Hourglass: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Hourglass by Myra McEntireFor the past four years Emerson Cole has seen strange things–things that shouldn’t be there–Southern Belles, Civil War soldiers, and other apparitions from the past. Without obvious cues from clothing, it’s hard for Emerson to tell if people are part of the here and now or a window from the past; it’s hard for Emerson to convince herself she isn’t losing her mind.

Pills helped. For a while. So did being away from her small Southern hometown at a boarding school where she didn’t need to think about the hallucinations or the loss of her parents. But with her scholarship gone Emerson finds herself back home facing the undesirable prospect of a senior year spent with the people who watched her lose her mind the first time.

Emerson knows she is beyond help, but agrees to one last consultation with a man from an organization called the Hourglass. Her brother, Thomas, assures her this one will be different.

Turns out Thomas was right about that.

Michael Weaver isn’t like the other people who tried to help Emerson. He is good looking and he isn’t much older than Em herself. He listens. He believes her. He doesn’t think she’s crazy at all.

Her past, her future–it all comes back to the Hourglass and her strange connection with Michael. If Emerson can make sense of the secrets and get at the truth about her visions it might change everything for both of them in Hourglass (2011) by Myra McEntire.

Hourglass is McEntire’s first novel.

Emerson’s narration is crisp and frank. McEntire has created a heroine here who is endearing, sharp, and quite entertaining. More importantly, Emerson is a survivor–even at her lowest and most damaged she remains strong. And Michael is a male lead who can match her par for par (sometimes literally).

Hourglass is sweeping, urgent and filled with extremely dramatic twists and turns. As much as this story is romantic and a fantasy it’s also a page-turner with a few surprises and a lot of suspense. Hourglass is an irresistible debut that resolves beautifully but also promises more stories about Emerson and her world.

You can also read my exclusive interview with Myra McEntire.

Possible Pairings: Loop by Karen Akins, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Born of Illusion by Teri Brown, The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Malice by Pintip Dunn, Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst, Clarity by Kim Harrington, The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone, Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, All Out Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, Pivot Point by Kasie West

Exclusive Bonus Content: How cool is that cover? I love it because it nods to a dress Emerson wears early on in the story while capturing the topsy turvy nature of her relationship with her visions. It’s one of the coolest covers I’ve seen on a 2011 debut. Props to cover designer Alison Klapthor and Lissy Laricchia who took the cover photo. Nicely done.

2 thoughts on “Hourglass: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

  1. So…can I ask a procedural question?

    Why is this categorized as chick lit? I don’t have a personal issue with the label, Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and she seems to be decidedly ensconced in the chick lit genre; but everything about this just sounds like a paranormal novel in the Mary Stewart / Cheri Priest / Charline Harris / Jim Butcher tradition.

    I don’t mean that question to sound like a challenge or a dissent, I’m genuinely curious and I consider you an expert in the field.

    Regardless of its category, I’m intrigued enough to put it in my to-read pile.

  2. Sure. That’s a perfectly fair question and one I should probably answer more prominently on the blog–maybe it’s time for a FAQ page.

    Basically the key is to think of it more as “Chick Lit Wednesday” instead of just “chick lit.” Chick Lit Wednesday is a weekly feature I’ve been doing just about as long as the blog has been around and over time it’s evolved into a weekly post featuring books my female authors and/or books with at least one strong female character.

    Partly it’s an effort to reclaim the term “chick lit” as it often encompasses a lot of books that belong in other genres (for instance, some people might consider Charlaine Harris’ books chick lit–at least before the TV series reinterpreted the books) and it’s also just a way to showcase books I like by women I admire with characters I love.

    So while all of the Chick Lit Wednesday books will have those things in common (possible female author, strong female character) they often fall into different genres. In fact a lot of books here are paranormal or fantasy titles because I have a fondness for those genres.

    Hope that answers your question!

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