A mystery linking Manhattan circa 1991 to eastern Afghanistan in 2012, Blue Hours tells of a life-changing friendship between two memorable heroines. When we first meet Mim, she is a recent college graduate who has disavowed her lower middle class roots to befriend Kyra, a dancer and daughter of privilege, until calamity causes their estrangement. Twenty years later, Kyra has gone missing from her NGO's headquarters in Jalalabad, and Mim—now a recluse in rural New England—embarks on a mid-life journey to find her.
Anchored by an uninvited voyage into an extraordinary place, with a love story at its core, Blue Hours combines the adventure and moral complexity of Lillian Hellman's Julia and Ann Patchett's State of Wonder to tell a global story at an intimate level. In its ethical provocations, Blue Hours becomes an unconventional page-turner, confronting America's role in the conflicted, interconnected world.
"Kalotay’s latest [after Sight Reading] is a sharp portrait of an isolated woman seeking to understand a defining relationship of her past. . . [Blue Hours] successfully raises important questions about decisions made on both intimate and global levels, and their consequences. —Publishers Weekly
“Only a book this good could move so well from the intensities of youth to the disasters of the global world—love’s joys and miscalculations from the East Village to Afghanistan. Beautifully written, Blue Hours did that rarest of things, it took me places I never expected to go.” —Joan Silber, author of Improvement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
"I've never read a book quite like Blue Hours . . . Part heroic quest, part social X-ray, part sui-generis meditation on identity, this is a book that lodges, in the best sense, in the mind." —John Wray, author of Godsend
"In Blue Hours, Daphne Kalotay bravely and elegantly explores the ways in which past tragedies and crimes can return to haunt us, whether in our personal lives or our country's foreign policy. In this constantly surprising novel, Kalotay manages to connect an often-forgotten past to the present-day, helping to make sense out of America's place in an often bewildering world, while also tenderly examining what happens to one American's heart and mind when she finally reckons with her own role within it." —Suzy Hansen, author of Pulitzer finalist Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World