Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

Setting: Iowa and California
Genre: Women's Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Lake Union
Release Date: September 19, 2017

Facing a divorce and having been laid off from her job, Hannah Smith has to start anew. She leaves her Chicago home and heads to Iowa to help care for her mother, a woman diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease, a form of dementia. Her mother's cries of "You're not my daughter" do not hit until Hannah finds evidence that she truly isn't her mother's daughter.

Feeling lost, Hannah heads to the address listed on her birth certificate. She's determined to unravel the truth about her parents' past and who her mother really is.

Strengths and Weaknesses

By now it's no secret that Lake Union Publishing is a favorite of mine. While a few books haven't grabbed me, the majority have. I've loved the pace, the characters, and the plots. Half Past is another strong novel that drew me in and held my interest until the final page.

Hannah's a little weaker, but it's her weakness that makes her shine. She's never felt like she really fits in. She doesn't look like her sisters, and she doesn't seem to connect with her mom as well as they have. Once she's out in California, she starts investigating her parents' past and things really pick up the pace. I never found the revelations to be shocking, but it was still engrossing.

RTR's Bottom Line

Half Past is a complete story, yet I found myself flying through it. It took no time at all, it seemed, to finish the entire novel. I started it at 7 p.m. and by 8:45 I was done. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery enough that I couldn't put it down. While I'm not sure it's a book I'd read over and over, it was engrossing while it lasted and that's always a plus.


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