I originally purchased Eight Perfect Hours thinking that it is a Christmas romance, but then I learned that it definitely is not so I saved it for the new year when winter was in full swing. I stand by that decision.
Thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when she becomes stranded on a highway during a blizzard. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan.
In this romantic and heartwarming novel, two strangers meet in chance circumstances during a blizzard and spend one perfect evening together, thinking they’ll never see each other again. But fate seems to have different plans. From the acclaimed author of the “swoon-worthy…rom-com” (The Washington Post) Dear Emmie Blue.
On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.
All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.
With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate.
The Washington Post apparently called Eight Perfect Hours “one of the best feel-good books of 2021.” Whoever said this needs to read an actual feel-good book, because Eight Perfect Hours is not one.
I have been struggling to find a book I can be absorbed in and thought a romance may just do the trick. Eight Perfect Hours was not the romance to pick up. It was a slog to get through, but I did not want to abandon it after I had read almost one-third. I was hoping for a little sizzle, but this book fizzled.
Eight Perfect Hours is a book about grief, fear, putting the past behind you, and fate. Noelle and Sam meet when they are stranded in a snowstorm on the highway for eight hours. How these are seen as perfect hours is beyond me. The story does not even dive deeply into the time they spent together, but instead, paints it in broad strokes. Despite thinking they will never see each other again, fate continues to bring them together. You can guess the rest.
For me, there was no chemistry. I do not even know why they wanted to see each other again, except for easy conversation. Mind that there was zero witty banter in this book. Instead, it was a lot of crying, sob stories, and droning on and on about the same thing repeatedly. I should also mention that I have little sympathy in real life and in books for people who complain about a situation and never make an effort to change or solve it. For most of the book, this was the main character Noelle.
There are quite a few characters in this book other than the two protagonists… and not one of them won me over. I found the characters to have little depth. There were plenty of side stories though that I cared very little about. It seemed a bit like Lia Louis wanted to address some issues beyond those the main characters experienced and tried to fit them all in rather than adding depth to the characters.
There is a bit of a plot twist at the end of the book, but again, I just did not care all that much. Noelle also gets her life together a bit which was a refreshing change of pace. The ending won me over a bit, because I am a sucker for a happily ever after. However, I cannot overlook a majority of the book because I like a feel-good ending.
Overall, Eight Perfect Hours is a slow, mostly sad story that tries to convince you to believe in fate rather than happenstance. It is not a memorable book, and I found it to be okay at best. I will not be recommending this book.
Eight Perfect Hours
September 28, 2021