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The Lost Hours

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  6,509 Ratings  ·  625 Reviews
The award-winning author of "The Memory of Water" delivers a gripping tale of family, fate, and forgiveness.
When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.
Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper's dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather's dea
ebook, 312 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by New American Library (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 27, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-suck
This is basically a Harlequin Romance with a slightly more interesting plotline and very little passion. I got impatient with how none of the main characters would just spit it out instead of drawing out the Big Secret until I wanted to chuck the book across the room. I don't enjoy people who seem to want to wallow in their own misery instead of just getting on with their lives. It frustrates me to read over and over again about the "haunted look" or "the pain" in someone's eyes all the time. Se ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
My mother-in-law bought this for me as birthday present and described it as a perfect "beach read"; since I was going to the beach, I took it along and read it. Overall, I agree with her assessment of its beachiness; it is a quick read with a happy ending and nothing truly bad happens. However. I had some serious issues with the book. This will sound overly critical, and some of this can be chalked up to the fact that I didn't pick the book; it is probably not my type of read. But, here they are ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this. As with all dual-timeline stories, there's a long-held secret to be discovered; this particular secret is tantalisingly just out of reach until the very final part of the reveal. You're almost there on the clues, but you just can't second-guess the full revelation twist. As Lillian herself would say in the book, 'stop jumping ahead, be patient!'

What sets this dual-timeline story apart from others though, is the poignant theme of loss, grief, guilt and regret, before finally
Feb 15, 2016 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I can always count on Karen White to write amazing books about the human spirit. No one gets out undamaged in this world, but where there is a will there is a way to move beyond our pain and our failures and to engage fully in life again. Forgiveness is the key, not just for others but for ourselves as well.

Piper Mills parents die when she is young and she goes to live with her grandparents. There are a few flashback to her childhood but mostly the book is in the present. Piper got hurt in a ho
Jul 10, 2010 Tiffany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
It took quite some time to get interested in this book. After about 100 pages, nothing really important had happened and I was beginning to wonder if anything was going to happen at all. The biggest problem I had was with the constant delay the characters had in just spitting out whatever it was they needed to say. Then, when they are finally getting somewhere, they are tired or angry and just stop for the time being. Just get it out already!

The book jumps back and forth from first person, by th
Barrie Gardner
This book was so melodramatic, reading it was exhausting. The hot tears! The hand wringing! The low whispers! The knowing smiles! The haunted looks! The author writes in such detail about certain things (like the main character's horse injury and trees at the horse farm) and then glosses over major turns in the story. Piper's grandmother (the catalyst for this whole book) dies and it is just noted in passing.

And then Piper changes her name and pretends to be studying a family's history to learn
Dale Harcombe
Dec 13, 2013 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When her parents were killed in an accident, Piper Mills figured the worst that could happen to her had already happened. That is until a near fatal fall from a horse cuts short her dreams of being an Olympian .The accident left its mark on Piper’s life in more ways than one.
While at her grandparents' place thinking about all life has taken from her Piper finds a scrapbook that hints at secrets in her grandmother’s past. I’m not a person who reads horse books or books about riders, so it is per
Nov 01, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-good-read
I am a huge fan of Kate Morton. When searching for her books, Karen White continually popped up as an author I might like. I did enjoy the book, but it didn't have that same lasting and haunting quality of a Kate Morton novel.

After her grandparents pass away, Piper Mills is given an envelope from her Grandmother containing a key and a charm with no explanation. Apparently her Grandmother meant to tell her the story that goes along with these items herself, but suffered from dimentia before she
Mar 11, 2010 Dannielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every woman, nomatter her tastes
Recommended to Dannielle by: My mom bought it for me
This was such a powerful, poignant, beautifully written novel. The story was amazing and so very compelling, every character interesting and well developed, and her writing was fantastic. I enjoyed reading this, and for once I just wanted to soak up the story, enjoy the journey, and didn't want it to end. I loved the plot, and the actual story, but the message behind her words were more powerful in my opinion. It's what makes this such a great read.

Not only is this about discovering the past, bu
Heather Pulley
It was difficult choose a rating for this book for the simple fact that I really couldn't put it down, making me feel it should be at least 3 stars. But then I thought about the following things and had to give it 2. First off, the first 100 or so pages are excruciating. The author uses really over the top metaphors far too much and spends a lot of time alluding to internal pain and scars without actually telling you anything. The next 100 pages are much better, although the story still doesn't ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some authors weave a tapestry ... others stitch a quilt. This book is definitely the latter: a jumbled patchwork of various themes that have been overused, almost to the point of being cliche.

Piper Mills is the broken heroine -- a numb loner/horselover, who is recovering from a riding accident that killed her horse and shattered her Olympic dreams. When her Alzheimer's-addled grandmother (who raised her) dies, Piper hardly feels anything until, conveniently, a mystery about grandma's past draws
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2016 Lorrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good! The story of 3 childhood friends & their estrangement was particularly interesting & sad while at the same time hopeful. Piper, Tucker, Helen, and then the 3 friends Annabelle, Lillian & Josie.....wonderful character development. The story espouses forgiveness & love.
I don't read a lot in this genre (emotional self-discovery drama), so I can't compare how good it is to its own sisters and brothers. So please bear with my unfair comparison to apples and oranges.

I definitely enjoyed reading it; a number of issues surfaced that would make good book club discussions, yet I don't have a yearning desire to talk about it with anyone. Maybe because of what else is going on in my life right now (my own losses and grief), it felt a little reading it right
Jul 15, 2016 Safae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, favorites
The books that are mostly worth of your time, are the ones that leave you with a mixed feeling, you don't know whether you're sad or happy, you have no idea how the book left you, you just know that you really really enjoyed it.
Sep 06, 2015 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to live in the south! This book contained a rich family history, webs of deceit and lies, and the characters were well developed and complex. The thing I found most fascinating was the idea of a "disappointment room" and just the history of racial relations that were woven into this book. It compels me to learn more about these ideas. What I couldn't relate to were actually some of the southern themes (riding horses, etc) and I felt like the main character's behaviors were ...more
Briana Alzola
Mar 04, 2015 Briana Alzola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was better in concept than in reality. The mystery that White proposes is fascinating: a grandmother that our protagonist never knew, a box buried in the back yard full of trinkets, a hidden room in the attic. It was such a promising plot. But I found myself getting bored pretty often. Piper and her sleuthing skills could not keep my attention for very long before my mind started to wander. Still, I kept reading because I wanted to know what twists she would discover. And I w ...more
The story opens with the heroine, a young woman by the name of Penny, describing a tragic accident that ended her career as an equestrian rider. After the recent death of her grandfather, she tries in vain to make a connection with her grandmother, a woman whose memory is fading by the day. According to everyone who knew her grandparents, Penny's grandmother, in her younger years, was a fun-loving woman who loved life. Penny just can't seem to reconcile this description with the sad woman she's ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Iris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, even though it took me a while to get into it, and it got to be a bit of a drag finishing it. This book is undeniably a mystery, and there is nothing light-hearted about it at ALL. Not to spoil the ending for those who haven't read it, but it is just chock full of dark, terrible secrets and thus it's really "heavy" reading. I can see some readers getting impatient with its constant heavy tone and the roundabout and long-winded way in which the elements of the story finally com ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: san-francisco-br
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2009 Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Piper Mills has lived a life filled with loss. Her parents were killed when she was six years old, so she went to live with her grandparents. She was very close to her Grandfather, with whom she shared her love of horses and her drive to be an Olympic class show jumper.

Her relationship with her Grandmother was not close but Piper never felt the lack of that connection. When she was twelve, her Grandmother developed Alzheimer's disease and was placed in a nursing home. Driven Piper barely noticed
Nov 02, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alone and fragile, Piper Mills does not know what to do next in her life. After her parents died when she was six, and her grandparents took her in, she had found something special in riding horses; she even dreamed of becoming an Olympic equestrian. But then another tragic accident shattered those dreams.

So when her grandfather dies, soon followed by her grandmother, she is almost entombed in the Savannah home where she grew up. Then the family lawyer brings some strange legacies—an angel charm
Jan 19, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had never read Karen White before, but this was a book club read and I was intrigued. However, I found that by the end of the book I had to work too hard to fill in the blanks that the author left. I love horses, so I thought I would really enjoy the equestrian aspect of it, but I found that it took away from the important parts of the story. I felt like too much emphasis was placed on the narrator's past with horses and riding, and it wasn't really necessary. I understand why excerpts from an ...more
Despite having really looked forward to reading this novel, unfortunately the story didn’t work for me at all. Firstly, it was too much cheap romance than mystery, and the constant switching between characters telling the story made it fragmented rather than interesting. I found the pace mind-numbingly slow, the characters hard to engage with, and the secret at the end not really worth the effort. Which was disappointing, since the general plot (a woman searching to unravel a big secret in her d ...more
Judy Collins
One of my favorite authors! When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.
Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard
Nov 10, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Lost Hours" was a quick read. I enjoyed the flow of the story, getting to know the characters and their discovery of secrets buried in the past. I especially enjoyed the growing friendship between Helen and Piper. While some of the story was predictable, Annabelle and Lillian's secret was worth reading to the end for the secret to unfold in its entirety. I would rate this book 3.5 stars but will round up to 4 stars. Will probably look for more books by Karen White.
Aug 19, 2014 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book but it had too many glaring issues. I did finish it, so it wasn't horrible, BUT. First, how could Piper spend six years - SIX - doing essentially nothing? How was she supporting herself? I know she was living in her grandmother's house, but she had to eat and pay for her medical bills. That just made no sense to me. What on earth was she doing all day every day? She had no friends apparently, except George, whom she hated, and no hobbies other than dabbling in genealog ...more
Have you ever read a book that, once you were finished, you couldn't start another one because your were still so connected to it? For me, The Lost Hours, is that book. I guess part of it comes from the fact that I lost both of my Grandmothers before I was old enough to appreciate their "stories". In the world we live in today it seems there are no secrets anymore. Everyone's private life is put out there for everyone to read about via social media. This book really made me think about the world ...more
Linda Day
A little disappointing. I found the basic premise (you know, the stuff printed on the back cover !) to be kind of promising ... "Piper Mills discovers a secret room and torn pgs. from her grandmother's scrapbook that alludes to a tragedy in her grandmother's past". So, Piper a genealogist, sets out to find the tragedy as she (Piper) is recuperating from a equestrian accident that has left her crippled. From that point on the plot weaves, the plot pivots, the plot is engaging, and I have to say i ...more
ashley | citygirlscapes
I've been reading so many books like this lately; books about family secrets and mysterious letters and dark, haunting pasts that while I did enjoy this story, it wasn't hard to see the direction it was going and it seemed quite familiar. That's my problem, however, for finding a new genre and reading it to death.

I still did enjoy The Lost Hours. It was a well written story with a lot of beautiful elements to it. But it was quite dark, much more dark than what you would expect from a book like t
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“Every woman should have a daughter to tell her stories to. Otherwise, the lessons learned are as useless as spare buttons from a discarded shirt. And all that is left is a fading name and the shape of a nose or the color of hair. The men who write the history books will tell you the stories of battles and conquests. But the women will tell you the stories of people's hearts.” 27 likes
“Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim....Be patient and strong; someday this pain will be useful to you.” 17 likes
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