The Hours of the Night

A couple of weeks ago, after meeting a friend for lunch, I browsed a bookstore and bought a book that was on sale for a dollar. I’d never heard of the author, Sue Gee, but I was struck by the title, The Hours of the Night. I didn’t open the book or even bother to read the reviews on the back cover; I just took it up to the counter.

I’ve been engrossed in this novel most evenings for the past week. Gee writes beautifully and has an incredible ability to evoke a sense of place (in this case, a remote village in the Welsh countryside), but it was her characters who grabbed and held me. I met myself in the novel’s pages, more than once. The thirtysomething virginal poet who falls in love with a gay man… that was me in my last incarnation, before Mike. The young widow seeking solace in new surroundings, talking to her dead husband, trying to rebuild her life… I see her every day in the mirror. And the elderly widow, dying alone and bitter, thirty lonely years after the death of her husband… the embodiment of all my fears.

I knew these characters intimately, even before the author had revealed them to me. Getting lost in this book has been a comfort, allowed me to feel connected to something larger than myself. The young widow falls in love again, and that gave me hope… until the last few pages, where the happy ending, for me, rang slightly false.

Maybe I just don’t believe in happy endings anymore. Or maybe I’m still too deep in the hours of the night to trust in the dawn.


~ by hourbeforedawn on June 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Hours of the Night”

  1. For me, it is the tacked on happy ending of “meet someone new, fall in love, and everything is alright.” Such a lie. Even if you do choose to enter into a relationship at some time in your life, that does not make everything okay. That is not the holy grail, or the grand solution.

  2. Isn’t is amazing how these things find us just when we need them? I really hope you will find some kind of happy ending again some day.

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