Set in early 1990s Manhattan and in eastern Afghanistan circa 2012, Blue Hours deftly explores identity, self-determination, and the consequences of neocolonialism. When we first meet Mim, a recent college graduate in NYC, she has disavowed her working-class roots, befriending Kyra, a dancer and daughter of privilege, until calamity causes their estrangement. Twenty years later, Kyra has gone missing abroad, 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 female friendship at its core, Blue Hours combines the moral complexity and surprise of Lillian Hellman’s Julia and Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder―Daphne Kalotay has crafted an unconventional tale about venturing beyond borders and of citizens persisting amid protracted war. In its ethical provocations, Blue Hours is timely and resonant, confronting the dissonance of America’s role in the conflicted, interconnected world.