Goodreads blurb: “2014. Sensible Nora has always taken success for granted, until suddenly her life begins to fall apart. Troubled by anxiety and nightmares, she finds herself drawn to the sweeping beaches of Tenby, a place she’s only been once before. Together with a local girl she rents a beautiful townhouse and slowly begins to settle in to her new life. But Tenby hides a secret, and Nora will soon discover that this little town by the sea has the power to heal even the most painful memories.
1950. Teenager Chloe visits Tenby every summer. She stays with relatives, and spends the long, idyllic days on the beach. Every year is the same, until she meets a glamorous older boy and is instantly smitten. But on the night of their first date, Chloe comes to a realisation, the aftermath of which could haunt her forever.
The Hourglass is a moving novel about reinvention and reconciliation; about finding love even after it seems too late, about family and the healing power of a magical place by the sea.”
I meant to read this book last summer, hence why I chose it for the BookBum Book Club’s July theme ‘That’s So Last Year’. It was on last year’s 20 Books of Summer list, but somehow it didn’t truly grab me until I’d bought a copy of the audiobook earlier in the year.
Well I loved this audiobook right from when I heard one of the narrator’s reading with a Welsh accent and knew I’d be in for a treat.
Chloe’s story set in 1950s Wales was my favourite, particularly when she visited Tenby each summer. I felt like I was there with her discovering the area, meeting Llew Jones and trying to get in her cousin Megan’s good books. Imogen Church’s narration was perfect for me as she expertly brought this part of the book and characters to life.
I must admit I was slow to warm to Nora’s story set in 2014, probably because I wasn’t so keen on the narrator for this part of the story. I eventually got used to her voice and actually really enjoyed it, particularly when Nora moved location and started experiencing new things.
This was a wonderful book that has become a favourite this year. I thoroughly recommend this if you enjoy dual time stories full of family secrets.