Review: 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton

12:52 PM

31 Hours
by Masha Hamilton

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Unbridled Books (September 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1932961836
ISBN-13: 978-1932961836

Description (Publisher Website)
A woman in New York awakens knowing, as deeply as a mother’s blood can know, that her grown son is in danger. She has not heard from him in weeks. His name is Jonas. His girlfriend, Vic, doesn’t know what she has done wrong, but Jonas won’t answer his cell phone. We soon learn that Jonas is isolated in a safe-house apartment in New York City, pondering his conversion to Islam and his experiences training in Pakistan, preparing for the violent action he has been instructed to take in 31 hours. Jonas’s absence from the lives of those who love him causes a cascade of events, and as the novel moves through the streets and subways of New York we come to know intimately the lives of its characters. We also learn to feel deeply the connections and disconnections that occur between young people and their parents not only in this country but in the Middle East as well.
Carried by Hamilton’s highly-lauded prose, this story about the helplessness of those who cannot contact a beloved young man who is on a devastatingly confused path is compelling on the most human level. In our world, when a family loses track of an idealistic son an entire city could be in danger. From the author of The Distance Between Us.

Book trailer for the novel 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton from Masha Hamilton on Vimeo.

About The Author (Publisher Website)

For ten years, Masha Hamilton worked as a foreign correspondent overseas, first for the Associated Press in the Middle East and then as a Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Masha covered the intifada the peace process, and the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Later, she reported on the coup and collapse of the Soviet Union and the growing independence in Soviet Republics as well as Kremlin politics. She reported from Afghanistan in the spring of 2004. She currently lives with her family in New York City, where she teaches for Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She is also the author of another novel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps.  Author photo by Briana Orr

Watch the Podcast with Masha about 31 Hours

Author Website

When I started 31 Hours I thought that it would end up being a typical story of the genre - the story and characters mimicking those of a dozen other stories.  I was wrong. The characters and storyline of 31 Hours are anything but typical.

Masha Hamilton's writing is lyrical and provocative and causes the reader to feel the characters and the settings of this wonderful novel.  The story flows and takes the reader on a journey first exploring the mind of a young man who believes he has found a way to make a difference.  We get a glimpse of what transpires in the making of a terrorist.  The reader feels the growing terror of a mother who knows that something isn't right and her frantic search to locate her son.

I think what I realized the most with this book was how much the writing made me feel the emotions of the characters.

For me this book was an incredible experience.  I was captivated and couldn't put it down.  I know that the ending will stay with me and haunt me for quite a while.  This is a book that I'd heartily recommend.

Buy This Book Here

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