Small Hours by Jennifer Kitses, Grand Central Publishing, US $26.00, Pp 288, June 2017, ISBN 978-1455598526
Small Hours unfolds over the course of less than 24 hours. The story follows a husband and wife who try to outrun the secrets that threaten their marriage. They are going through the same stresses of married life we all experience: career and money problems, child-rearing issues.
Helen and Tom flee New York to start their lives afresh when they were on the edge of the economic downturn. They moved to a small house in a former mill town where they plan to raise their daughters away from the pressures of the city. But the fragile equilibrium of their domestic bliss hits a breaking point. On a September morning Helen begins to lose control. Exhausted from juggling ambitions, frustrations, and unrealistic expectations, she snaps – and suddenly finds herself drawn into a violent conflict with two local teenagers.
Helen is unaware of her danger, in a Manhattan office seventy miles away. Her well-meaning but distracted husband is facing a crisis of his own at his high-pressure newsroom job and struggling to keep hidden a second, secret life. Time passes fast as Helen and Tom try to bury their mistakes and lies that are ever faster to the surface spiraling into chaos and threatening everything they hold dear. In Jennifer Kitses’s debut Small Hours marriage is like a pressure cooker with no outlet for steam. Jennifer Kitses shows how little it takes for any marriage to explode as it is already at near boiling point. Jennifer Kitses beautifully dissect marital relationship to which most of us can relate. You will not be able to put it down before finishing it.
Jennifer Kitses is a graduate of the creative writing program at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She also attended Columbia Journalism School, and has worked as a reporter for Bloomberg News and as an editor for several universities.