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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
In the Vanishing Hour by Sarah Beth Martin is an interesting book that skips back and forth between the 1950s and its revealing conclusion in the 1970s. The story is set in Norumbega, Massachusetts, near the Charles River. The narrative tells of two drownings. Mac, a young boy, and Gwen several years later. Frances is Mac’s sister and the main protagonist. Gwen was a young woman who had recently come to live in Norumbega and worked in the same department store as Frances. Harris is one of the three boys who were always in trouble, but as a man, he was trying to forget his past and the guilt he had been carrying since boyhood. The drownings of Mac and Gwen are similar but there are no answers as to how or why they occurred. We follow Frances through the years as she deals with the loss of a brother and Gwen, whom she has just begun to know. Harris and his friends were suspects in the drownings but were never charged. When Harris first sees Frances she looks exactly like Gwen, which scares and intrigues him.
In the Vanishing Hour by Sarah Beth Martin is an exciting study of tragedy, friendship, loss, secrets and so much more. The book involves two mysteries with the same cast connecting them. It was impossible not to feel Frances's pain and Harris’s anguish throughout the story and to hope that they would both find the answers they were looking for. The two have a strange connection and readers are taken right along in the mystery until the answers are finally revealed. I did not at any point predict the revelations that pulled it all together and was surprised by the answers. In the Vanishing Hour provides a good measure of suspense, mystery, and a study of human nature. The book delivers all it promises. If you enjoy this genre, then it will not disappoint.