Dr. Julia Cates has long been known as one of the most gifted child psychiatrists in the nation. She
once had a thriving practice, but that all changed when she failed to recognize that one of her clients was going to kill other members of her church youth group. Although Julia is not held responsible in the eyes of the court, the media and the family members of the victims set out to crucify her. All Julia wants to do is hide from the world in her Bay Area home.
Deep in the woods
of Washington State, Julia’s sister Ellie is a small-town police chief, always the beautiful and popular one of the family in contrast to Julia’s shy, bookish personality.
The two sisters rarely see eye-to-eye on many issues, until one day a shocking event occurs. A young girl emerges from the woods—a real “wild child” who acts like an animal and is unable or unwilling to communicate with the authorities. Ellie does what she knows she must—she calls and begs for Julia’s help. Together with the residents of the small town, Ellie and Julia set out to unlock the mysteries of this child they name “Alice.” Who is she, and where did she come from?
Magic Hour is another engrossing read from Kristin Hannah. The characters are flawed, but in very realistic ways. Hannah has a gift for getting to the heart of relationships and allowing the characters to gently discover their faults so that they can rectify them. The multi-layered plot explores both Julia and Ellie and uses Alice to help both of them mature and find things they never knew were missing.
The only criticism I have is that everything ties up too neatly in the end. The plot is laid out captivatingly, but a concluding twist seems too convenient and contrived. Other than this, Hannah obviously did a great deal of research into child psychiatry and children like Alice. These details
keep the reader completely enthralled. Kristin Hannah is growing as an author and rarely disappoints readers. Magic Hour is delightful and highly recommended.