About In the Blue Hour
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (November 1, 2016)
Elise Brooks dreams of a car accident on an icy road. Weeks later, her beloved husband, Michael, is killed in just such a crash. Now, overcome with grief and uncertainty, Elise believes his spirit may be following her in the form of a raven, trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.
Desperate to understand the signs, Elise embraces both the Native American wisdom she grew up with and the world of psychics and seers. So when a tarot-card reader suggests she take a journey to the mysterious address found in Michael’s old jacket, she embarks on a cross-country trek to follow the clues.
Accompanied by Tom Dugan, an engineer and scientist who does not believe in psychics, mediums, or the hoodoo “conjure woman” they encounter on the road, Elise navigates the rituals and omens of the spirit world in an attempt to unravel the mystery of her husband’s message.
It is the dark gray-black of midnight and Elise hears the car coming up the mountain pass, crunching snow as it climbs. She now sees the silver car as it tries to negotiate the slick turns, only to see the car miss a turn and slide to the edge of the cliff. The clouds block her view, but Elise can hear the sound of crunching metal as the car makes its way through the trees and rocks to settle at the bottom of the canyon. No one could survive this. As the clouds scuttle by she sees a black bird fly up from the wreckage, and soar off into the night. She has had this dream for quite some time now, months in fact. What does it mean, if anything? If she tells her husband of the dream will he think she’s crazy? She keeps the dream tucked into the recesses of her soul, only to later wish she had told someone.
Elise is a recent widow of 8 months who now lives alone in the cabin atop a mountain in New Mexico. She and her Native American husband, Michael, designed and built this together. They were soulmates and had been married for 25 years. Now Michael is gone, and the cabin feels more like a prison. She cannot escape her depression. She has never been anyone but Michael’s wife, and realizes she does not have an identity of her own.
Every now and then she thinks she hears Michael’s voice or sees something out of the corner of her eye, but it is gone before she can turn her head and identify it. Her best friend, Monica, tries to coax her off the mountain for an outing. She reluctantly goes and by accident, is it really an accident?, she come across a woman selling gem stones at the market place. The woman is a complete stranger, yet she knows things about Elise that no stranger should. Elise is shaken by what this woman knows, and because of this she is propelled forward to take a journey looking for answers.
At every turn, there is the black raven watching her. Elise is certain that this is the same bird that flew up from the wreckage of the car in her dreams. She is coming to believe that this raven carries the soul of Michael and that Michael has something to tell her.
Do you believe in an afterlife? Do you believe that spirits of the dead can contact you now? Do you think they might have a message for you? A wise man of religion once said that the veil between this world and the next is very thin.
Elise’s grandmother, Beulah, was a stern and unfriendly woman. Living with her blocked out joy. At times, though, she and Beulah would stand together outside as the afternoon turned into the deep ice-blue of dusk. Her grandmother called it the blue hour. It was the time of the evening when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest and it might be possible to make a connection with the departed. At the age of 7 this would creep out Elise. She didn’t want to have any connection with the departed. She pictured them as evil zombies and creatures like that.
Now at the age of 48, Elise is not sure if this is true. She desperately wants to connect with Michael again, even if it is only just once. She misses him so much. What is he trying to tell her? As she takes this journey, there are so many things she doesn’t understand. She does not know what to believe or who to trust.
Only by reading this book will you be able to find out what is hiding in the blue hour. Is Elise nuts and the things she is told, are they lucky guesses or true? Are there really such things as mediums and psychics? Are you analytical and could you explain these things away by rational thought or scientific methods? As you read, you may even end up asking yourself what you believe? Is contact with the dead possible? Is it evil or good to do so? Why try to communicate with the dead anyway?
The author weaves a very good tale. It is not just a story, though. It is a thought provoking novel that encourages the reader to think what about what she/he believes. I enjoyed this book. I was a tad disappointed in the ending, but then, I had already made up my mind as to what I expected. The ending was a lot different than I had anticipated, yet it fit with the story line. As you read will you assume the same conclusion I was anticipating or would the ending be what you thought would happen? The only way to know is if you read the book for yourself.
I would give this novel 4 of 5 stars.
About Elizabeth Hall
Elizabeth Hall, author of Miramont’s Ghost, has worked as a teacher, communications consultant, and radio host. She spent many years in the mountains of Colorado and now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she indulges in the fiber arts of knitting, beading, and weaving.
Elizabeth Hall’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Tuesday, November 1st: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, November 2nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, November 3rd: Books A La Mode (Guest Post/Giveaway)
Friday, November 4th: Bibliotica
Monday, November 7th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, November 8th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 9th: Write Read Life
Thursday, November 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, November 15th: Wall to Wall Books
Wednesday, November 16th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, November 17th: Broken Teepee
Monday, November 21st: Chick Lit Central
Tuesday, November 22nd: Mama Vicky Says
Wednesday, November 23rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
TBD: Brooke Blogs