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book cover of Our Magic Hour

Our Magic Hour

A novel by

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 Hour is 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 Down is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications including the Age, Saturday Paper, Australian Book Review and Overland. Our Magic Hour, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript.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 Hour is 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 Hour is 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 Hour takes 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 Hour is a chronicle of early adulthood, with all its violent unions and passionate friendships... Down's work [is] universally important.' Overland


Praise for this book

"All the rapture and calamity of youth. Jennifer Down is a writer of rare insight and heart." - Carrie Tiffany

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Used availability for Jennifer Down's Our Magic Hour

Paperback Editions

December 2016 : Australia Paperback

Title: Our Magic Hour
Author(s): Jennifer Down
ISBN: 1-925240-83-5 / 978-1-925240-83-2 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Our Magic Hour
Author(s): Jennifer Down
Publisher: Text Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA