by Karen White
"Be patient and strong; someday this pain will be useful to you."
Piper Mills was once an Olympic hopeful with her equestrian abilities until a devastating accident dashes her dreams and leaves her broken in both body and spirit. When the grandmother who raised her dies leaving Piper with a box containing a key, a knitted baby sweater, a scrapbook and a necklace, she sets out to solve the mystery of her grandmother's past. But to get to the truth she must rely on her grandmother's closest friend who would rather leave some secrets in the past.
This book is about pain in its various forms. There is the physical pain that Piper suffers since her terrible accident that left her back broken and her leg shattered. There is the emotional pain from trauma that has left her terrified of horses. And there is a deeper pain that tells her that she is worthless and life is no longer worth living. Every character in this book suffers from pain in one or more of these forms. But, as they say, the truth will set you free. As mysteries are unearthed and as deceptions are laid bare healing will begin.
The story is a compelling one. I was curious about the past that had left so many in such lasting pain. And I liked the characters for the most part. The insightful though blind Helen was my favorite with a strong-willed Lillian coming in at a close second. There were passages of great insight and beauty, like the inscription at the top. And yet I don't think I connected with the book. It lacks subtlety and depth. It tends to be melodramatic. But sometimes I like melodramatic stories. And sometimes I'm looking for a little shallow when real life is getting too deep. I think that a lot of people would really enjoy The Lost Hours. Maybe I'm just being cranky.
You can check out Karen White's website and read an excerpt from her previous book, The House on Tradd Street, to get an idea of her writing style and if it will suit you. You can see that she has ten published books and has received a RITA award. She is a writer with a lot to recommend her.