Saturday 28 June 2014

Review - The Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock

The Darkening HourThe Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

pages - 402

Blurb from Goodreads

Meet Theodora
And Mona
Two women, from completely different walks of life, forced by circumstances to live together under one roof.
Both women are at their wits' end, scared of losing the one thing that's most precious to them. So when tensions boil over, who will go to the most extreme lengths to survive?
Will it be Theodora, finally breaking under the pressure?
Or Mona, desperate to find a way out?
In a tale of modern day slavery and paranoia, two women tell their sides of the story.
Who do you trust?

My Review

When I read the blurb, I thought it was about two workers living together, perhaps forced into some kind of labour. However the story is quite different. Theodora is caring for her father who has dementia with little help from the family. She is trying to keep her full time career with her own local show, look after her son who has just came back to live with her after some issues and a brush with the law. Her husband gets her Mona, a live in carer to help look after her father with all of his care and the story centers around this and the relationship between the two.

Mona has left behind her sick mother and little girl, in her own country and with a secret agenda, she is looking for her husband although portrays herself as a widow. She has to juggle the increasing demands of her employer as well as trying to find her husband, in this strange country, with limited means to do so.

Mona is trapped and at the mercy of Theodora's increasing demands. It is a story of slavery and abuse, care, devotion and also a bit of a psychological thriller as you see the increasingly bizarre behavior and decline of one of the characters. The chapters alternate between Theodora and Mona so you can see the different view points on the same situations which works really well.

I think this story could have been fantastic and some of it is very well done, however, it took a while to build up. Some of the behavior I felt was too incredulous, there is a lot of questions left unanswered which I absolutely hate. My opinions of the two women changed quite a bit in the first few chapters and I didn't like either of them, as it went on I found myself feeling for Mona and total disgust for Theodora. It will be interesting to see how they were received by other readers. For the most part this book has had high praise and great ratings so I would definitely recommend it to people, for me though there was more I disliked that I actually liked. 2/5 for me this time, first time reading this author and despite not loving this book, I would read her again.

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  1. It does sound like an interesting character study.

    I used to be more incredulous about outrages behavior in books, but when I see what some folks do in real life, I am less skeptical these days.

  2. I don't like Theodora much just from reading your review. She doesn't sound like a nice person at all. It's too bad this one wasn't better.


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