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Magic Hour

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  47,399 ratings  ·  3,674 reviews
Dr. Julia Cates was one of the country's preeminent child psychiatrists until a shocking tragedy ruined her career. Retreating to her small western Washington hometown, Julia meets an extraordinary six-year-old girl who has inexplicably emerged from the deep woods nearby—a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. To Julia, nothing is more important than ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 451 pages
Published November 27th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2006)
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Val Susannah, I think you need to read the last 20 pages of this very short book and rewrite your review. The author couldn't have done more to wrap up…moreSusannah, I think you need to read the last 20 pages of this very short book and rewrite your review. The author couldn't have done more to wrap up the plot than she did. I stress - you need to rewrite your negative review. It's simply not fair to the author or to readers who might be incorrectly turned off to this very good book by Hannah.(less)
Marie I agree. I felt like the ending was lack-luster, predictable and flat. I really enjoyed most of the book, but I am definitely disappointed with the…moreI agree. I felt like the ending was lack-luster, predictable and flat. I really enjoyed most of the book, but I am definitely disappointed with the ending. The father, the whole kidnapping, the relationships were all tied up in neat little, simple packages..too simple, too easy. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  47,399 ratings  ·  3,674 reviews


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Tom Lewis
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another impossibly beautiful novel by Kristin Hannah. The story follows Julia, a disgraced child psychiatrist living in Malibu, who’s called home to the small forest town of her childhood by her police chief sister, Ellie, to work with a wild feral girl who had been living in the untamed forests of the Pacific Northwest. Everything about this book works perfectly—from the charming warmth of this little town, to the colorful characters and vivid descriptions. Like all of Kristin’s books, you’ll ...more
TamElaine
Sep 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Going against the grain again (not something I’ve done a lot, thankfully – maybe 3 or 4 times in the last year and a half)

This dialogue in this book seemed to have a Lieutenant Horatio Caine (David Caruso in CSI Miami) undertone.

This is the third Kristin Hannah book I’ve read....I finished it in order to count the author in a reading group challenge on GoodReads – 3 books by each author to count....while the first two books I read were okay, they were in my opinion young teen novels.... But
...more
Barb Butler
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Interesting plot. I struggled with the quality of the writing, the easy/awkward introduction of a romantic subplot, and the oversimplification of "small town life". Just to start, in this book "small town life" = the REPEATED mention of who was homecoming queen 20 years ago by almost EVERY adult character in the novel, loads of uninformed gossip, the collective "best friendness" of the entire police department, etc., etc., & ...etc.

I also wish the child welfare issues were researched more
...more
Kayla☠
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book about a year ago and didn't realise that I never wrote a review on it.

Julia Cates loved her job as a child psychologist, but a horrible tragedy has made her business plummet drastically. When Julia is ready to throw in the towel she gets a strange call from her sister, Ellie, who is a police officer in a small town. Ellie says there's a wild looking child found in a tree and the people in the town can't get her down and they think Julia could really help her. So Julia packs up
...more
Allison
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I would run to the train after work just so I can sit down and read this book, and I was so sad when it ended. A little girl raised by wolves is rescued in a small town, and she changes people's lives as she adapts to her new world. Really, really good story!!
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Given the reviews I seem to be very much in the minority, but I thought this was a wretchedly written book. It had an interesting premise. Two sisters in small-town Washington state, a child psychiatrist and the town's police chief, try to help a six-year-old feral child. My problem is that from the start the book took an overly melodramatic tone as it related Doctor Julia Cates facing a decision in a lawsuit about a tragedy involving a patient of hers. Her sister, Ellie Barton, is an ...more
Lisa Gardner
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a huge fan of Kristin Hannah; WINTERS GARDEN and THE NIGHTINGALE are two of my all-time favorite novels. Somehow I missed MAGIC HOUR the first time around, but picked it up last week from my local bookstore. What a beautiful novel! The characters are complex and compelling. From the first page you are captivated by Alice, an obviously abused and feral little girl, venturing out of the deep woods for the first time, her wolf pup clutched close. I read the first half of the novel in a single ...more
Tania
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Exactly what I needed after a 970 page read - quick, easy and even a bit predictable, but with likable characters. I even found myself crying at the end. A nice beach read.
Frances Caballo
Apr 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't Bother Buying this Book

I purchased this book because I enjoyed THE GREAT ALONE. Unfortunately the writing of this book was not of the same caliber. In fact, I doubt I will ever buy another book by this author. The idea of discovering a child who has grown up in the woods was interesting but the author could not carry it off. Plus the love story (which wasn't needed) was too unrealistic. Save your money for a better book.
Linda
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book. The story was sad, about a young girl who was kidnapped and taken deep into the woods. How she survived, and what happens to her when she re-enters society. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite Authors....this is one of her best.
Erin
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
OKay, I cried like a baby - Great characters, loved it!
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
After reading my second book by Hannah he is at the top of my must read list. I can't wait to get my hands on more of her books. I can read them in one sitting and love every word she writes.
Lauren
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Eh. The text box that appears when you hover over the second star in the rating bar describes it perfectly: "it was ok."

The author has an interesting premise: a disgraced psychiatrist, a little wild girl who mysteriously appears from the woods, and the "who did it?" mystery that ties it together. However, the writing just isn't that good. With some books you get over this and just enjoy the story, but I couldn't do it with this book. I felt like the author was imitating what she imagined was
...more
Jennifer Stratton
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really liking Kirsten Hannah! After reading Firefly Lane, my mom reccomended this book. It was good, the ending was the best part in that it made me cry and cry. I love when a book; someone's written thoughts; makes you so moved, that you laugh, cry, get mad at a character.

I do have to say at times, the characters did and said things that didn't feel in sync with the character development. I was very pleased with how Alice's character came out though. I did hope for a little more in that
...more
Mimi
May 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This book deals with a lot of interesting or thought provoking topics: responsibility of psychologists, love after divorce, second chances, going home, parenting, "wild child" (as in a child raised outside of society rather than a hippie or something), kidnapping, media, dangers of ignorant judgment, drunk driving, rights of biological parenting, etc. Yes, it covered quite a spectrum.

I thought most of the writing was very good. One description kind of threw me—when it said the clouds were the
...more
Brooke
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m such a fan of Hannah’s writing and storytelling. She really does have a gift for giving her readers a full view of her characters from start to finish.
I went into this book not knowing anything and though I thought this story was compelling in many parts I think her recent works are absolutely remarkable. She has grown as a writer for sure but that doesn’t mean I didn’t really enjoy “Magic Hour”; because I did! I found it too be a great page turner and heartwarming. It felt cinematic in
...more
Denise
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it



Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah is a well researched, beautiful read about a "wolf girl". This emotional read has many heart tugging moments. The characters (Julia, Ellie, Max and Cal ) of this book are equally interesting as they each experience self growth, family bonds and love. The reader experiences all of Alice's physical, mental and spiritual growth. This book will keep you engaged until the last page. 4 stars
Kris Irvin
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Riveting, as are most of Hannah's books. But I thought the ending was a little rushed and a little fake. It wasn't my favorite Kristin Hannah read but it was still okay.
Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
You know when something completely coincidental happens but the result is so serendipitous you'd swear it was fate, the universe, or a deity of some kind pulling strings? I think that is what happened with this book.

Kristin Hannah has written a lot of books, but this is the only one I've really been drawn to reading (the others seem like they would make me really ragey or really sad). While raiding my sister's bookshelves to trade out another book I found this one, untouched and a little dusty
...more
Karen
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone, moms, fans of Jodi Picoult
When this book was recommended to me, I was anxious to get it and start reading! I must admit, that for me, this book certainly didn't start out as a 4-star book. The writing was a bit simple and trite. I didn't know much about the plot before I picked this up and hadn't read any of the other reviews--I usually don't, so I am not predisposed prior to reading a book. As I read through it, it built momentum. Initially, I remember wondering how this book could've received 4 stars with this simple ...more
Denisa Arsene
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I really loved this book. I think the subject is a sensitive, but an original one. A wild little girl who comes into town chassed by hunger. It's something everyone wants to see but, at the same time, they are afraid of. Nobody knows how to really deal with such a think.
Julia, a psychiatrist who is in a troubled career, comes to her hometown to take care of the girl.
Between them develops a string relation who, despite future events, lasts in time.
I have to say that I thought, for a while, that
...more
Heather
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janelle
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, favorites
Wonderful! A surprising tale of a little girl found alone, an ostracized child psychologist who comes home to help her, the homecoming-queen-turned-cop sister, the flirtatious and wildly handsome doctor who has lost a lot in his past and a quirky town who stands by them all amidst a nationwide media frenzy. Everyone wants to know more about this little girl and the renowned-turned-shunned (and misunderstood) physchologist who is committed to helping her.

This story is filled with heartache, love
...more
Kylie H
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have had this book for a while and finally read it. This is quite a remarkable story about a little girl who literally wanders out of the forest, apparently having lived wild for most of her short life. She is carrying a wolf pup and can move quickly and nimbly. Shrouded by mystery it soon becomes apparent that she has been subjected to significant cruelty that has left her mute and animalistic.
Two women try to help her, Ellie the local police chief who is trying to track her family and Julia
...more
Jennefer
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
First of all let me start by saying I am a HUGE fan of Hannah. I am on a mission to read every single book written by this fabulous author!! This was a great read and I highly recommend it.

The novel introduces sisters Ellie Barton and Julia Cates who are extremely different individuals. Julia is a brilliant, dedicated, work-obsessed child psychologist in Los Angeles. Ellie is beautiful and confidant plus she was the homecoming queen in her day. Ellie is now the chief of police and still lives
...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
This is my first Kristin Hannah book, a great one! Such well developed characters. Maybe sometimes a little predictable, but a big surprise at the end. Gotta admit to crying here and there, out of the sweet emotions so well presented.
Miz
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a roller coaster of emotions for such a little book! This is a hidden gem and I read it in less than 24 hours... Having never heard of Kristin Hannah I was pleasantly surprised to find a writing style similar to Jodi Picoult, but with a story line that pulled at the heart strings (something that Jodi hasn't managed to do in most of her recent book). Thank you Good Reads for another outstanding recommendation :)
Kathryn
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: Anne Bogel
Shelves: 2017, favorites
I have read the most recent books by Kristin Hannah, but somehow this one slipped past me. It was recommended by Anne Bogel on her What Should I Read Next podcast on two different interviews, so I felt the need to give it a try. The story is so good. It pulled me in on the first page and kept my keen interest until the very last page. My favorite kind of book. I highly recommend it.
Barbara
An engaging novel about a discredited child psychologist, and a "wild" child. Of course there are romantic elements, but they were well done and credible. Dr. Julia Cates returns to her hometown in rural Washington state, where her sister is sheriff. It's perfect timing as Julia is being pursued by the media after a former patient commits a multiple murder. Julia is called home after the appearance of a young girl who emerges from the woods with only a wolf as a companion.

This book kept me
...more
Anna
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a good story. I wish I could have given it 5 stars, but the bad language and casual sex brought it way down. It could have been absolutely great and appealed to a lot more people if it had been a clean read. Why do authors think that cursing and multiple sexual encounters make the story more enticing to readers?

Well, I finished it. I had to find out what happened to the little girl who comes in out of the woods, who has obviously been abandoned and abused. The characters were
...more
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116,014 followers
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and ...more
“Girls like you can't understand," Julia said, and it was true. Ellie had been popular. She didn't know that some hurts were like a once-broken bone. In the right weather, they could ache for a lifetime.” 21 likes
“It was the Magic Hour, the moment in time when every leaf and blade of grass seemed to separate, when sunlight, burnished by the rain and softened by the coming night, gave the world an impossibly beautiful glow.” 18 likes
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