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Watch the Hour Paperback – January 8, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
Review by Douglas Quinn, Author of Blue Heron Marsh, etal
While I prefer Lindermuth's modern-day mystery novels, I do like historical fiction, and this book does have several mysteries interwoven throughout the story. My only negative is that the plot has a melodramatic quality to it. That's just me. Others may like that aspect. However, the author is such a good writer that both the story and the interesting characters carry the book. In addition to historical fiction buffs, this book will appeal to romance readers, particularly those who enjoy historical settings.
Watch The Hour is set in the 1870s fictional central-Pennsylvania coal-mining town of Masonville and surrounding area. The author is not only a product of this region but is the librarian of his county historical society and has an intimate knowledge about the locality and times of which he writes. The author offers a captivating portrayal of life in this place and time. It is tough, gritty and sometimes tragic.
Ben Yeager is a policeman. It is a job which is in opposition to the interests of the Irish coal workers, who do the dirtiest of jobs in the mines, and the coal worker's families. Ben's benefactor is Samuel Mason, the mine owner and richest man in the area. Trouble arises when Mason has it in mind that Ben will marry his precocious granddaughter, Phoebe, and take over the management of a reclaimed mining operation. But Ben has other interests and plans. He is in love with an Irish girl.Read more ›
Watch the Hour is historical fiction, but with Lindermuth's usual depth of characters and story. The sense of place is excellent, truly placing me in the early Pennsylvania coal-mining towns. Information about mining was deftly inter worked with the story, which takes place during the time of the Mollie McGuires and attempts to unionize the mines. The development includes the clash of cultures, several families, mine owners, foremen, Irish workers, and law enforcement. I often felt there were too many viewpoints.
The ethnic tension is punctuated with a cross-culture romance that seems destined to fail. Most of the characters were very sympathetic, and the bad guys were--really BAD guys. The depiction of Father Delaney was particularly good.
Roll all this in with rich language and volatile weather (always one of my favorite characters) and you have an exciting, well-wrought read.
You'll learn a lot from this book about the history of coal mining in the late 19th century in Pennsylvania, but you'll learn even more about the mining of the human heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found all of John's books a very good read. I am not a good reviewer because I know nothing about writing a book . Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by ziggy