Masha Hamilton’s latest novel, 31 Hours, celebrates its official release date today, even though it’s been in bookstores since September 8th. Early praise has been sensational and you can read these critical raves on the author’s website Reviews page. However the following words say it all:
“Gorgeous and complex…a very tense narrative, vividly imagined and eerily plausible.”__Publishers Weekly
This is an author of three other novels — including The Camel Bookmobile which inspired two world literacy programs: the Camel Book Drive, founded by Masha in 2007 to supply a camel-borne library in northeastern Kenya, and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, begun just this year “to foster creative and intellectual exchange between Afghan women writers and American women authors and teachers.”
To learn more about this former foreign correspondent, please read her Bio. For now, she has turned her attention to the telling of a fictional race against time to stop a mass killer in the New York subway system. Masha Hamilton’s 31 Hours works by also making this a story about a mother’s intuition that there is something seriously wrong with her sensitive son.
Of course this is a story about which one can tell very little or the suspense will suffer. Fortunately, though, there is a choice for how much you wish to know. Listen to an AudioCast with Masha Hamilton on 31 Hours, view the The Book Trailer for 31 Hours and/or read an Excerpt.
While the above options have been provided by the author, The Divining Wand has discovered the August 28, 2009 blog post, 31 Amazing Hours, by yesterday’s featured author Jessica Barksdale Inclan. And, with her permission, Jessica’s post follows:
31 Amazing Hours
When I dream of my oldest son, off in his anarchical life, it’s never a happy dream. Not any more. I dream that he is living in a house surrounded by water. I dream that his foot is so infected I can barely recognize his flesh, the flesh that I am so familiar with. I dream that he is in an airplane heading up and then, no, heading toward ground, fast.
I wake up in a sweat, so sad, so afraid. I weep, sad from the innermost part of me. My core is weeping. I am sad because I don’t know where he is going him. I cannot follow him. When I see him, he seems fine, but I don’t know the mysteries of his heart. I was gifted once with that knowledge, but he has been on his own path for so long, that I can only watch him walk away from me, calling out to him from a growing distance.
And the above is why I’m having a hard time reading Masha Hamilton’s novel 31 Hours. It is a wonderful novel, and that’s the problem. She has created such a true, riveting story about a mother and a son, a mother connected so strongly to her son and then that connection is snapped like a twig. How did it happen? The mother doesn’t know. She has no idea at all. This fully present mother is clueless.
I know the answers because I’ve been too scared to read the novel straight through. I read Carol’s POV, and then I flip to the back of the book, desperate for the answers to the story that I can get–unlike in life, where I have to wait to live through it. What will Jonas do? I have to know. Maybe it will be bearable then. Maybe I will survive the novel and survive my own life with my son.
I’m only on page 30, but I know what happens on page 229. This is how I can read this amazing story. This is the only way, and I move toward page 229 the hard way now, one page at a time.
31 Hours is available for purchase online and at bookstores everywhere.
[Note: Jessica Barksdale Inclan’s Giveaway of three sets of her trilogy, including The Beautiful Being, remains open and your Comment/entry can be posted here until Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.]