//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=dantra0c-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=0778314979&asins=0778314979&linkId=IAJE2SPYSA25AZC5&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=trueThe Mourning Hours is the story of a wrongly accused boy. Everyone turns their back on him, his life is ruined, and the truth only comes out when he is well into middle age. Then, everyone apologetically claims that they believed in him all along. The behavior of the community and those close to him is frustrating, but I watch enough 20/20 and Dateline NBC to know that it is depressingly authentic. The ending felt equal parts rushed and forced, but for the most part, The Mourning Hours is far from a bad read.
Set in the ’80s, Johnny Hammarstrom is the local high school’s wrestling star with a beautiful girlfriend and a seemingly perfect life. The girlfriend goes missing after the two have a fight, and Johnny is the number one person of interest. In spite of no solid evidence against him, the mere suspicion is enough to destroy any college wrestling prospects and basically smear his name forever.
DeBoard spends a lot of time painting Johnny’s downfall, but the redemption comes in a chapter, maybe less. It’s nice that Johnny’s innocence comes to light, but the fact that it occurs to rapidly causes the ending to be a disappointment.
The Mourning Hours is sad and depressing. It is told from the perspective of Johnny’s sister, Kirsten, who genuinely suspected that her brother could have been guilty. I like that it is never clear cut whether or not Johnny was capable of this sort of act. I did not like the way the truth comes to light. I’m just happy that this book didn’t suck – I’m on a roll lately.
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