Intriguing insight into the McCarthy era

The Hours Count: A Novel - Jillian Cantor

This is an intriguing fictional account of a young mother who befriends Ethel Rosenberg. I felt it to be quite an original way of portraying Ethel as a loving wife and mother and gave a new insight into the lives of both Ethel and her husband, Julius.  The neighbor, Millie, and her family are completely fictitious but the author does weave the story around true facts.


I recently read and reviewed "A Place We Knew Well" and like that book, "The Hours Count" brought me back to that time in history when Americans lived with the fear of being bombed by Russia on a daily basis, this time focusing on the threat to Manhattan. A reader of my blog - Troy's Blog - commented on my review of "A Place We Knew Well" that it was beyond him how anyone could keep a level head under that threat.  I think that "The Hours Count" proves that we always didn't.


The neighbor Millie is often naive about the world around her. She's a very likable character and my heart ached for her as she struggled with her love for her mute child and her life with an unaffectionate husband.  The one downside I found in the book was the love angle with Jake.  I found him to be a very confusing character, one who kept deviating from what I expected of him. 


Please do know that this is a very fictionalized and slanted portrayal of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. What this novel does do is give you an intimate look at the lives and fears of those living during that time period and it will make you want to read more about these people and the true facts surrounding their execution.  It's a suspenseful book, even knowing the ending, due to the fictionalized story revolving around Millie.  I recommend it to those interested in that time period as it will give you a good insight into the tense atmosphere Americans lived with.  But I would recommend reading a factual based book if you're specifically interested in the Rosenbergs.


This book was given to me by the publisher through First to Read in return for an honest review.