Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: The Steady Running of the Hour by Justin Go

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 480
Received: Received an copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: April 15, 2014
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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this mesmerizing debut, a young American discovers he may be heir to the unclaimed estate of an English World War I officer, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the elusive truth.

Just after graduating college, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco. It contains the phone number of a Mr. J.F. Prichard of Twyning Hooper, Solicitors, in London and news that could change Tristan's life forever.

In 1924, Prichard explains, an English alpinist named Ashley Walsingham died attempting to summit Mt. Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. But the estate was never claimed. Information has recently surfaced suggesting Tristan may be the rightful heir, but unless he can find documented evidence, the fortune will be divided among charitable beneficiaries in less than two months.

In a breathless race from London archives to Somme battlefields to the Eastfjords of Iceland, Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of the First World War and the pioneer British expeditions to Mt. Everest. Following his instincts through a maze of frenzied research, Tristan soon becomes obsessed with the tragic lovers, and he crosses paths with a mysterious French girl named Mireille who suggests there is more to his quest than he realizes. Tristan must prove that he is related to Imogen to inherit Ashley's fortune but the more he learns about the couple, the stranger his journey becomes.

The Steady Running of the Hour announces the arrival of a stunningly talented author. Part love story, part historical tour de force, Justin Go's novel is utterly compelling, unpredictable, and heartrending.

My Review:

I didn't really know much about this book when I went into it, but I was surprised at the intriguing story and I really found myself wanting to know more not only about the characters of Ashley and Imogen but also more about Tristan himself. The story opens up with Tristan receiving a mysterious letter that eventually leads him on an adventurous search.

I will say that this was a long book and sometimes the story could be a bit tedious, but despite some of these things the mystery of what happened between Imogen and Ashley will captivate many readers. The novel moves back and forth from Tristan's adventures of solving this mystery and finding out what happened between these two, to the story of Imogen and Ashley, so that readers can actually get a first hand look into their lives. As much as I loved the story of the lovers, I seemed to become more invested in Tristan's story as the novel progressed. I really felt like his search was also a way for him to grow up and learn more about himself and what matters to him.

Tristan meets so many interesting people along the way, and he is able to get them to help him with his search even if it sometimes seems like a far-fetched request. As the days begin to diminish for Tristan to find this mystery, he becomes more involved in learning something else that may not necessarily be important. Tristan is one to follow the facts and everything he finds leads him to new adventures and new pieces to the puzzle. What really kept me going through this book, other than just the mystery, was all the places that Tristan traveled to, he follows Imogen and Ashley through letters and tries to go places that they have been to.

This is definitely an unpredictable story, you never really know where Tristan will end up next. The one thing that I disliked was how I felt after finishing the book, it seemed that things were left unfinished and there are still so many questions left unanswered. A part of me felt like it was missing an ending and that there is still more to Tristan's story. I do think that this is a very engrossing novel that you want to take your time with and really get to know the characters in both stories. A great historical story with an intriguing mystery, I recommend picking this one up. 

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I like an open ending but sometimes you want some answers. You've definitely got me intrigued.



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