The Invisible Hour

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A Massachusetts-based fairy-tale of sorts, about “witches” and magic and the enraptured heart – one that is able, in this story, to transcend time and space, following a path that is destined beyond earthly boundaries, – encapsulated in a journey that is written with beauty and great care.

The story focuses on Mia and her mother Ivy, who at the start of our story, are imprisoned in a rural community run by a cultish figure, Joel Davis, – a handsome and charismatic leader, who is consumed by a thirst for power and a just-below-the-surface cruel and dangerous demeanor. As Ivy struggles to find a way to spend more time with her cherished daughter, (forbidden by the community’s rules to claim anything other than a shared interest in Mia’s upbringing), Ivy finds she is running out of options to live authentically in her slowly stultifying world.

At the same time, Mia’s experiences (based solely on what she knows, in the commune), lead her to a gradually-dawning awareness that there must be more to life, – a feeling that becomes transcendent when Mia discovers books and literature (forbidden to her by the commune) and finds herself transported in the immensity of their reach.

The story accelerates as Mia discovers a particular author – Nathaniel Hawthorne – and his novel “The Scarlett Letter”. Sparking her down a path that will change her life forever, Mia’s world takes a mystical turn as her connection to this story, this author, and its relevance to her life, quickly become all-consuming.

A thoughtful book (rich with feminist insights), I enjoyed this read, but (unlike many readers) did not love it, finding the main protagonist, Mia, and her journey, interesting, imaginative and even, in parts, beautiful, but somehow always remaining at arms-length in its emotional reach.

A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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