Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Review: The Hour Before Dawn
The Hour Before Dawn is the fifth book in a series by Penelope Wilcock. Last year, I reviewed the fourth book in the series, The Hardest Thing to Do. I loved that book. I read the first three books, which are compiled in a trilogy called The Hawk and the Dove. I loved those books. So, my expectations were pretty high for this new book.
In The Hour Before Dawn a tragedy befalls the family of Abbott John. I wanted to say a "tragic tragedy" for emphasis but that would be redundant. Anyway, it was a tragedy so great that it did more than take his breathe away. The grief utterly paralyzed him. "(This book) explores the aftermath of trauma- the space between suffering and restoration- helping readers understand the grieving process and nurture an attitude of understanding and kindness." (quote from back cover)
So what did I think? Well, book reviews can be a tricky thing. Am I trying to answer the question, "Is this a good book? or "Did I like the book?" And, can I have a different answer for each question?
Penelope Wilcock is a talented writer. And she has written a good book. However, the tragedy described in the book was powerful and explicit. I just couldn't get past it. In the same way that Abbott John was immobilized by his grief, I was similarly immobilized by the shock of the tragedy described. As I said, I couldn't get past the tragedy to really explore the restoration process as the author had intended.
So, was it a good book? Well, yes, it was well written. Did I like it? I'm sorry to say that I did not.
I received this book free from Crossway in exchange for an honest review.