Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses
Grand Central: 6/13/17
eBook review copy; 288 pages
Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses is a recommended domestic drama.
Nichols and Tom Foster are in their forties and the parents of
three-year-old twin daughters. They are regretting some of the
decisions they have made, including buying their house in Devon,
located in upstate New York. Unfortunately they are now upside-down in
their mortgage and can't afford to leave. Tom has a long commute into
Queens, while Helen tries to work from home. Neither are happy with the
current arrangement. Both are exhausted. Both are stressed out from
their jobs. Helen is a seething ball of rage and anger just under the
surface. Tom is trying to be a father to the twins as well as another
daughter born at the same time, a result of an affair.
Kitses debut novel focuses on an eventful, stressful twenty-four hour
period with chapters alternating between the actions of Helen and Tom.
Think 24, only focused on a perpetually exhausted,
uncommunicative couple who both have work problems, are under paid,
underappreciated, make increasingly poor choices, and in a crumbling
marriage. But in this scenario there are no cool action scenes and no
one is going to save the world, it is just a ticking clock, ever growing
weariness, and one mishap and misstep after another.
What saved Small Hours from the quagmire of being simply yet
another novel about a marriage falling apart is the excellent writing.
While I didn't like either character (And what is this with an
increasing number of books where I can not find a sympathetic character
because they both have w-a-y too many issues and are in denial?) the
quality of the writing does pull the novel out of muck to an at least
acceptable level. (It is not to the level of quality of Richard Russo,
as per the description.)
My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.