I’ve been aware of Paula Treick DeBoard for a while, as she’s a local author in our area, but I’d never tried her books. When some of my used book scavenging gave me the opportunity to read some of her work, I quickly realized I should have started much sooner.
Kirsten Hammarstrom was just a kid when her quiet Wisconsin life was turned upside down. Her brother was the star athlete of the town, but when his girlfriend disappears, and he’s the last person to have seen her, the small town turns against the whole family. Kirsten tries hard to believe the story her brother offers for what happened that night, but a niggling voice inside suggests otherwise. Years later, another tragedy brings the splintered family back together, and the truth finally comes out, giving them all a chance to heal.
I started this book before bed one night, and had trouble putting it down. By the next night, I had less than 50 pages left (and I was not keen on leaving it until the next day, but, responsibility…). It was a fast read, written from a young girl’s viewpoint, capturing the naivety and innocence of a kid trying to make sense of what she’s seen and heard, and trying to come to terms with the sense of betrayal that comes with her conclusion.
The first of her novels, DeBoard proves herself a master at weaving a suspenseful story, full of characters that feel real. The choices the family makes are ones that readers can understand and relate to.
The Mourning Hours is a well written book, keeping readers engaged right up until the very end. I’m glad I have a second of DeBoard’s books to start on soon.