shortlisted for Book of the Month
Fictional Drama /Autism
"Set in the lawless town of Deadwood, South Dakota, Hour Glass shares an intimate look at the woman behind the legend of Calamity Jane told through the eyes of twelve-year-old Jimmy Glass.
After their pa falls deathly ill with smallpox, Jimmy and his sister, Hour, travel into Deadwood to seek help. While their pa is in quarantine, the two form unbreakable bonds with the surrogate family that emerges from the tragedy of loss.
In a place where life is fragile and families are ripped apart by disease, death, and desperation, a surprising collection of Deadwood's inhabitants surround Jimmy, Hour, and Jane. There, in the most unexpected of places, they find a family protecting them from the uncertainty and chaos that surrounds them all."
I loved this book. It is a beautiful and insightful portrayal of a small mixed-race autistic girl. It’s told through the eyes of her 12-year-old brother who loves and cares for his little half-sister – both left motherless as their father is dying of smallpox. They are looked after by a cast of unlikely characters, including Calamity Jane, in the lawless frontier town of Deadwood, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The book touches a number of important topics such as autism, the lives of orphans in the pioneer days, courage, compassion and not being too quick to judge others. However, these themes are never heavy. Instead, they’re skilfully woven into a heart-warming and unforgettable story.
The story has a vibrant and vividly portrayed cast of engaging characters. The language is rich and deeply engaging – all the senses are engaged.
Highly recommended. You might need your hanky!
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds