Magic Hour (March 2006 Release)
by: Kristin Hannah
Published by: Ballantine (March 2006 release)
Buy From Amazon.com
Review by Kathy Perschmann
Magic Hour is popular novelist Kristin Hannah's 15th book.
Hannah says in Contemporary Authors, "I believe in magic, love, family, and second chances, and the power of positive thinking to make it all come true."
Sisters Ellie Barton and Julia Cates are very different. Julia is a brilliant, dedicated, work-obsessed child psychologist in Los Angeles. Ellie is still living in their hometown of Rain Valley in the Pacific Northwest, a small town on the edge of the vast north woods.
Ellie was the homecoming queen, the beautiful, confidant sister who is now the chief of police and still living in her parents' home, alone, after two failed marriages.
Dr. Julie Cates is dealing with a tragedy: one of her young teenaged patients has cracked and shot and killed several students. Julia is sued by the victims' families that say she should have been able to prevent it. Even though the case is thrown out, she loses patients and most importantly, her confidence.
Ellie meanwhile, in the small town where nothing ever happens, is called to deal with a small child in a tree, growling and afraid. With the aid of some food and a net, she is able to "trap" the thin, strong, filthy child, and takes her to the local hospital.
Police Chief Ellie and Dr. Max Cerrasin realize fairly quickly that the girl, possibly five or six years old, has been restrained, malnourished, possibly abused; and she can't or won't speak. Ellie calls her sister Julie, who grateful for a chance to escape her painful life, and she comes to the rescue.
Dr. Cates expects traumatized lost child, or an autistic child, but quickly realizes this is something very, very unusual. The child, whom they name Alice, has a strong bond with animals; she was found with a wild wolf pup. The taming and teaching of little wild Alice is a task of infinite patience, which Julia takes on with her usual zealous dedication. Meanwhile Ellie is trying to identify Alice.
Working with Alice changes and enriches them all: Police Chief Ellie Barton, Dr. Julia Cates and Dr. Max Cerrasin. All three learn as much about themselves as little Alice does when she learns to trust, eat with utensils, dress herself and finally speak. Her first words to Julia are "stay...please."
They are all transformed by their dedication to this child.
Armchair Interviews says: This is a truly magical book, filled with pain and happiness, and hope.
From our armchair to yours...