Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 320

Magic Hour, by Kristin Hannah, is an exploration into themes associated with child psychology, family connections, and romantic love, themes which all intertwine for the protagonist, Dr. Julia Cates. Developments in Julia's personal life become increasingly linked to her professional capacity as a child psychologist as she works with Alice, one of her patients.

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The theme of fear and isolation is conveyed primarily through Alice's character. She exhibits startling deficits in her ability to perform every-day tasks or form human attachments as a result of her past abuse and her time as a feral child (before she was discovered by the police).

Moreover, the theme of love and trust is developed as Alice's bond with Julia becomes stronger. Julia is the only person with whom Alice establishes a connection. Furthermore, Julia must establish trust in order to continue with Alice's therapy. The results of this bond develop gradually, due to the immense detrimental impacts of Alice's prolonged abuse.

By working with Alice, Julia is then able to open up to Dr. Max Cerrasin. This further develops the theme of love and trust. Both Julia and Max have secrets of their own, which they reveal to each other as their connection deepens. Julia's secret is that she suffered a devastating professional failure; despite working extensively with a teen patient, he still perpetrated a Columbine-level massacre, leaving Julia with a massive sense of guilt.

The theme of forming bonds using love and trust extends to the relationship between Julia and her sister, Ellie. Ellie was one of the first police officers to arrive on the scene when Alice was discovered. Julia and Ellie were previously estranged, and after Julia moves back to her hometown and they begin working together, their reconnection becomes another important feature in the storyline.

Use these overarching points to further your analysis of Magic Hour and note how thematic development can be seen in the various character relationships.

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