Magic Hour
Dr. Julia Cates was one of the country's preeminent child psychiatrists until a shocking tragedy ruined her career. Retreating to her small western Washington hometown, Julia meets an extraordinary six-year-old girl who has inexplicably emerged from the deep woods nearby—a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. To Julia, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. But Julia will need help from others, including the sister she barely knows and a handsome doctor with secrets of his own. What follows will test the limits of Julia's faith and strength, as she struggles to find a home for Alice . . . and for herself.

Magic Hour Details

TitleMagic Hour
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 27th, 2007
PublisherBallantine Books
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

Magic Hour Review

  • Tom Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Another impossibly beautiful novel by Kristin Hannah. The story follows Julia, a disgraced child psychiatrist living in Malibu, who’s called home to the small forest town of her childhood by her police chief sister, Ellie, to work with a wild feral girl who had been living in the untamed forests of the Pacific Northwest. Everything about this book works perfectly—from the charming warmth of this little town, to the colorful characters and vivid descriptions. Like all of Kristin’s books, you’ll s Another impossibly beautiful novel by Kristin Hannah. The story follows Julia, a disgraced child psychiatrist living in Malibu, who’s called home to the small forest town of her childhood by her police chief sister, Ellie, to work with a wild feral girl who had been living in the untamed forests of the Pacific Northwest. Everything about this book works perfectly—from the charming warmth of this little town, to the colorful characters and vivid descriptions. Like all of Kristin’s books, you’ll still be thinking about it long after you finish.
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  • TamElaine
    January 1, 1970
    Going against the grain again (not something I’ve done a lot, thankfully – maybe 3 or 4 times in the last year and a half)This dialogue in this book seemed to have a Lieutenant Horatio Caine (David Caruso in CSI Miami) undertone.This is the third Kristin Hannah book I’ve read....I finished it in order to count the author in a reading group challenge on GoodReads – 3 books by each author to count....while the first two books I read were okay, they were in my opinion young Going against the grain again (not something I’ve done a lot, thankfully – maybe 3 or 4 times in the last year and a half)This dialogue in this book seemed to have a Lieutenant Horatio Caine (David Caruso in CSI Miami) undertone.This is the third Kristin Hannah book I’ve read....I finished it in order to count the author in a reading group challenge on GoodReads – 3 books by each author to count....while the first two books I read were okay, they were in my opinion young teen novels.... But right away, Magic Hour seemed to be much more adultified, yet within the first 3 short chapters, I had a pretty good inclination where the book was going..... so a star is lost for predictability....Having 3 children with autism, this book left a bad taste in my mouth – the main character initially suspects ‘Girl’ to be ‘an autistic,’ but then gradually deciding against it only when the child makes meaningful eye contact – this annoys me – no, she did not say no child with autism can have meaningful purposeful eye contact, but she rules out autism as a possibility BECAUSE ‘girl’ made eye contact....I acknowledge the author probably hasn’t had her own personal experience with children with autism, and even if she did, I also recognize this is only a character the author has written -- I let this one go, hoping not to see references to this over and over again....But then later on, I was further upset by this: “You’re not autistic, are you?” Julia said finally. “You’re worried about my feelings.” Yes, Kristin Hannah, you’ve probably heard that people with autism sometimes don’t outwardly recognize or acknowledge or worry about someone else’s feelings – but I have three children with autism who are very in tune with other’s feelings and who worry about them ! And my children are NOT the anomaly. I get that Girl is fictional, and that she was created by the author NOT to have autism – and no I do not think Girl presented as having autism....I’m not arguing these conclusions.... but it’s the insinuation that is coming across in the book that is reinforcing the stigma so many people believe that a child cannot possibly be autistic if they give meaningful eye contact or if they are worried about other people’s feelings....these are the constant battles so many people with autism and their parents face and it’s being validated in your book. How many times have I heard “there’s nothing wrong with that kid...she’s fine...she gives beautiful eye contact and look at how she’s caring for that child that just fell on the ground.” I almost quit reading..... The lack of research into this (and child welfare and other issues) becomes further apparent as the book moves along. In a brief paragraph the character, Julia, a supposedly professional psychiatrist, contemplated “Asperger’s Syndrome, Ratt’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD NOS.” Ratt’s Syndrome? I assume you mean Rhett’s Syndrome ???I do see where I might have enjoyed this book at one time, and where many other people might give it the 4 stars – interesting plot, smooth and easy reading....but having 3 children on the Autism Spectrum, being caught up in a world of therapy and psychiatric assessments, I found the characters misleading and lacking authenticity. Hannah attempted to purport Julia as a highly esteemed psychiatrist, yet was one that if she had spoken to me about my children in the unintelligible ways she did in the book, I’d immediately ask for a different psychiatrist to be assigned to my children....the child welfare portion of this case was also not in the least well researched. I was also quite insulted by the character of the small-town police chief.I don’t think Hannah is a horrible author – I just think she hasn’t found the genre that is most suitable to her writing....I’d like to see her concentrating on teen novels....that’s not an insult...it’s a lateral movement, really...with the 3 books I’ve read of Hannah’s I believe it’s a better fit for her writing.
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  • Barb Butler
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting plot. I struggled with the quality of the writing, the easy/awkward introduction of a romantic subplot, and the oversimplification of "small town life". Just to start, in this book "small town life" = the REPEATED mention of who was homecoming queen 20 years ago by almost EVERY adult character in the novel, loads of uninformed gossip, the collective "best friendness" of the entire police department, etc., etc., & ...etc. I also wish the child welfare issues were researched more c Interesting plot. I struggled with the quality of the writing, the easy/awkward introduction of a romantic subplot, and the oversimplification of "small town life". Just to start, in this book "small town life" = the REPEATED mention of who was homecoming queen 20 years ago by almost EVERY adult character in the novel, loads of uninformed gossip, the collective "best friendness" of the entire police department, etc., etc., & ...etc. I also wish the child welfare issues were researched more carefully and were less sensational - if the voices behind this book want the press to stop seeking a scapegoat whenever something terrible or unpleasant happens - it seems the author would try to do the same and honestly examine every side of this fictional story.I also struggled with the idea that the main "voice" of the book was trying to prove herself as a leader in her field, but she missed OBVIOUS psychological issues with her sister, "boy friend", co-worker, best friend, etc.Anyway, quick/mediocre read.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    I would run to the train after work just so I can sit down and read this book, and I was so sad when it ended. A little girl raised by wolves is rescued in a small town, and she changes people's lives as she adapts to her new world. Really, really good story!!
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  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    January 1, 1970
    Given the reviews I seem to be very much in the minority, but I thought this was a wretchedly written book. It had an interesting premise. Two sisters in small-town Washington state, a child psychiatrist and the town's police chief, try to help a six-year-old feral child. My problem is that from the start the book took an overly melodramatic tone as it related Doctor Julia Cates facing a decision in a lawsuit about a tragedy involving a patient of hers. Her sister, Ellie Barton, is an incongruou Given the reviews I seem to be very much in the minority, but I thought this was a wretchedly written book. It had an interesting premise. Two sisters in small-town Washington state, a child psychiatrist and the town's police chief, try to help a six-year-old feral child. My problem is that from the start the book took an overly melodramatic tone as it related Doctor Julia Cates facing a decision in a lawsuit about a tragedy involving a patient of hers. Her sister, Ellie Barton, is an incongruous mix--a chief of police with the mentality of a "small-town beauty queen." But what made this an excruciating read was the cliche-ridden prose. Sentences and phrases such as "listening to the surf, thinking how much it sounded like beat of her heart" "could have heard a pin drop" and "all hell broke loose." Goodness. There's too many good books and too little time to put up with that.
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  • Lisa Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge fan of Kristin Hannah; WINTERS GARDEN and THE NIGHTINGALE are two of my all-time favorite novels. Somehow I missed MAGIC HOUR the first time around, but picked it up last week from my local bookstore. What a beautiful novel! The characters are complex and compelling. From the first page you are captivated by Alice, an obviously abused and feral little girl, venturing out of the deep woods for the first time, her wolf pup clutched close. I read the first half of the novel in a single s I’m a huge fan of Kristin Hannah; WINTERS GARDEN and THE NIGHTINGALE are two of my all-time favorite novels. Somehow I missed MAGIC HOUR the first time around, but picked it up last week from my local bookstore. What a beautiful novel! The characters are complex and compelling. From the first page you are captivated by Alice, an obviously abused and feral little girl, venturing out of the deep woods for the first time, her wolf pup clutched close. I read the first half of the novel in a single sitting, staying up well past my bed time and happy I did so. Couldn’t wait to get back to it the next day. I love novels with characters you genuinely care about and root for. MAGIC HOURS captures an entire small town that feels like home. Thank you, Hannah, for another great read!
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  • Tania
    January 1, 1970
    Exactly what I needed after a 970 page read - quick, easy and even a bit predictable, but with likable characters. I even found myself crying at the end. A nice beach read.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This was an excellent book. The story was sad, about a young girl who was kidnapped and taken deep into the woods. How she survived, and what happens to her when she re-enters society. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite Authors....this is one of her best.
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  • Frances Caballo
    January 1, 1970
    Don't Bother Buying this BookI purchased this book because I enjoyed THE GREAT ALONE. Unfortunately the writing of this book was not of the same caliber. In fact, I doubt I will ever buy another book by this author. The idea of discovering a child who has grown up in the woods was interesting but the author could not carry it off. Plus the love story (which wasn't needed) was too unrealistic. Save your money for a better book.
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  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    After reading my second book by Hannah he is at the top of my must read list. I can't wait to get my hands on more of her books. I can read them in one sitting and love every word she writes.
  • Jennifer Stratton
    January 1, 1970
    I am really liking Kirsten Hannah! After reading Firefly Lane, my mom reccomended this book. It was good, the ending was the best part in that it made me cry and cry. I love when a book; someone's written thoughts; makes you so moved, that you laugh, cry, get mad at a character. I do have to say at times, the characters did and said things that didn't feel in sync with the character development. I was very pleased with how Alice's character came out though. I did hope for a little more in that a I am really liking Kirsten Hannah! After reading Firefly Lane, my mom reccomended this book. It was good, the ending was the best part in that it made me cry and cry. I love when a book; someone's written thoughts; makes you so moved, that you laugh, cry, get mad at a character. I do have to say at times, the characters did and said things that didn't feel in sync with the character development. I was very pleased with how Alice's character came out though. I did hope for a little more in that area. Other than that, this book delivers a great story that I read as quickly as I could with two kids! I would reccomend it - definately. Would give 3.5 stars if I could.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    OKay, I cried like a baby - Great characters, loved it!
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Eh. The text box that appears when you hover over the second star in the rating bar describes it perfectly: "it was ok."The author has an interesting premise: a disgraced psychiatrist, a little wild girl who mysteriously appears from the woods, and the "who did it?" mystery that ties it together. However, the writing just isn't that good. With some books you get over this and just enjoy the story, but I couldn't do it with this book. I felt like the author was imitating what she imag Eh. The text box that appears when you hover over the second star in the rating bar describes it perfectly: "it was ok."The author has an interesting premise: a disgraced psychiatrist, a little wild girl who mysteriously appears from the woods, and the "who did it?" mystery that ties it together. However, the writing just isn't that good. With some books you get over this and just enjoy the story, but I couldn't do it with this book. I felt like the author was imitating what she imagined was powerful, emotional writing. I honestly thought this was a debut novel so I was pretty shocked that the author has multiple bestsellers. (Man I sound like a book snob, don't I?)To be fair, I don't think I would have read this if it wasn't our book club pick. I think the fact that the back cover is a giant photo of the author is a clear indication of what kind of book this is and I would have put it right back down. And I finished it, so obviously the plot was compelling enough to make me skim to the end. It's just that with so many books in the world, I wished I spent these few hours on something else.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    I’m such a fan of Hannah’s writing and storytelling. She really does have a gift for giving her readers a full view of her characters from start to finish. I went into this book not knowing anything and though I thought this story was compelling in many parts I think her recent works are absolutely remarkable. She has grown as a writer for sure but that doesn’t mean I didn’t really enjoy “Magic Hour”; because I did! I found it too be a great page turner and heartwarming. It felt cinematic in man I’m such a fan of Hannah’s writing and storytelling. She really does have a gift for giving her readers a full view of her characters from start to finish. I went into this book not knowing anything and though I thought this story was compelling in many parts I think her recent works are absolutely remarkable. She has grown as a writer for sure but that doesn’t mean I didn’t really enjoy “Magic Hour”; because I did! I found it too be a great page turner and heartwarming. It felt cinematic in many ways and that just goes to show the talent Hannah possesses!
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah is a well researched, beautiful read about a "wolf girl". This emotional read has many heart tugging moments. The characters (Julia, Ellie, Max and Cal ) of this book are equally interesting as they each experience self growth, family bonds and love. The reader experiences all of Alice's physical, mental and spiritual growth. This book will keep you engaged until the last page. 4 stars
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  • Kris Irvin
    January 1, 1970
    Riveting, as are most of Hannah's books. But I thought the ending was a little rushed and a little fake. It wasn't my favorite Kristin Hannah read but it was still okay.
  • Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
    January 1, 1970
    You know when something completely coincidental happens but the result is so serendipitous you'd swear it was fate, the universe, or a deity of some kind pulling strings? I think that is what happened with this book. Kristin Hannah has written a lot of books, but this is the only one I've really been drawn to reading (the others seem like they would make me really ragey or really sad). While raiding my sister's bookshelves to trade out another book I found this one, untouched and a little dusty You know when something completely coincidental happens but the result is so serendipitous you'd swear it was fate, the universe, or a deity of some kind pulling strings? I think that is what happened with this book. Kristin Hannah has written a lot of books, but this is the only one I've really been drawn to reading (the others seem like they would make me really ragey or really sad). While raiding my sister's bookshelves to trade out another book I found this one, untouched and a little dusty under a pile of other books. The one book from this author I want to read and my sister just happens to have a brand new copy? Of course I was stealing borrowing it! Praise the Book Gods that orchestrated this meeting of reader and book. I loved, LOVED, this book. It made me ragey. It made me sad. It made me happy. And that roller coaster of emotion is what made this book great. They came from the story and not cheap, emotional manipulation. The characters felt very real. They were flawed but likable. Their motivations were clear and they acted within reason.Dr. Julia Cates's life is in shambles. Her professional career has been destroyed by the unforeseeable actions of one of her patients. She has been hauled into court, and had her name dragged through the mud in the national news. Having lost the man she was in love with awhile ago, and then losing all of her patients she was at rock bottom when her big sister, Ellie, calls her for a favor that requires her to return to the tiny town of Rain Valley where she grew up – a place that doesn't hold many fond memories for her. At the start of the book I thought she was an ass, but then as the story unfolded I could clearly see why. It was a defense mechanism. As her work with the Girl progressed she became the most amazing character to me. I absolutely loved her.Ellie Cates, Rain Valley's sheriff, was an ass, too, but it was obvious her character was meant to be self-absorbed in that way. It's clear she loved her sister and everyone else in her life, but she refused to do so at the expense of herself. The reader can tell she's a good person, but at 39 she still had some growing up to do. The secondary characters, particularly Cal, Peanut, and Max were all well drawn characters that I loved as well. Even if they were behaving in ways I didn't understand. Finding the Girl, and attempting to help her, lead all the characters, but especially Julia and Ellie, through a journey of self-discovery that changed their view of the world and themselves. It was all fantastically done and never did I think it was unrealistic. Except in the case of George. He was another character where you could tell he did love, but he was ultimately very selfish. For some reason it had to be all or nothing with him and it didn't need to be that way. It was for his best interests, not the person he loved. He refused to listen to everything he was being told about the situation and went forward with what he wanted and needed. The abrupt ending with regard to him was the only part of the book I felt was stretching. I could see him doing what he did, just not as quickly. The Girl, later named Alice, absolutely killed me. She appears, dirty, wild, and clutching a wolf pup in a Rain Valley park. She can't communicate, or refuses to, and no one is sure if she can be saved. With Girl we were given some of the cutest moments as well as some of the saddest. The book was told in third person limited and it would periodically shift to Girl's POV and her voice, while incredibly poignant, could be uneven. Sometimes she knew things and sometimes she didn't. For instance, she started off calling "snow" the "the falling white" but then later refers to it by name. However, her view of the world was always clear. Her terror of being in this place that is wholly new to her, her confusion, her sadness, her longing, the depth of the damage that was done to her, and her frustration at not being understood. This was one of those books where you could tell the author did a massive amount or research and really tried to faithfully answer the "what if" of the situation. Girl could have been written in such a way that I couldn't connect with her because nothing about her seems real. Instead, I damn near gave my heart to that little girl. I loved her as the characters came to love her. She didn't feel overdrawn at all and her response to the trauma she suffered and the developmental delays forced on her seemed natural. While reading her scenes I'd vacillate between saying, "Oh, my God, this poor baby." To, "Oh, my God she is just the cutest, sweetest thing ever." My heart broke for her a thousand times but it also swelled with love for her as well. I don't remember the last time I loved a character this much. It's been a couple of weeks since I finished this book and I still have a physical reaction when I think about her. Julia's work with Girl was fully fleshed out as well. The results of her work may have happened quickly but it was at least detailed. I wasn't scratching my head saying, "But, wait, how did she…?" Their interaction reminded me a bit of The Miracle Worker in the way Annie Sullivan got through to Hellen Keller. There was a Q&A with Kristin Hannah in my copy of the book and when asked why Magic Hour is one of her favorite books she's written she says: The answer to that is easy: Alice. I have written a lot of characters over the years but few of them have stayed with me the way that Alice has. I fell in love with everything about her–the way she perceived the world, her remarkable courage and strength, her capacity to love. I did a lot of research on feral and abused children in the creation of Alice, and honestly the stories of these children were absolutely heartbreaking. I felt a real burden to make Alice true to her circumstances (view spoiler)[and yet give her the tools for a normal life (hide spoiler)]. This doesn't surprise me at all because it's exactly the way I feel about her and Hannah feeling that way really came through in her crafting of the character. As did all of her research.There were two possible directions in which Hannah could have taken the story. I'm glad the story unfolded the way it did and not the other route that was, I guess, a red herring. The latter would have been infuriating whereas the former created a truly complex scenario that didn't have an easy answer. Once the direction of the story became apparent the ending was very predictable. The thing is: I really don't care. It would have killed me had it worked out any other way and would have been the greatest disservice to the most important character. As it was, by this point, I was sobbing so hard I had to put the book down. And then I actually couldn't stop crying. I haven't had that sort of reaction to a book since, "Fred's eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face." This book is definitely a tearjerker, but it wasn't cheap to me. Like those certain authors who write endings where they create some contrived plot twist to screw with your emotions. I feel like the flow of the story was natural and it just happened to make me bawl my eyes out. Mostly because of how well written the characters were and my love for them. While I maintain that the resolution felt like it came too quickly, I can at least buy it because of the severity of what was happening. (view spoiler)[Any father who claims to love his daughter would have to do what is best for her seeing her mutilate herself like that. The thing that gets me is why he couldn't allow for a transition. Even if he was going to be selfish and take her away from the woman she had come to love why couldn't he move slowly enough for her to get to know him instead of abruptly taking her away? He didn't listen to a word they said and then was shocked at the results. This isn't the only book like this where, for some reason, there was some excuse for not transitioning the kid from one caregiver to the other. It's not appropriate to make a clean break. Which is why things went so badly so quickly thus prompting George to return Alice almost immediately. (hide spoiler)] It was what had to happen without creating more monsters. The relationships between the main characters and secondary characters evolved throughout the story as well. There was a romance that actually felt fully formed. There are a lot of novels where the romance is the focus of the entire book and they are not as successful. There are plenty of scenes that have nothing to do with the primary storyline but they were handled with such grace that I didn't feel as though we were straying too far from the point. Usually I'd be yelling, "OMG, get back to the freaking story!" but I didn't even think about it reading this book.I was left with some lingering questions, (view spoiler)[What happened with Julia's reputation, or George's? What did the investigators glean from the site where Girl was held in the forest? There is very little Alice tells us and there is no reason to make her remember, so it would have been nice to get some more information from the crime scene itself. (hide spoiler)], but nothing that pesters me to the point of overshadowing what was so amazing about this story. Yeah . . . my sister definitely isn't getting this book back. And I'll be looking for more Kristin Hannah books to read.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    When this book was recommended to me, I was anxious to get it and start reading! I must admit, that for me, this book certainly didn't start out as a 4-star book. The writing was a bit simple and trite. I didn't know much about the plot before I picked this up and hadn't read any of the other reviews--I usually don't, so I am not predisposed prior to reading a book. As I read through it, it built momentum. Initially, I remember wondering how this book could've received 4 stars with this simple a When this book was recommended to me, I was anxious to get it and start reading! I must admit, that for me, this book certainly didn't start out as a 4-star book. The writing was a bit simple and trite. I didn't know much about the plot before I picked this up and hadn't read any of the other reviews--I usually don't, so I am not predisposed prior to reading a book. As I read through it, it built momentum. Initially, I remember wondering how this book could've received 4 stars with this simple and cliched writing style. But by the end, I was hooked and couldn't give it any less than 4 stars.Here is what didn't really work for me:- The adult relationships--particularly the romantic ones, seemed flimsy and underdeveloped. This was especially true with both sisters. The relationships were there, but it was less than believable for me--one example is Ellie and George, that actually irritated me.- The ending was wrapped up at lightning speed and didn't match the pace of the rest of the book. It was also extremely tidy (though I appreciated it).- I'm not sure how accurate this is and I just resigned myself to suspend some reality and just be entertained by the story so I could enjoy it. But I do think the author did a good job.- I could have used some more details regarding the actual crime(s).Here's what made it a 4-star read for me:- I really cared about the characters--especially Julia and the little girl- The last quarter of the book invoked *real* emotion- The voice of the little girl was well done and easily transitioned to and from- The storyline and plot was very intriguing and interestingI was skeptical when I started this book--through the first 1/4 of it. But the momentum built and I am so glad I read this book. Kristin Hannah has my attention now. This was the first of her books that I've read, but it won't be the last.
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  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    This book deals with a lot of interesting or thought provoking topics: responsibility of psychologists, love after divorce, second chances, going home, parenting, "wild child" (as in a child raised outside of society rather than a hippie or something), kidnapping, media, dangers of ignorant judgment, drunk driving, rights of biological parenting, etc. Yes, it covered quite a spectrum.I thought most of the writing was very good. One description kind of threw me—when it said the clouds This book deals with a lot of interesting or thought provoking topics: responsibility of psychologists, love after divorce, second chances, going home, parenting, "wild child" (as in a child raised outside of society rather than a hippie or something), kidnapping, media, dangers of ignorant judgment, drunk driving, rights of biological parenting, etc. Yes, it covered quite a spectrum.I thought most of the writing was very good. One description kind of threw me—when it said the clouds were the color of old fingernails. In a way it was good, because I know what that color is, but in another way it was gross . . .I liked the descriptions of the small town. It takes place in the isolated Pacific Northwest. I cannot imagine living in that much rain. How do they keep their crawlspaces dry and mold free?? (Sorry that was a tangent.) :)There are some language problems, such as swearing, one very bad word, and the Lord's name is misused in many ways. (If you want to borrow my copy, all of the swear words are crossed out!) I also did not like that while strong marriages were shown (for example Peanut and her husband) (her name is really Penelope Nutter), and in general it was shown how important parents are, I did not like that sex outside of marriage was shown as pretty much the norm. The details in that are not really explicit; although one scene had too much information. (Again, if you borrow my copy, it's marked out. So let me know if you'd like to borrow it.)Those worldly misfortunes aside, I thought it to be an interesting read that took me out of my regular sphere of thought. I definitely found myself crying at one point.I liked how she uses quotes from The Velveteen Rabbit in different places in the book, specially about how LOVE makes you REAL.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I hovered between 4 and 5 stars on this one. I do believe it was an amazing story expressed beautifully by the author. Tons of life lessons, mystery, suspense, joy, humor and more. I was so afraid the author would ruin the book for me with a sad ending; but, although it had it's heart-wrenching moments, I was smiling as I read the last page. (after crying for several pages before though lol)Right now I have 4 stars marked...but I'm seriously considering changing that to 5. I think what is I hovered between 4 and 5 stars on this one. I do believe it was an amazing story expressed beautifully by the author. Tons of life lessons, mystery, suspense, joy, humor and more. I was so afraid the author would ruin the book for me with a sad ending; but, although it had it's heart-wrenching moments, I was smiling as I read the last page. (after crying for several pages before though lol)Right now I have 4 stars marked...but I'm seriously considering changing that to 5. I think what is holding me back is the sadness of the story, how difficult it is to read about children being mistreated. However, as I continue to debate this in my mind, I think the author presented such an upsetting subject in a very unique and tolerable way. I think I will change that rating to a 5 star.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful! A surprising tale of a little girl found alone, an ostracized child psychologist who comes home to help her, the homecoming-queen-turned-cop sister, the flirtatious and wildly handsome doctor who has lost a lot in his past and a quirky town who stands by them all amidst a nationwide media frenzy. Everyone wants to know more about this little girl and the renowned-turned-shunned (and misunderstood) physchologist who is committed to helping her. This story is filled with heartache, love Wonderful! A surprising tale of a little girl found alone, an ostracized child psychologist who comes home to help her, the homecoming-queen-turned-cop sister, the flirtatious and wildly handsome doctor who has lost a lot in his past and a quirky town who stands by them all amidst a nationwide media frenzy. Everyone wants to know more about this little girl and the renowned-turned-shunned (and misunderstood) physchologist who is committed to helping her. This story is filled with heartache, love lost and found, growing and learning about themselves, and sticking together as a community to protect their own. Lovely, lovely story!
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  • Kylie H
    January 1, 1970
    I have had this book for a while and finally read it. This is quite a remarkable story about a little girl who literally wanders out of the forest, apparently having lived wild for most of her short life. She is carrying a wolf pup and can move quickly and nimbly. Shrouded by mystery it soon becomes apparent that she has been subjected to significant cruelty that has left her mute and animalistic.Two women try to help her, Ellie the local police chief who is trying to track her family and I have had this book for a while and finally read it. This is quite a remarkable story about a little girl who literally wanders out of the forest, apparently having lived wild for most of her short life. She is carrying a wolf pup and can move quickly and nimbly. Shrouded by mystery it soon becomes apparent that she has been subjected to significant cruelty that has left her mute and animalistic.Two women try to help her, Ellie the local police chief who is trying to track her family and Julia a recently disgraced child psychiatrist. Not only do these two women carry a lot of baggage they are sisters who have grown apart. Can this child bring them back together, or blow them further apart.The characters in the book are wonderful and I shed quite a few tears for this child and what she has to endure.
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  • Jennefer
    January 1, 1970
    First of all let me start by saying I am a HUGE fan of Hannah. I am on a mission to read every single book written by this fabulous author!! This was a great read and I highly recommend it. The novel introduces sisters Ellie Barton and Julia Cates who are extremely different individuals. Julia is a brilliant, dedicated, work-obsessed child psychologist in Los Angeles. Ellie is beautiful and confidant plus she was the homecoming queen in her day. Ellie is now the chief of police and still lives i First of all let me start by saying I am a HUGE fan of Hannah. I am on a mission to read every single book written by this fabulous author!! This was a great read and I highly recommend it. The novel introduces sisters Ellie Barton and Julia Cates who are extremely different individuals. Julia is a brilliant, dedicated, work-obsessed child psychologist in Los Angeles. Ellie is beautiful and confidant plus she was the homecoming queen in her day. Ellie is now the chief of police and still lives in the home where the two sisters were raised in the hometown of Rain Valley in the Pacific Northwest, a small town on the edge of the vast north woods. The book begins with a scene involving Dr. Julie Cates. She is dealing with a tragedy of one of her young teenaged patients who cracked and shot and killed several students. Julia is being sued by the victims' families that say she should have been able to prevent it. Ellie meanwhile, in the small town where nothing ever happens, is called to deal with a small child found up in a tree, terrified and growling. Police Chief Ellie and Dr. Max Cerrasin realize fairly quickly that this particular girl, possibly five or six years old, has been restrained, malnourished, possibly abused. The most difficult part is that she can't or won't speak. Ellie quickly calls her sister Julia, who is grateful for a chance to escape her agonizing new life. Ellie explains to Julia what they have found and Julia expects to be face to face with a traumatized lost child, or maybe even an autistic child. Julia quickly realizes this case is anything over than routine and this is something very, very rare. The child, whom they name Alice, has a strong bond with animals namely a wolf pup whom she is found with up in the tree. The taming and teaching of little wild Alice is a task of much patience, caution & care. Julia accepts this task and takes it head on with zealous dedication. While Julia is working with Alice, Ellie is handling the police aspect of this case trying to identify Alice and see if she can identify her past. Working with Alice changes and enriches the whole town especially those closely involved with her teachings and care. All involved learn as much about themselves as little Alice does when she learns to trust, eat, speak, dress herself and do things normal 6 year olds do. They are all transformed by their dedication to this child. This book is full of pain, happiness, and most of all hope. This is a great read! Happy reading my friends!!
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  • Miz
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a roller coaster of emotions for such a little book! This is a hidden gem and I read it in less than 24 hours... Having never heard of Kristin Hannah I was pleasantly surprised to find a writing style similar to Jodi Picoult, but with a story line that pulled at the heart strings (something that Jodi hasn't managed to do in most of her recent book). Thank you Good Reads for another outstanding recommendation :)
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    I have read the most recent books by Kristin Hannah, but somehow this one slipped past me. It was recommended by Anne Bogel on her What Should I Read Next podcast on two different interviews, so I felt the need to give it a try. The story is so good. It pulled me in on the first page and kept my keen interest until the very last page. My favorite kind of book. I highly recommend it.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    An engaging novel about a discredited child psychologist, and a "wild" child. Of course there are romantic elements, but they were well done and credible. Dr. Julia Cates returns to her hometown in rural Washington state, where her sister is sheriff. It's perfect timing as Julia is being pursued by the media after a former patient commits a multiple murder. Julia is called home after the appearance of a young girl who emerges from the woods with only a wolf as a companion.This book k An engaging novel about a discredited child psychologist, and a "wild" child. Of course there are romantic elements, but they were well done and credible. Dr. Julia Cates returns to her hometown in rural Washington state, where her sister is sheriff. It's perfect timing as Julia is being pursued by the media after a former patient commits a multiple murder. Julia is called home after the appearance of a young girl who emerges from the woods with only a wolf as a companion.This book kept me captivated but I rated it four stars because of some aspects of the portrayal of the little girl (Alice) who had been living wild. I do have an advanced degree in language learning and the details on Alice's language development were over simplistic and in many ways misleading. But it is a novel not a scientific treatise. This is an older novel of Hannah's and after her success with The Nightingale ( for some reason the insert book feature isn't working), this was rereleased. She is a prolific author, and this is above average contemporary fiction.
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  • Carol Brill
    January 1, 1970
    Ms. Hannah has developed an amazingly sympathetic character who grabbed me from her first appearance and kept mr rooting for her and turning pages. Yes, there is also romance and family relationships, but for me Girl, Alice carries this story
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    When a wild child emerges from the woods traumatized and mute, police chief Ellie calls for her sister Julia, a disgraced child psychiatrist. The girl, who they call Alice, appears to have lived in the woods for several years, tortured and bound by someone. Slowly, Julia breaks through Alice’s trauma, while healing her own wounds. A new threat lingers and may disrupt all the progress Alice has made.I prefer Kristin Hannah’s older books much more than her new ones. MAGIC HOURS, which When a wild child emerges from the woods traumatized and mute, police chief Ellie calls for her sister Julia, a disgraced child psychiatrist. The girl, who they call Alice, appears to have lived in the woods for several years, tortured and bound by someone. Slowly, Julia breaks through Alice’s trauma, while healing her own wounds. A new threat lingers and may disrupt all the progress Alice has made.I prefer Kristin Hannah’s older books much more than her new ones. MAGIC HOURS, which I first read years ago, is one of my favorites of Hannah’s. While not as literary as her newer works, MAGIC HOURS is full of heart.Julia’s connection with Alice, part therapeutic and part maternal, are just what the little girl needs. Though unconventional, Julia’s approach is the only way to integrate Alice back into society and figure out her true potential. Throughout history cases of several children found in the wild have been recorded with limited success. With situations where older children and teens are kidnapped and tortured for years, traditional therapeutic methods won’t work.MAGIC HOURS is a memorable story. That I can see myself reading again.
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  • Mandi1082
    January 1, 1970
    Was really invested in the story. Kristin Hannah sure knows how to write these stories that stabs you in the heart. Found some parts of the book boring but anything with Alice was beautiful and wonderfully told.
  • Michele | Bookish The Bookish Tea Room
    January 1, 1970
    As with all the Kristin Hannah books I’ve read, this one is a real tear-jerker. The story was beautiful and captivating. It had the perfect amount of mystery, romance and family drama. In a small town in the Pacific Northwest a young child suddenly appears out of the forest and no one knows who she is or where she came from. It’s loosely based on true events which makes the story even more intriguing. I really liked this book! I recommend.
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