Throwback Thursday this week features In The Blue Hour, an audiobook that was released in 2016 and narrated by Joyce Bean.
Elise is depressed and in mourning since the death of her husband. She’d dreamed of a car accident involving her husband months earlier, which she believed to have been more of a prophecy. Guilt and blame for failing to interpret the dream are added to the swirling mix of emotions as Elise struggles to make sense of her loss. Michael, Elise’s husband, was a Native American wood carver whose work was in high demand, more especially since his death. His last piece was a beautifully detailed carving of a raven.
And so when a raven keeps appearing, seeming to want her attention, Elise can’t shake the belief it’s Michael in spirit form, trying to give her a message. Desperate to understand and keep a connection, however tenuous, to her husband, Elise turns to psychics and Native American culture and folklore for answers. Finding a carved obsidian stone and address in Michael’s jacket, and along with a tarot reading she had, gives Elise the motivation to begin a journey that will take her all the way back to her childhood.
The hair on the back of her neck went up, a feeling as if she were being watched. From the depths of the porch ahead, the tinkling of chimes filled the air. Elise stopped and turned slowly. Her eyes scanned the black silhouettes of the trees surrounding her. They had lost all their depth, nothing but flat black shadows, framed against the darkening blue. She looked back at the studio. Through the window, the black eye of the raven glittered at her.
The mystical atmosphere of the story is very enjoyable, encompassing the Native American wisdom, voodoo and the supernatural which I find fascinating. The characters are varied, very well drawn and believable…from Monica, Elise’s best friend and sister-in-law, to Tom, the sceptic/science geek and Elise’s travelling companion.
Elise and Tom are a great foil for each other. Elise can’t comprehend Tom’s close mindedness and refusal to consider anything that can’t be proved by science. While on the other hand Tom is totally unconvinced by Elise’s arguments and beliefs in what he believes are coincidences.
Elise’s search for answers and her own story, as it plays out towards the end, is quite compelling and completely unexpected. The only negative is the narrative could have been tightened up a little and had less repetition of some points, but other than that I really enjoyed the story and Joyce Bean did a great job.
About the Book
Elise Brooks dreams of a car accident on an icy road. Weeks later, her beloved husband, Michael, is killed in just such a crash. Now, overcome with grief and uncertainty, Elise believes his spirit may be following her in the form of a raven, trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.
Desperate to understand the signs, Elise embraces both the Native American wisdom she grew up with and the world of psychics and seers. So when a tarot-card reader suggests she take a journey to the mysterious address found in Michael’s old jacket, she embarks on a cross-country trek to follow the clues.
Accompanied by Tom Dugan, an engineer and scientist who does not believe in psychics, mediums, or the hoodoo “conjure woman” they encounter on the road, Elise navigates the rituals and omens of the spirit world in an attempt to unravel the mystery of her husband’s message.