Our Magic Hour

Jennifer Down

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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 Houris 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.

Jennifer Downis a writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications including the Age, Saturday Paper, Australian Book Reviewand Overland. She is one of Sydney Morning Herald''sYoung Novelists of the Year, 2017. Our Magic Hour, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier''s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She lives in Melbourne.

''Down''s evocation of Audrey''s grief is astute, perceptive and always convincing...It''s compelling writing.'' Australian

''Intimate, raw and occasionally heartbreaking...I loved this book. Our Magic Houris beautiful, gut-wrenching fiction and I cannot recommend it highly enough.'' Readings

''Down has perfectly captured the vulnerability of youth...An incredibly intimate and tender novel about friendship, family and the transformative power of grief...It is easily one of the best Australian debuts I''ve read in a long time.'' Lip Mag

''Down''s novel is a story about very small things, that all add up to very big things about grief and friendship, love and death...Down has an impressive feel for the drama of the ordinary.'' Age/Sydney Morning Herald

''Down has a reserved but beautiful prose...In its maturity and elegance, Our Magic Houris a surprising and captivating debut novel. I have no doubt that Down will produce more quality writing in the future.'' Farrago

''Down''s preoccupations are those of a young adult grappling with heavy issues, and she does so admirably...Our Magic Hourtakes place in a lively, vivid Melbourne cityscape.'' Otago Daily Times

''Striking, breathlessly written...Down''s clear and confident voice can play originally with language...An eloquent debut.'' WA Today

''Down''s supple social realism has a vitality and energy to it...I''m sure that Down will be a fixture in the Australian lit scene for years to come.'' Lifted Brow

''An impressive and emotionally sophisticated novel.'' Australian Book Review

''Its depictions of the characters'' close friendships, and the personalised map of Melbourne it draws were so vivid and so true that I found myself almost longing for the same, despite the sadness at the heart of the book.'' Readings, Our Favourite Books of 2016 (so far)

''Subtle and vividly observed, Our Magic Houris a chronicle of early adulthood, with all its violent unions and passionate friendships...Down''s work [is] universally important.'' Overland

''Down''s depiction of modern Melbourne is so familiar and evocative that I felt like I''d bumped into her characters at the cafe just the day before. For a book so infused with grief and longing, the sheer amount of love and depth of feeling in the novel made me yearn for everything and nothing all at once, and has stayed with me throughout the year.'' 2016 Staff Picks, Kill Your Darlings

''If Helen Garner turned her razor-sharp eye to a new generation, Our Magic Hourmight be the result. Down unravels the self-obsession and shortsightedness of youth with insight and affection, and turns the grit of modern twenty-something life--breakups, breakdowns, new jobs and new towns--into something profound, beautiful and hopeful.'' Junkee

''Down writes equally of significant moments and unremarkable days with sparing beauty. Particularly adept at depiction of place, Down made me wonder if I hadn''t sat across from Audrey on the train to Redfern, bumped elbows with her at a bar in Bondi. Down is the kind of writer that you''ll be lucky to get on at the ground floor with, she is only going up.'' Concrete Playground 

''A raw novel about growing up in a world that never seems to make any sense...this novel manages to neatly capture that universal malaise felt by terrified millennials all over the world.'' Vice

''A masterclass in elegant understatement...A very fine novel indeed--compassionate, clear-sighted and lovely.'' A Life in Books

''Down''s prose is sharp and intimate, the characters flawed and achingly familiar. For a book about mourning, it''s not overly sentimental or indulgent. Instead, the characters'' grief is ugly and bewildering. Our Magic Houris a compelling, authentic portrayal of loss, dislocation and the unsteadiness of young adult life.'' Good Reading 

ISBN: 9781925240832
Publication Date: 24-Feb-2016
Publisher: Text Publishing Company