Hi guys, are you all having a great and sunny Bank Holiday?
Today I am especially THRILLED as I am kicking – off Tracy Rees’s blog tour, celebrating her newest release, “The Hourglass”. I adore Tracy and her books, I am probably one of the hugest fans of her writing and am always impatiently waiting for new book from this author. This time Tracy Rees has something different for us but – as always – the novel is full of brilliantly drawn characters and the most beautiful setting. “The Hourglass” is out this Thursday and if you haven’t pre – ordered your copy yet, then wait no longer! It’s a hooking, multi – layered read that I am sure you’re going to enjoy!
The Hourglass by Tracy Rees
Publishing Date: 4th May 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 544
Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
‘Tracy Rees is the most outstanding new voice in historical fiction’ Lucinda Riley. The powerful third novel from the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller Amy Snow.
- Sensible Nora has always taken success for granted, until suddenly her life begins to fall apart. Troubled by anxiety and nightmares, she finds herself drawn to the sweeping beaches of Tenby, a place she’s only been once before. Together with a local girl she rents a beautiful townhouse and slowly begins to settle in to her new life. But Tenby hides a secret, and Nora will soon discover that this little town by the sea has the power to heal even the most painful memories.
- Teenager Chloe visits Tenby every summer. She stays with relatives, and spends the long, IDYLLIC days on the beach. Every year is the same, until she meets a glamorous older boy and is instantly smitten. But on the night of their first date, Chloe comes to a realisation, the aftermath of which could haunt her forever.
The Hourglass is a moving novel about reinvention and reconciliation; about finding love even after it seems too late, about family and the healing power of a magical place by the sea.
After two strictly historical fiction novels, Tracy Rees is trying her hand at more modern, present fiction. I must admit, “Hourglass” was not my most favourite book by this author, “Amy Snow” is still the top of my favourite reads ever, but this new release has tons of charm, is a beautiful story and I think that the author has passed this acid test with flying colours, delivering a time slip book full of feelings, emotions and relationships.
Yes, I admit, I was expecting something different, as Tracy Rees got me used to her brilliant, rich historical stories, so perhaps this is why I was a little bit confused at the beginning, but soon I started to feel very comfortable with the story and its flaw. It is a little on the slow side, this book, and compared to a very long introduction and the slow development the end seems a little too rushed and too short, and it bothered me a little, as I think this story needed a few more sparkles in the middle. It took me some time to find the connection, the tie – in, to see what all the characters have in common and what is the story that bonds them together, so maybe this is why I couldn’t get into the book for some time, looking for the clues and wondering why.
I appreciate that the chapters about Chloe and her summers are short, because how much can you write about Tenby Teens Dance and everybody admiring Chloe and her beauty and her problems with her cousin. What I so adored in those chapters was the way the feelings between Chloe and Llew were developing, without them seeing it for themselves, without them knowing or realising. It was so young and fresh and honest, however it was not at all obvious what’s going to happen with them, and I liked this small element of this mystery.
I appreciate the fact that Tracy Rees tried something different but, as much as I adored this book, I think that the previous novels by the author were better and I’d love if the next book by her were again deeply historical fiction. I am not saying that there was something wrong with “The Hourglass” – because there wasn’t, it was a beautiful story about redemption, finding love when we’re not looking for it or lost hope that we’re going to find it, about family bonds and I enjoyed every single minute spent in the company of Nora, Chloe and Jasmine. As always, the writing was beautiful, so full of feelings. The rich descriptions were vivid and drawing you in. The descriptions of the 1950’s summers, the clothes, make – ups and people’s personalities were a real joy, so vivid they were and the author brought all those elements so easily to life, and the excitement about going to the dance was so easy to grasp through the pages. I think that Chloe story was much more colourful than this of Nora, to be honest, and I couldn’t wait to see what more in store there is for her. For me Chloe was a very spirited young girl. She knew when and where to be lovely and brave and she knew when she’s able to show a little fire. There was a passion in her and she wore her heart on her sleeve. In comparison, Nora seemed a little pale, to be honest, and it took me some time to warm to her, to get into her and to understand her, but when it finally happened I truly fell for her and kept everything crossed for her. Nora underwent a transformation – at the beginning she was a uptight, closed in herself woman who seemed to have problems with everything and everyone, having anxiety problems, but slowly she started to come out of her shell and she proved she can be spontaneous, and I liked it very much. However I have never warmed to her completely, I had a feeling she has built a barrier around her that I couldn’t bypass. But – I loved to see how she was slowly regaining confidence, how she was finding her peace and her own feet.
There is a steady group of characters in “The Hourglass”, not too many and not too less. Some of them are very well described and portrayed and some of them, even though they are relatively significant characters, like for example Chloe’s cousin – well, I had a feeling that I am not able to get to know her as much as I’d like, that she’s holding back, that there is more to her but I still can’t say what it was. The little town of Tenby, where most of the story takes place is like a character of its own. Both Nora and Chloe quickly fall under its spell, the town has a great impact of them and all the best and worst things in their lives happen in Tenby.
There were too many moments, for my liking, when the story seemed to either drag on or stay in place, and there were too many repetitions of the same situations. There were not many twists and turns in this book, it was kept on a very steady level, so maybe this is why that when a twist appeared here or there eventually, they took me really by surprise, especially the one with Chloe. I was expecting something, however the things didn’t fall into place so completely, or maybe I was not careful enough, I don’t know.
Altogether, “The Hourglass” was an absorbing story about some women’s journey to find truth and their second chances. It was written in a beautiful, engaging way, full of emotions, the setting was gorgeous and effortlessly brought to life, and I could understand Chloe and Nora’s love to the place. Tracy Rees’s writing style is so incredibly warm and inviting and she can for certain create a very realistic fictional world, so that you feel like a part of the characters’ life and I really love this feeling. The author proves that with every new release she’s going from strength to strength and when picking up her novel you are going to receive a beautiful story with strong characters and well developed plot – and it is the same with “The Hourglass”. Highly recommended!
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