Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalleyRelease Date: June 25, 2013
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A family's loyalty is put to the ultimate test in this haunting and unforgettable debut.
Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years-not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her alive was her boyfriend, Johnny-the high school wrestling star and Kirsten's older brother. No one knows what to believe-not even those closest to Johnny-but the event unhinges the quiet farming community and pins Kirsten's family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion.
Now, years later, a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, where they must confront the devastating event that shifted the trajectory of their lives. Tautly written and beautifully evocative, The Mourning Hours is a gripping portrayal of a family straining against extraordinary pressure, and a powerful tale of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness.
Well what is there to say about this book... I read a review on it and I was instantly intrigued with the story, so when I got a copy I knew I needed to read it. The heart of this book is about family relationships, and how one tragedy can unravel so much. This story is told from the perspective of Kristen Hammerstrom, who at the time of the tragedy is nine years old. The story begins with Kristen years later returning home and then we are taken back into the story of what happened.
I really loved the narrative voice of the young Kristen telling the story from her eyes. I felt that seeing everything from a nine-year-old's point of view brought out an interesting take, because she is so young she is very naive about everything that is happening around her. It was interesting to see her thoughts on the situation, instead of the thoughts of her brother, Johnny, who this is actually happening to. She doesn't understand everything that is going on, and yet in a way she notices things that others around her don't.
I think that Paula Treick DeBoard did a great job detailing the family interactions, and how easy it is for something to come in between that and build a wedge for the family members. I loved the dynamic and that not everything is perfect, this is a normal family that have their arguments. Everything changes once Stacy goes missing though, there are more arguments and no one is sure who to trust anymore, this one event tears the family apart.
This book details everything that the Hammarstrom family deals with following Stacy's disappearance, the hurt and the betrayal from such a small community. There is so much tragedy through the story, but you can see where the family really tries to keep it together for one another. I absolutely loved the ending of this book as well, it shows that no matter how long ago something happened, forgiveness is always possible.
I was actually surprised at the ending, I kept going because I needed to know what happened, and it's not what I expected at all. I felt that there was some dragging at places, but the author did a great job outlining the relationship between these two characters and showing us that nothing is as it seems. I ended up really enjoying this book and there were a lot of emotions running around as readers get closer to finding out what happened to Stacy.