narrated by: Dorothy Dillingham Blue
Listening Library (audio)/Knopf Books for Young Readers (print)
March 11, 2014
12 hours 15 minutes/384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/at Audible/or Amazon
A Southern girl. A wounded soldier. A chilling force deep in the forest.
All collide at night’s darkest hour.
Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother.
When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she's drawn to him. But Violet isn't Thomas's only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn't been out of compassion.
Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.
From the author of Strands of Bronze and Gold comes a haunting love story and suspenseful thriller based on the ancient fairy tale of “Tam Lin.”
Jane Nickerson’s Strands of Bronze and Gold, published last year, was a reteling of Bluebeard, with The Mirk & The Midnight Hour, she retells another little known fairy tale: ‘Tam Lin.’
Though not a sequel to Strands of Bronze and Gold, The Mirk & The Midnight Hour is set in the same town and they have a great character in common.
Taking place a couple of years after Strands, the civil war is now taking place and affecting the characters of TM&TMH. There is no part of Violet’s life that isn’t affected; her twin brother was killed and now her father has left to fight, leaving her with a new stepmother and sister. Beyond all of that, Violet begins to wonder if all of her own views on slavery and the war are what she thought and if they are correct.
As with Strands, slavery is very much a part of the novel. Whether it is the war that has affected Violet so much, her family’s own slaves or characters’ views on it, they all play an important role in the tale, also giving us insight into the characters.
Narrator Dorothy Dillingham Blue is fantastic as Violet. Violet’s character and all that she encounters make for someone readers can easily relate to, being quickly drawn into her tale. Blue’s narration really brings Violet, the entire world and the characters of The Mirk and The Midnight Hour to life.
The voices for all of the characters stay true with each of them easily identifiable.
One of the big events in novel seemed to be so strongly hinted at that while it may have been startling to the characters, readers will likely predict it. The exact occurrence and all that it brings do, still, contain some surprises.
Full of atmosphere, suspense, romance, drama and era relevant issues, The Mirk and The Midnight Hour is an incredibly enjoyable book. One that is even better as an audiobook.