Deep in the Pacific Northwest lies the Olympic National Forest- nearly one million acres of impenetrable darkness and impossible beauty. Even in this modern age, much of it remains undiscovered and uncharted. From the heart of this old forest, a six-year-old girl appears. Speechless and alone, she can give no clue as to her identity, no hint of her past. . . . Until recently, Dr. Julia Cates was one of the preeminent child psychiatrists in the country, but a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career, and made her a media target. When she gets a desperate call from her estranged sister, Ellie, a police chief in their small western Washington hometown, she jumps at the chance to escape. In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens-until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Julia has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. When word spreads of the "wild child" and the infamous doctor who is treating her, the media descend on Julia and once again her competence is challenged.
Hannah's melodramatic 15th novel (after The Things We Do for Love) tells the addictive soap opera story of a feral child and the adults who rally to help her. The cast of stock characters is led by child psychiatrist Dr. Julia Cates, whose reputation was ruined when she failed to prevent a teen patient from staging a Columbine-style massacre. Her sister, Ellie Barton, a smalltown former homecoming queen-turned-chief of police, summons Julia from Los Angeles to their Pacific Northwest hometown of Rain Valley to take on the case of a mysterious lost child, who appeared one day on the edge of town, presumably raised by wolves. With the dashing doctor Dr. Max Cerrasin at her side, Julia works diligently to tame the mute girl, whom she names Alice. Max, like Julia, is running from demons of his own. Though she initially rebuffs his overtures ("When I love, I risk my heart. All or nothing," Julia declares), their romance inevitably blossoms while they work to solve the mystery of Alice's parentage. The novel's real love story, though, is the passion between Alice and Julia, and it's hard not to root for the vulnerable little Wolf Girl. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . LOVED THIS BOOK
Posted September 21, 2010 by kim , ottawaThis was the first of Kristen Hannah's books I have read and I loved it. The relationship that grew between the sisters and the little girl, as time went on was belivable and sometimes sad. I spent a whole saturday reading this book from start to finish. It will not be my last Kristen Hannah read
2 . Loved tis book!
Posted May 31, 2009 by jasmin , VAThis is a well written story about 2 sisters and their journey to save a little girl and each other. Such a sweet story. I had to share this book with my Mom.
February 01, 2006
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Excerpt from Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
It will all be over soon.
Julia Cates had lost count of the times she'd told herself that very thing, but today--finally--it would be true. In a few hours the world would know the truth about her.
If she made it downtown, that was. Unfortunately, the Pacific Coast Highway looked more like a parking lot than a freeway. The hills behind Malibu were on fire again; smoke hung above the rooftops and turned the normally bright coastal air into a thick brown sludge. All over town terrified babies woke in the middle of the night, crying gray-black tears and gasping for breath. Even the surf seemed to have slowed down, as if exhausted by the unseasonable heat.
She maneuvered through the cranky, stop-and-go traffic, ignoring the drivers who flipped her off and cut in front of her. It was expected; in this most dangerous of seasons in Southern California, tempers caught fire as easily as backyards. The heat made everyone edgy.
Finally, she exited the freeway and drove to the courthouse.
Television vans were everywhere. Dozens of reporters huddled on the courthouse steps, microphones and cameras at the ready, waiting for the story to arrive. In Los Angeles it was becoming a daily event, it seemed; legal proceedings as entertainment. Michael Jackson. Courtney Love. Robert Blake.
Julia turned a corner and drove to a side entrance, where her lawyers were waiting for her.
She parked on the street and got out of the car, expecting to move forward confidently, but for a terrible second she couldn't move. You're innocent, she reminded herself. They'll see that. The system will work. She forced herself to take a step, then another. It felt as if she were moving through invisible wires, fighting her way uphill. When she made it to the group, it took everything she had to smile, but one thing she knew: it looked real. Every psychiatrist knew how to make a smile look genuine.
"Hello, Dr. Cates," said Frank Williams, the lead counsel on her defense team. "How are you?"
"Let's go," she said, wondering if she was the only one who heard the wobble in her voice. She hated that evidence of her fear. Today, of all days, she needed to be strong, to show the world that she was the doctor they'd thought she was, that she'd done nothing wrong.
The team coiled protectively around her. She appreciated their support. Although she was doing her best to appear professional and confident, it was a fragile veneer. One wrong word could strip it all away.
They pushed through the doors and walked into the courthouse.