater, a scrapbook, a charm necklace, a hidden room, and three friends, two of whom took their secrets to the grave.

The most wonderful thing about this book though is that it really made me think. The message I got was to try to communicate with your elderly family members, learn their stories and their lives before it gets too late. Sadly I read this about a week after my greatgrandmother's passing and it really made me realize that I knew nothing about her. So please, even if you hated the book, make sure you talk with your older family members. You might find something interesting to learn from them.
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