Our Magic Hour

Jennifer Down

Our Magic Hour
  • Format
  • Publisher
  • Country
  • Published
  • Pages
  • ISBN

Our Magic Hour

Jennifer Down

Audrey, Katy and Adam have been friends since high school-a decade of sneaky cigarettes, drunken misadventures on Melbourne backstreets, heart-to-hearts, in-jokes.

But now Katy has gone. And without her, Audrey is thrown off balance: everything she thought she knew, everything she believed was true, is bent out of shape.

Audrey’s family-her neurotic mother, her wayward teenage brother, her uptight suburban sister-are likely to fall apart. Her boyfriend, Nick, tries to hold their relationship together. And Audrey, caught in the middle, needs to find a reason to keep going when everything around her suddenly seems wrong.

Evocative and exquisitely written, Our Magic Hour is a story of love, loss and discovery. Jennifer Down’s remarkable debut novel captures that moment when being young and invincible gives way to being open and vulnerable, when one terrible act changes a life forever.

Review

Jennifer Down’s Our Magic Hour is a brilliant Australian debut. Intimate, raw and occasionally heartbreaking, this is a book that demands to be devoured quickly, but stayed with me long after I finished the final page.

The story develops out of a triangular relationship between three childhood friends now in their mid-twenties – Audrey, Katy and Adam – and grows in scope to include Audrey’s relationships with her boyfriend, Nick, and her family. Tragedy strikes within the first handful of pages; the novel traces the ripple effect of grief after such a climactic opening. Our Magic Hour holds a mirror up to real life; plot, in a traditional sense, takes a back seat, allowing Down to explore the complexity of these relationships with empathy and nuance, never shying away from her characters’ ugliness or shortcomings.

The power of Our Magic Hour largely stems from Down’s skill in exploring the myriad ways that grief, trauma and mental illness manifest themselves in spaces and gestures between people. No person or incident in the novel reads as particularly out of the ordinary; the events that occur, both the devastating and the everyday, will strike a familiar chord with many readers, and the characters jump straight off the page and onto the 86 tram down Ruckers Hill, or the bus to Coogee from Central station. Place is integral to plot here. Melbourne and Sydney read almost as characters in their own right, strengthening the recognisable, Australian voice of the novel.

I loved this book. Down is an exceptional writer who displays real control over language while still daring to experiment throughout with dialogue, tense and form. I’m sure that this novel will launch her career as a major new literary talent. Our Magic Hour is beautiful, gut-wrenching fiction and I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Stella Charls is marketing and events coordinator for Readings.

This item is in-stock and will ship in 1-2 business days

Our stock data is updated overnight, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.

 Read reviewMusic and Freedom

Music and Freedom

Zoe Morrison

Alice Murray learns to play the piano aged three on an orange orchard in rural Australia. Recognising her daughter's gift, her mother sends Alice to boarding school in the bleak north of England, and there Alice stays for the rest...

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewOur Magic Hour

Our Magic Hour

Jennifer Down

Katy's unexpected suicide forever changes life for her best friend Audrey, and their group of close friends in their twenties.

$29.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewA Loving, Faithful Animal

A Loving, Faithful Animal

Josephine Rowe

It is New Year's Eve, 1990, and Ru's father has disappeared again. Haunted by the horrors of the Vietnam War, Jack has been an erratic - and at times violent - presence in his family's life. Meanwhile, Ru's sister, Lani, is...

$23.95Buy now

Finding stock availability...

The Last Days Of Ava Langdon

The Last Days Of Ava Langdon

Mark O'Flynn

Winner of the Voss Literary Prize 2017Ava Langdon is often not herself. Having fled her early life in New Zealand and endured the loss of her children, she now lives as a recluse in the Blue Mountains....

$29.95Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewOur Tiny, Useless Hearts

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts

Toni Jordan

One house, one weekend, and three couples in various states of marital disarray. A witty satire about fidelity and modern relationships.

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewDodge Rose

Dodge Rose

Jack Cox

Eliza travels to Sydney to deal with the estate of her Aunt Dodge, and finds Maxine, a hitherto unknown cousin, occupying Dodge's apartment. When legal complications derail plans to live it up on their inheritance, the women's...

$29.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...