In her twilight years, Eleanor Lee, age ninety-four, is preparing to close up the house where she has lived for many decades. A place where she lived throughout her marriage and while raising her children; a place that contains the memorabilia of a life, including its secrets.
She has hired young Peter Mistley, a man dealing with his own ghosts. He will help her sort through the papers, books, etc. And in the process, she can protect her children and grandchildren from what she has kept hidden for so long.
A beautifully written story that sweeps across time, from the dawn of WWII to the present, revealing through Eleanor’s voice the life she lived, the choices she made, and the shadow self that remains in her core. We see the young Eleanor Wright, as she fiercely seeks to live an independent life, making her own choices. We then see what happens to her when she realizes that some choices will lead to sorrow and loss.
I thoroughly enjoyed Eleanor, with all of her flaws and mistakes, because she readily acknowledged them, even though she kept some secrets from those she loved.
Peter has become her confidante as he sorts through everything and as they chat at the end of each day. And now that the task is complete, Eleanor must face it all head on, as she thinks of what she had, as well as what she had lost. A glimpse of that contemplation is revealed in this excerpt:
“Of course something had been lost. There is always something lost. Hopes and dreams and possibilities. Shadow lives and shadow selves. Roads not followed, loves not taken, doors left closed. In the end you have to choose who you will become. You are your life’s work. Every moment of every day makes you. Only at the end, when your story is over, do you know what you have created.”
The Twilight Hour was an emotional, heart-wrenching story of loss, secrets, and what might have been; but it is also a story of the beautiful gifts that come to those who choose to be happy. To move on and accept what they have. 5 stars.