Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My Thoughts: The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner

The Husband Hour
by Jamie Brenner
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Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780316394901
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Source: Netgalley

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When a young widow's reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she's forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future. (Goodreads)

The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner was definitely one of my most anticipated reads for April, and I'm so excited to have finally read it. I read Jamie's previous book, The Forever Summer, last year, and really enjoyed the story. So, of course, I was really looking forward to reading this new book by her as well!

The story is about a young widow named Lauren, who lost her high school sweetheart/star hockey player husband after he enlisted in the Army and died in combat overseas. I found myself relating to Lauren over and over again as the story went along, and I imagine I would react much the same way she did if I were ever in her shoes. You can definitely feel her pain, and I couldn't help but grieve with her as the story went along. I have to say, I kind of love Lauren's family. They are so far from perfect, but that strong family bond is still there, which is something that I also loved in Jamie's previous book as well. And then there is Matt, the filmmaker that turns Lauren's world upside down. I did not expect to like Matt as much as I did, but he definitely grew on me over time. So many well written characters in this story.

The storyline for The Husband Hour was a bit sadder than that of the previous book I read, but was still engrossing nonetheless. (Again, I can't even imagine being in Lauren's shoes, though I'd probably react much the same way she had if that ever happened to me.) I liked that the story is told in both previous and past tense, and by different narrators as well. (I love books that have multiple narrators!) This story has quite a few twists and turns along the way, a few that I probably should have seen coming, but didn't, and that definitely kept things interesting. I also really loved the setting for the book. Books set at the beach have recently become favorites of mine, and I'm glad that winter is coming to an end so that I can add these books back into my TBR.

Overall; I think Jamie Brenner has another hit on her hands with The Husband Hour! The book has great characters, an engrossing storyline, and a wonderful setting. I really enjoyed it, and I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for more new books by Jamie in the future!

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