Connie A Thompson

Tag Archives: Women’s Fiction

The In-Between Hour

41AP5DiV37L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I was fortunate to win an ARC of this novel in a Facebook contest, and I am thrilled to report that it is every bit as engaging as Barbara Claypole White‘s first novel, The Unfinished Garden.

Hannah, William, Poppy, Jacob, and Galen are all imperfect people. Hannah has trouble setting boundaries. Hannah and Will both have secrets that need to be revealed. Poppy is a free spirit with the realities of the world closing in on her. Jacob mourns the loss of his beloved wife and doesn’t want his son, Will to put him in an old folks home. Will can’t understand his father’s grief. He only remembers his mother as unstable and embarrassing. Galen is a young man with a death wish and his own secrets.

The novel pays close attention to that in-between hour — the time as dusk approaches and the day wanes turning to night. This is often the time when the evening sky is colored in various arrays of blues, pinks, oranges, golds and even grays. And yes, sometimes a gray sky can be beautiful. Since reading the novel, I catch myself looking for this particular moment and I’m often amazed at just how the landscape changes for that short time.

White’s five characters come along side one another each with their own hurts, their own agendas, their own demons, and the only way to rescue one another is through the aid of others. Will doesn’t understand his father, but Hannah and Poppy do. Will struggles to come to terms with the grief of a lost son while his father has blissfully forgotten. Each evening Will must plot out his son’s new adventures in Europe for this is how Jacob accounts for the lack of his presence. Hannah doesn’t understand her son, Galen. To her, he is a wonderful and intelligent. She doesn’t understand the depression that comes over him, but Will does and he tries to show Galen the things he has to live for. He’s frustrated by a young man who wants to take his own life while his own son didn’t live past the age of five. And yet there is an understanding there. Will begins to realize that the best way to help himself is by helping others.

There are delightful scenes that will make you laugh, harrowing scenes that will make you flinch, and of course touching scenes that will bring tears to your eyes.