Title: The Lost Hours
Author: Karen White
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Publisher: NAL Trade
Review: Pump Up Your Book Promotion Blog Tours
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the publisher's website:
When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.
Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper's dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather's death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn't exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1929 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace's charms tell the story of three friends during the 1920s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.
I adore Karen White and was eagerly awaiting what I thought would be her next book, the sequel to her wonderful The House on Tradd Street [review], scheduled to be released in late 2009. But a few weeks ago, I got a wonderful surprise – it seems that Karen White actually had a book coming out in the interim, and the wonderful Dorothy offered me a chance to be part of the blog tour for The Lost Hours.
I love the way Karen White writes. She sucks her readers into mysteries, though her books are often more character driven than plot driven. The Lost Hours is no exception; while the mystery is at the center of the novel, Piper's healing process is core of the book. Eventually, the two stories become intertwined; in order for Piper to face her own demons, she must first face those of her grandmother.
The Lost Hours is longer than Karen White's other books, but it never drags. There is simply a lot of story to tell. Dealing with tense issues such as race relations, Alzheimer's, death, and childhood trauma, there is a lot of ground to cover in this novel. White handle each topic deftly and with the beautiful grace I have come to know and love from her novels.
The mystery of The Lost Hours was interesting; by the time the entire story was revealed, I had figured out most of the major points for myself. Surprisingly, that didn't detract from the storyline; Piper (the main character) had discovered most of it as well. She was just waiting for people to tell her what she already knew. By that point in the novel, the main focus is Piper's emotional recovery. Still, I enjoyed gleaning what tidbits I could and putting them together in my head – it's one of the best parts of Karen White's books!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Hours and am very glad I read it. However, now I'm anticipating her next book even more eagerly – this one merely whetted my appetite! If you haven't read Karen White, I can't recommend her highly enough, especially if you like Southern fiction and/or mysteries. If you have and enjoyed her work, then definitely read this book – you'll find all that you've previously loved in it and more!
Thank you to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotions and the publisher for sending me this book to review!