Small Hours

Small Hours

by Jennifer Kitses


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Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses

The Believer Book Award Longlist: Readers' Favorite Works of Fiction In 2017

In the vein of Richard Russo and Tom Perrotta, a gripping, suspenseful, and gorgeous debut novel—told hour-by-hour over the course of a single day—in which a husband and wife try to outrun long-buried secrets, sending their lives spiraling into chaos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455598526
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,277,092
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Kitses is the author of the novel Small Hours. She received an MLitt in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and has worked for Bloomberg News, Condé Nast Portfolio, and Columbia Business School. Her fiction has appeared in Akashic Books' online series, Mondays Are Murder. She lives with her family in New York.

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Small Hours 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
VicNYC More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. There's plenty of dramatic plot twists to draw the reader along , but even without them, even in quiet scenes in which nothing much actually happens, Jennifer Kitses manages to keep the tension on a low simmer, revealing the ever-present anxiety of everyday life. Buffeted from all sides by indifferent forces -- pushy bosses, unpaid bills, hostile neighbors, the emotional needs of others -- Tom and Helen don't have a moment for self-reflection; they are so busy anticipating future menace that they've lost sense of who they are. The book is a page-turner (I literally devoured this in a course of 2 days, reading so quickly I felt a little sick) but three-quarters of the way its structure and title began to make a deeper sense. SMALL HOURS captures the distorted way of thinking that happens in the small hours of the morning - distortions that, with the break of day, lose their power. The ending had a beauty, and a logical integrity, that redeemed the whole feverish journey.
VictoriaReads More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book! This story of a single day in Tom and Helen's troubled marriage takes us through familial, domestic, and career challenges. Each has secrets—some minor and some, very, very major—and the way Jennifer Kitses has the two characters/storylines circle around each other and ultimately mesh together is so effective. Throughout the book, Kitses does an amazing job of ratcheting up the stakes and the tension (at one point I was actually late to work because I couldn't stop reading to find out if Tom did the thing I really, really didn't want him to do). It's compulsively readable and hard to put down. Definitely recommended. I'm looking forward to this author's next book.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
An overview of the life of Tom and Helen is told in between another plot line which describes a 24 hour period in their lives. A period in which every bad decision that could be made by each of these people is made. Both of these people are the most irritating and frustrating characters that ever graced the pages of a book. Tom is a cheater and a stupid one at that. His "boss", "woman he cheated with" and "mother of his third child" first says she's going to have an abortion and then decides to keep the child, but raise it all on her own. Tom wants to be in the child's life and she says okay. She does not need his financial support, but agrees the child needs a father figure. He neglects his job and his other children to be with this child. Why? Helen is in the words of Prince "just like my mother, she's never satisfied". She just wants and wants. She's quit her job to freelance and stay home with the children and can't handle it. They have moved to the burbs into a house they can't afford, way overpaid and can't get out of the house without losing a ton of money. All because Helen wanted to. Now, she doesn't like the neighborhood (um, perhaps she should have checked it out instead of just relying on the picture of the house) and wants to move, loss or not. I spent most of the time while reading this book frustrated because these people, like I said, made every bad choice they could make. While the book was well written (the author certainly had my emotions going) I just could not stand the characters. At all. Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses is a recommended domestic drama. Helen 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.) Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.