Book Review : The Hourglass by Tracy Rees

May 8, 2017 Book review 14 ★★★★½

Do you like contemporary fiction and historical fiction? Well if so, you are in for a treat with The Hourglass by Tracy Rees, as it mixes both together flawlessly.

Book Review :  The Hourglass by Tracy ReesThe Hourglass by Tracy Rees
Published by Quercus Books on 4 May 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

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.

addictive ARC REVIEW Must-Read Tear Jerker

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them) and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.



The Assets of The Hourglass by Tracy Rees:

2 Fascinating Points of View : Chloe, a teenager in the 1950s who lives for her summer holidays in Wales every year.  And Nora, who turned 40 in 2014, and is realising that she hates her life and is ready to change everything up.  I loved both voices equally and happily flip-flopped between their story arcs.

1950s Wales setting: OMG, this setting was fabulous.  Think innocent times, days spent exploring, beach day after beach day, picnics, the excitement of your first teenage dance, freedom and ice cream.  I wanted to time-travel and be Chloe!

The symbolism: I loved the hourglass symbolism. Both Chloe and Nora are at turning points in their lives and the image of an hourglass captured that so well.  It’s also important for other reasons, and I appreciated how well that all fitted together.

Warmth: The book radiates warmth. The characters are lively, and I loved the friendships and romances.

Emotional Plot: Such a poignant plot, it made my heart beat faster with all the feels. I 100% fell in love with all the characters and feels were spilling over.



The Liabilities of The Hourglass by Tracy Rees:

I’m racking my brain, because I like to nit-pick! But I can’t find anything I hated.  It takes a little bit of time to fit everything together, but that’s part of the charm of the read.  So nothing!


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Investment potential of The Hourglass by Tracy Rees:

If you like the sound of a contemporary/recent historical fiction mash-up and a heartfelt plot, then yes definitely you should read this. If you are a fan of authors like Kate Morton, or Julia Crouch, then you might also like this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus Books for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration. As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.


Talk to Trish: Do you like symbolism in books?  The hourglass title had so much significance and it really made me appreciate how much thought the author put into her theme and subsequent title.



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14 Responses to “Book Review : The Hourglass by Tracy Rees”

  1. Kathryn Trask

    I ordered this book after your Sunday Post! Decided to get it in paperback so coming from the Book Dep. Could have asked for it on NG previously but didn’t want to over burden myself with reviews by certain dates. Looking forward to it, and as I enjoyed her last two no doubt this will go that way too.
    Kathryn Trask recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8th May

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