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The Mourning Hours

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,123 ratings  ·  376 reviews
A family's loyalty is put to the ultimate test in this haunting and unforgettable debut.

Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years-not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her ali
Paperback, 321 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2013)
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We Got Zombies On The Lawn Again, Ma by Donnie  SmithEntwined by Bridgitte LesleyLife of Pi by Yann MartelInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceThe Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard
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Community Reviews

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Thank you Goodreads for delivering into my hands a book I could not put down! Even thoughThe Mourning Hours is published by Harlequin it definitely is not a romance novel! Simple plot line... popular and athletic high school boy meets girl, boy dates and falls in love with girl, girl goes missing. The story is set in the small Wisconsin town of Wantankee. It is a safe and quiet town where everybody knows everybody. The story is narrated by 9 year old Kirsten, the sister of Johnny who is under su ...more
I could not put this book down. I started reading it at 11:00 pm last night, read until 1:00 am, when I forced myself to stop reading and go bed, since I had to work in the morning. When I got up, I picked it right back up and kept reading as I brushed my teeth, did my hair, and got ready for the day. When I left for work, I popped my iPad into my bag, so I could read at work. I actually reviewed my morning in my mind on the way there, trying to figure out if I would have time. I read it here an ...more
Holy shit, I just gobbled up the first Harlequin book I ever picked up. Gobbled as in: I began this book less than twenty four hours ago and now there is no more book to be read because all its pages havepassed below my gullet, washed down with giblet gravy and cranberry relish. And now I sit gluttonous, drunk on misplaced tragedy and shame in a fictional small town—slovenly at not having milked the cows or fed the chickens or, worse: dumbstruck at being unable to hear the corn grow.

Were we ever
James Schaap
If a new novel acknowledges you in the preface, if it’s by a former student, if it mentions, at the outset, a town named Oostburg, Wisconsin, my home town, then what’s not to like, right?

The Mourning Hours, a first novel from Paula Treick DeBoard, hits all those notes, so you can take almost everything I say as the braying of a grandpa or some other privileged relative.

Her novel is a wild page-turner, a mystery, sort of, a story that uses a ton of domestic realism and features the thoughtful mem
This book got a lot of excellent ratings from others. Hmmm. This was a tragic story, almost entirely narrated by a nine year old girl, which made it a little haunting. I was expecting more mystery and less tragedy. I enjoyed this and found it readable but it didn't blow me away. A very good debut though.
Whoa... I don't know what else to say. I really don't.

I just finished it and I must say I am blown away. But let me start from the beginning. I won this book on a giveaway and eagerly awaited receiving it. As soon as I did I started reading. At first I thought the book was good, it kind of dragged on at times, but I understood what was said needed to be said. Then it seemed like the main character was going to be young for the entire novel, when the back led me to believe that it would be more r
Tara Garcia
I loved this book.
I fell in love with the characters...
I was there with them.
Every step of their journey.
My heart ached with them.
They will stay with me.
I want to read more from this author.
This book will stay with me.
And... I think more books should be told by a fourth grader.
It absolutely worked!
Brilliantly worked.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is really a 2.5 star. It was a solid 3 star until the last 50 pages or so and then everything wrapped up too nicely for my taste. There is nothing very profound here, it is simply an easy read. The story is pretty compelling and seems to ask the question: "do we really know those we love?" or "do we really know those with whom we live?"

It is well enough done and reminds me of something Jodi Picoult would have written, but I was very upset that the end had to solve the mystery. I think
4 1/2 stars! An easy to read first person narrative, this story is told primarily through a nine year old girl's point of view. Her name is Kirsten, and in the early 90's her teenage brother goes on a date with his girlfriend, and the girlfriend Stacy Lemke, is never seen again.
From the beginning, this seemed a twisted story, maybe even dark. More than anything, this book takes you through what happens to Kirsten and her family as a result of the suspicions cast over her brother, who was the la
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
Kirsten Hammarstrom's life and family were torn apart one snowy night when she was nine years old and her seventeen year old brother's girlfriend goes missing. When she doesn't turn up, the small rural Wisconsin town rears up and crucifies Kirsten and the rest of her family in a stormy whirlwind of accusation. Years later, when the family gets together again they find that some ghosts never really leave, and some mysteries never really die. Whatever did happen to Stacy Lemke that night?

*sighs* I
Eustacia Tan
Wait, is this book seriously from Harlequin? I'm sorry, but I've always associated Harlequin with light fluffy romance stories. This was deep moving, and not about romance (in the traditional swept-of-your-feet kind of way).

The Mourning Hours deals with the fallout of a missing-person's case. Kirsten (our narrator) is the younger sister of the town's (wrestling) hero Johnny. After she helps Johnny and his girlfriend Stacy get together, things start to become rather strange. Strange as in Stacy-i
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It's clear from the back cover what's going to happen but of course I wanted all the details of the how and why. I think my mistake is that what I really wanted was a mystery novel and this isn't that. It's a thoughtful, beautifully written description of the downfall of her family from the mind of a child. The writing is gorgeous and I can feel the emotions just pouring out of Kirsten at times. There's quite a bit of buildup to the night Stacy d ...more
Judy Collins
The Mourning Hours, another winner by Paula Treick DeBoard! Set aside the time, as this is a powerful book to read without interruptions. Coming in audio format 10/28/14. Be sure and check out DeBoard's upcoming novel The Fragile World! 5 Stars, 10/28/14. Two "must read" books, you will not want to miss!

The novel will leave you pondering, “If this is a debut, what is yet to come?” After reading this gripping page-turner filled with metaphors, and an advanced reading copy of her upcoming, The
This book is a culmination of a life noticing. Noticing the little details, the nuances of family conversation, the feelings we reveal in our faces when we are trying to keep them hidden. Kirsten notices all these things in this story. With the mind of a nine year old she doesn't always understand the meaning of them, but she holds them in her heart, pondering them, deciphering them, questioning them.

Unlike most of you readers, I HAVE been to the Hammarstrom (Treick) farm. It's where I spent ti
I recently received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads and boy am I glad I did! I was a little wary when I saw that it was a Harlequin book because I usually try to avoid those types of books but it was not what I expected from a Harlequin at all. The Mourning Hours tells the story of what happened the year Kirsten was 9 years old. The author hooks you at the very beginning when Kirsten returns home for the first time in a very long time and you just know something bad happened that ...more
I am giving this book five starts because I could not put it down.

I think that what affected me most profoundly in reading this story is that it brought to the surface the sense that this could happen to nearly any family. Not these particular events, but a situation which stretches the limits of relationships, loyalty, and trust. As the story unfolds, the truth of what really happened is obscured. We can only see as clearly as nine-year-old Kirsten Hammarstrom, through whose eyes we witness th
Don't you just love a book that you can't put down? The Mourning Hours was one such book for this reader.

First, this tale is set in Wisconsin. I happen to be a very proud Wisconsinite and I'm always thrilled when my home state is featured in a book. The Mourning Hours depicted the small town feel of rural Wisconsin life very accurately.

Second, the suspense was done remarkably well. DeBoard reeled me in deliberately and thoroughly. The events of one snowy evening changed the Hammarstrom family f
I started this book on a flight home and, after hitting the 10% mark on my Kindle, set it down. Earlier today I picked it up as lunchtime entertainment and couldn't put it down. The writing is flawless and the characters are all well-developed. Layer on top a plot that leaves you guessing until the end, it isn't any wonder I was sucked in so quickly. A smart read that whizzes right by. Loved!!

I might not had read this book -had it not been for the strong recommendation from my GR's friend (we both tend to love these types of books).

MOST my woman friends will 'cozy-up' into this 'CAN'T-PUT-DOWN-PAPERBACK', and enjoy it fully!!! I was lucky to find it for a dollar at my favorite 'thrift' shop. I'll pass it on to Kim at the gym. (she'll eat it up).

It could be said: "The Morning Hours", has a "Lifetime Movie" feeling to it, but, I enjoy select movies made for "Lifetime".

May 26, 2013 Kathryn marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
This will be a great summer read. I am looking forward to reading it.

Received book looks interesting.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelly Itkin
This might be Ms. DeBoard’s debut novel but I guarantee it won’t be her last. This heartbreaking novel portrays how a family is torn apart after the disappearance of Stacy Lemke, whom their son Johnny was dating at the time of her disappearing. Kirsten was nine years old and will never forget that day for the rest of her life. The Hammarstrom family will never be the same as these events have left it’s mark on each and every member of the family in different ways.

Kirsten Hammarstrom is returning
Kyle Christy
Jun 02, 2013 Kyle Christy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of mystery who don't feel the need to solve the mystery yourself.
I received a review copy from Harlequin MIRA. No compensation was given for this review.

When I first finished this, I gave it 3.5 stars, and I couldn't decide whether to round up to four or down to three. After thinking about it a little more, and letting my initial relief at there being closure catch up to my annoyance that it came from almost literally nowhere, I upgraded it to a straight 4.

This is a very good book. It's written well, and the story, while not suspenseful in my opinion, is defi
McGuffy Morris
This novel drew me in immediately. I did not want to put it down. The setting is a rural farm community in Wisconsin, which I can relate to. The characters are believable, and people I could care about.

Kirsten Hammarstrom and her siblings are drawn back to their family farm by a tragedy. Many years ago, tragedy tore the Hammarstrom family apart, dividing them as well as their community. Kirsten recalls the events that occurred when she was only nine years old.

Kirsten looked up to her brother Joh
Jim B
Oct 31, 2013 Jim B rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people in rural communities, high school students
Shelves: mystery
Disclaimer: Although I have never met the author, I am from the town in Wisconsin that is the basis for "Watankee" and I actually worked on her grandparents' farm in 1966 (but I didn't kill anyone), so as I read this book I could picture the same two family houses and barn that she had in her mind as she wrote. She used a lot of local references that I know. In some ways, this added a little enjoyment to my reading of the story, but in some ways it skewed my reading, because as the author speaks ...more
Hannah Haertl
“The Mourning Hours” is an outstanding book. Kirsten Hammarstrom is a small town girl who now lives in a big town, something completely different from her rural home in Wisconsin. She has not been back to her home in over twenty years. She doesn't expect anything to go wrong, until she sees the lights of her brother’s eyes. Nobody has seen Johnny since the disappearance of his girlfriend when he was a senior in high school. Kristen soon learns that she’s living the lie of one of her close neighb ...more
Diane S.✨
When Kirsten was nine years old, her brother Johnny's sixteen year old girlfriend Stacy, disappears after a date with Johnny. This is a book, set in Wisconsin on a farm, with a close knit family full of love, everything wasn't perfect but they were together, until this tragedy. Johnny comes under suspicion, not only by the police, but the whole town judges him guilty.

This is a very touching and heartbreaking novel, showing how judgmental people can be, how a tragedy like this effects a whole fa
Wow! Talk about being blown away. I loved this book. I can't believe this is Ms. DeBoard's debut novel. It's a beautifully written story that captured and held my attention from the beginning to the end. I was totally enthralled by the story. I wish to say more, but I'm having a hard time putting it into words. This is probably because I was in tears, and felt as though I was right there with the family feeling everything they were going thru. The fear, anger, despair, and love they all felt, al ...more

What can tear and destroy a small rural community and a family apart more so than a tragedy? At the very heart of The Mourning Hours is the story of the unraveling of the Hammarstrom family and their tranquil secure life stolen from them.

I absolutely could not pull myself out of this book! I was so completely absorbed right away due to the magnificent writing style of the author. I was immediately drawn and captivated by the way she wove the story together and the delicately dropping of
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Paula Treick DeBoard – Biography

Paula Treick DeBoard is a reader, writer and all-around slave to the field of public education. She earned a B.A. in English from Dordt College in 1998 and thought, “I’ll teach high school English during the week and write fiction on the weekends” – a delusion which persisted for a decade, during which time she wrote exactly one short story. In 2010, she graduated f
More about Paula Treick DeBoard...
The Fragile World The Next Page: A Fiction Sampler for Book Clubs: The Returned\The Sweetest Hallelujah\The Mourning Hours\The Tulip Eaters\Teatime for the Firefly\I'll Be Seeing You

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“E. L. Doctorow quote that I believe, too: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” How did you know you wanted to be a writer?” 0 likes
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