Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review: The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner (audio)

Title: The Husband Hour
Author: Jamie Brenner
Narrator: Christie Moreau
Published: April 2018, Hachette Audio
Length: 10 hours 47 minutes
Source: Hachette Audio via

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.

My thoughts: Jamie Brenner is a new-to-me author, but I know this is not her first book. And based on how much I loved this story, I will definitely be keeping her on my list of authors to read.

This is such an emotional and powerful story. It tackles a topic that is just starting to gain traction in the media and one that really needs to be given our full attention - that of traumatic brain injuries not only in pro athletes but also in our younger athletes. And it also looks at PTSD. Both these topics are quite heavy in and of themselves, but the way Jamie Brenner weaves her story around them, was both poignant and touching and you actually feel a glimmer of hope that awareness is forthcoming.

The story also delves into family relationships and all the complexities that come with that. Family drama, love and grief are all explored here. The characters are all perfectly flawed and relatable. The characters relationships and struggles were believable. Having two sisters myself, I felt horrible for Lauren about the complicated relationship she had with her sister. Especially at a time like this. This is when you need that relationship even more. As things are slowly revealed,  you understand why that relationship is the way it is, but boy did my heart break for her.

This book really was a fantastic read. While it wasn't the light and fluffy read I was at first expecting it to be, I still completely enjoyed it and would totally recommend it, plus it's set at the Jersey shore, so I think it still counts as a beach read, don't you?

Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Christie Moreau narrate a book and I think she did a good job. Her pacing and intonation was good. I enjoyed this audio book.  


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