The Twilight Hour

The Twilight HourEleanor Lee Has Lived A Fiercely Independent Existence For Over Ninety Years, But Now It S Time To Tidy Her Life Away Books, Photographs, Paintings, Letters A Lifetime Of Possessions All Neatly Boxed Up For The Last Time But Amongst Them There Are Some Things That Must Be Kept Hidden And, Nearing Blindness, Eleanor Needs Help To Uncover Them Before Her Children And Grandchildren Do

Half of the writing team known as

❰Read❯ ➬ The Twilight Hour Author Nicci Gerrard –
  • Paperback
  • 416 pages
  • The Twilight Hour
  • Nicci Gerrard
  • English
  • 15 August 2017

10 thoughts on “The Twilight Hour

  1. says:

    Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for my review copy.Eleanor is in her 90s and desperate for her secrets to stay hidden She is losing her sight and her family want her to sell up She almost burns down the house, trying to dispose of paperwork Peter is in his twenties and is brought into her life to go through the mountain of possessions and stuff accumulated over a lifetime Slowly Eleanor and Peter get to know each other and Eleanor reveals her past secrets.This is a gentle beautiful read, that makes you reflect on the ageing process and how appearances can be deceptive The mystery is there, as we slowly uncover what happened to a much younger Eleanor.I was very drawn to Eleanor and Peter and their relationship As Peter became fascinated by Eleanor, so did I.Worth a read for the lovely portrayal of a fascinating elderly woman.

  2. says:

    For the most part I read what is generally known as literary fiction fiction that has not just the surface story but layers beneath dealing with themes, psychology and anything else the writer is really writing about And this means that I rarely encounter such a beginning as the one in The Twilight Hour It s not really surprising though as Nicci Gerrard is one half of the husband and wife team writing as Nicci French very skilled writers no matter how you classify them At the dawn of the Second World War, Eleanor is a fiercely independent young woman, determined to write her own future, rejecting marriage for passion, security for adventure But now seventy years later, alone in her big house, she is anxious to erase the past.Peter Mistley, a young man escaping his own ghosts, is employed to help Eleanor sort through her life of possessions For amongst them are things that her children and grandchildren must never find Here is that beginning which draws you in Of course after that you can t put the book down trying to work out what actually happened to the young Eleanor and being concerned about the much older Eleanor with a lot to hide Eleanor woke to what was not there Outside, the wind still roared, dashing pellets of rain against the windows inside it was too silent, not a breath or a heartbeat save hers The darkness felt uninhabited Before she reached out her hand, groping past the water jug and the vase of dying flowers to touch the bed and find it empty, the blanket thrown back and the pillow dislodged, she knew she was alone She let fear seep through her, into every space in her body She could taste the muddy, metal ache of it in her mouth feel it in the palms of her hands and the base of her spine and in her throat like a rippling, oily snake she could smell it on her skin, sour as spoilt milk Gerrard writes some of the most vivid writing I ve come across writing that concerns how a character is feeling Here is a favourite passage Eleanor swam upstream, beyond the group, and lay on her back in the dusky silence She closed her eyes and saw the pattern of leaves against her eyelids She must not No, she must not Monstrous, unthinkable She must not think it Or feel it or even let the thought touch her body She swam further up the river, against the tug of the water Descriptions aside, what ultimately ensured I really enjoyed this book is that it concerns characters I wanted to spend time with.

  3. says:

    Eleanor Lee is in her nineties and blind She has finally decided that the time has come for her to go into a care home but first she needs to sort through the lifetime s accumulation of paperwork, letters, books and photographs She doesn t want her relatives doing this and one of her grandsons recommends Peter, a friend of his, who is recovering from a failed love affair.As Eleanor s past is gradually revealed through photographs and letters Peter grows closer to the elderly lady and finds his own life starts to make sense This book is well written though low key The plot lies in what happened in Eleanor s life and is told in flashbacks as she answers Peter s questions.I thought the atmosphere of an old house full of memories was very well done and I could almost feel I was there with Peter going through the detritus of Eleanor s life I also liked the sympathetic way the relationship between Peter and Eleanor was developed.If you enjoy books which make you think and which may well cause you to discover about them on second reading then this may be the book for you I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley for review purposes.

  4. says:

    Brilliant Evocative, graceful,powerful,WONDERFUL My View The past never removes itself to a distance This is a finely drawn, exquisite look at relationships and love, the heroine a strong feminist before the word was popular I have not read any Nicci Gerrard books before but have read and been impressed by several by Nicci French the pseudonym for writers Nicci Gerrard and Sean French who write psychological crime thrillers together , I love these works I was very impressed with the quality of the writing in this novel the evocative language, the realistic settings, the honest, powerful, passionate and strong female protagonist and her moving story I was moved by this narrative, so much so I read the last few pages through teary eyes and thinking of this book even now, a week or so after I read this book has me choking up An exquisite read, an author I will be adding to my must read list.

  5. says:

    a lifetime of secrets one last chance to confess eleanor lee is now 94 and she has finally decided to sort out her house before moving to a home, much against her wishes one of her relatives enlists the help of his friend peter to assist and by so doing, a unique relationship develops between the two she finally unburdens herself of the secrets she has kept hidden for over 60 decades and in so din finally releases her soul and that of peter forbidden love, betrayal, guilt and self sacrifice but by releasing her memories at last can eleanor still protect those who must never know the truth or do they a beautiful novel with great characterisation just surprised that peter did not establish when and how eleanor became blind in fact it was never revealed bev

  6. says:

    Eleanor Lee is approaching the end of her life and will soon have to give up her independence to move into a home Before she does she must sort out all she has accumulated over the years, and this includes letters and papers from her early life a life she has kept hidden from her family and which she doesn t want them to know about She employs a young man called Peter to go through her papers and as their relationship develops she gradually reveals to him the story of her past It s a slow burn of a novel, for sure, and I didn t really becomes involved until about half way through, but once I was hooked into Eleanor s revelations I became totally absorbed and found it a moving tale of what might have been , the other life perhaps many of us might have had and still sometimes wonder about The suspense was cleverly maintained right to the end with some skilful pacing and Eleanor is a memorable character indeed A gripping and atmospheric novel of love and loss.

  7. says:

    Gerrard normally writes as part of her partnership with Sean French, under the pen name Nicci French In The Twilight Hour we meet Eleanor Lee, an elderly blind woman of ninety four coming to terms with the fact that her life is nearly over she doesn t want her papers, of which there are lots to be sorted out by her children She is so concerned that they will learn about her than she wishes that she attempts to burn the evidence, an act that causes her children to take a stand and insist that she move from her isolated house Eleanor decides that before she goes someone independent should sort through all her possessions and Peter is employed to carry out the task Peter is taken into her confidence as he catalogues her books, her photos and her private papers while her children organise the distribution of the larger items.Ultimately the core of the book is the secrets that Eleanor doesn t want revealed, even after she has gone but there is so much to this book than that with themes of guilt, loss and love vying with the trusting and very touching relationship that builds between Eleanor and her keeper of secrets, Peter Peter is a young man just starting out in life whilst Eleanor looks back over her life wishing that it had been different despite to all outward appearances it having been a good life she had a loving marriage, four children and now there is a large collection of grandchildren and great grandchildren Her secret dates back to the days leading up to WWII when Eleanor was a young teacher, soon to be waving off her charges on a train to wherever they were being evacuated to and I was eager to find out what had happened that caused such an impact even over seventy years later.Nicci Gerrard paints a picture of a wonderful large and shabby house full to the brim with relics from Eleanor s life, the rocking horse and dolls house vying for attention alongside the grandfather clock and the piano Eleanor herself dresses up in vintage clothes each day, not realising that the velvet skirt has worn patches or that the hem is crusted with dirt from her beloved garden The method of revealing what actually happened all those years before is done using flashbacks as Eleanor recounts her story to Peter The pace is perfect with the breaks in the story being supplemented with perfectly observed details about Eleanor s life and the relationships she has with various other family members Aside from the touching relationship that grows between Eleanor and Peter, the supporting characters are well defined despite the fact that in keeping with the novel, they are the background to the main events.A delightful story, brilliantly told starring a fantastic cast of characters, if you love tales of passion betrayals and consequences, try this one.I d like to thank the publishers Penguin Books UK for allowing me to read this book in return for this honest review.

  8. says:

    This was a very touching book, alternating between Eleanor s life around the time of the 2nd world war and the present day, when she is an old women Eleanor has a secret that she doesn t want her family to uncover and Peter is enlisted to help clear out her things so the family don t have to do it This aspect is slightly implausible as, if Eleanor is anxious to avoid her family finding out about her past, why would she be happy to employ someone who is connected to her grandson However, if this is overlooked the book was well written and enjoyable.

  9. says:

    I won this at the end of last year on the goodreads giveaways Nicci Gerrard is actually half of Nicci French, who writes thrillers I think I read one of those a few years ago Anyway, this book is quite different in tone to the thrillers.Eleanor Lee nee Wright is a very old and virtually blind lady After an accident she agrees with her family that she can no longer live alone in her country home, and will move into a home after her birthday In the meantime she hires a young man, Peter, to go through all of her papers, letters, books, photographs etc to sort through what should be kept, thrown out etc She wants a stranger to do this job, not family Partly this is because there are a few letters none of the family know about Eleanor s private life from her youth that she wants to be found and destroyed And through these, she shares the story of her younger days with Peter.The Twilight Hour obviously refers to Eleanor in her last phase of life, reflecting back So it s got a rather melancholic twinge, not just because she is dying, but because it s looking back over a long life and everything that is now done and finished, lost to the past I think it s also a reminder that we shouldn t patronise and baby the eldery as if they know nothing of life Just because they re old now, it doesn t mean they weren t young once.It s also a reminder that life isn t easy, doesn t run smoothly and we don t always get what we want I really liked Eleanor, she was brave enough to face up to that fact and the fact that life keeps on moving no matter what In contrast, her younger step sister, Merry, never wanted to accept reality and ended up as this rather insipid doll princess that has just skipped out of the playroom With occasional flashes of self absorbed viciousness I suppose you have to pity her, because in clinging to these fantasies and not leaving fairybook land, she never got to live a real life Still, there are lots of Merrys out there.Light but pleasant reading, with sadness, so perhaps not one to read if you re feeling blue.

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