The Invisible Hour

The Invisible Hour

If it weren’t for books and the power the stories tell within those same books, Mia Jacobs would go mad. Books are the only way Mia survives being trapped in an oppressive cult run by her stepfather Joel. One of Mia’s favorite books of all time is The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as it seems to capture how awful Mia’s life within the cult is. How could that have been when the book was written centuries ago? Mia eventually escapes and then later the book turns into a magical realism time travel story.


Writing & Storyline

I’ve always wanted to read Alice Hoffman and I am glad I gave her a try with her recent book that came out in August of 2023. I give her credit; her words flow like a river as she wrote this story. The storyline sounded great on paper, but it wasn’t executed very well. The cult story and escaping it mixed with magical realism and time travel should have sounded like it could have been a great story, but the way the story was written and structured sounded like two separate stories in my opinion. Alice, I think, would have done better having the book focus on either the cult storyline and how Mia found escape through reading and literally escaping, or it should have been the magical realism time travel storyline. There were parts that grabbed me, but it wasn’t enough to keep me invested. Does that mean I’ve given up on Alice Hoffman? Nope! I do plan on giving Alice Hoffman another chance in the future. I would love to read Practical Magic & anything magical from her in the future.



Overall, the story had potential and the cover was beautiful, but it wasn’t executed well. The book needed to focus on one storyline in my opinion. Different things can work and make a great blend for a story, this however wasn’t it. If you are trying Alice Hoffman out for the first time as I have, I don’t recommend this one. If you are a diehard Alice Hoffman fan, then it shouldn’t matter. Regardless this is just my opinion.