NOTE: I have been focusing on novels this summer because I want to get back to my own novel-in-the-works. I picked out this book at random from our condo library to find that it takes place in our “neighborhood” and also down the shore where many people from Philadelphia go, in and around Atlantic City. The book was even more enjoyable because of the bonus of reading about areas I am familiar with.
This is my first book to read by Jamie Brenner, taken from our condo library shelf at random. We meet the main character, Lauren, who is a very young widow (early twenties) following the death of her young husband, a well-revered athlete who decides to join the armed services and is subsequently killed.
Jamie has “sequestered” herself in the family’s summer home in Longport, NJ (near Atlantic City) working as a waitress, forgoing here desire to be a journalist, and keeping a very low profile. When her husband’s life is to be made into a film, produced by a young man who has been investigating the relationship between head injuries from sports and subsequent medical and mental problems (PTSD), Laurie begins to react strongly.
She has been working for four years, keeping a very low profile, because she does not want to be interviewed or involved in the life she had with her husband before he went into the service. As one of the characters notes, Lauren seems “frozen.” The making of the film and the young producer slowly affect Lauren’s state of mind and she begins to deal with the issues surrounding her complicated, short marriage.
This is not a typical “beach novel” that many of us read during their vacations. Instead, it tackles a very real medical problem that I found fascinating because of its ramifications. The author has done an excellent job of creating characters that become involved with the movie to be made, especially Lauren’s sister, who is raising a young child as a single mom and never tells anyone who the father is. As the story unfolds, the child unexpectedly becomes a key character in the book
The emotions run high in this book, and the medical topic is a real one, so be prepared for some heavy interaction among the main characters. Because I really liked the author’s plot and her way of writing, I went online to find other books this woman has penned. I plan to read more of Jamie Brennen.
The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner is published by www.littlebrown.com and costs $26.00 for the hardcover.
P.S. Here is the mini-synopsis on the flyleaf that might grab you more to read this book (direct quote):
When a young widow’s reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.