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The Hours Count: A Novel
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Penguin Publishing Group 2015
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Description
A spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and is drawn into their world of intrigue, from the author of Margot and The Lost Letter
On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.
A few years earlier, in 1947, Millie Stein moves with her husband, Ed, and their toddler son, David, into an apartment on the eleventh floor in Knickerbocker Village on New York’s Lower East Side. Her new neighbors are the Rosenbergs. Struggling to care for David, who doesn’t speak, and isolated from other “normal” families, Millie meets Jake, a psychologist who says he can help David, and befriends Ethel, also a young mother. Millie and Ethel’s lives as friends, wives, mothers, and neighbors entwine, even as chaos begins to swirl around the Rosenbergs and the FBI closes in. Millie begins to question her own husband’s political loyalty and her marriage, and whether she can trust Jake and the deep connection they have forged as they secretly work with David. Caught between these two men, both of whom have their own agendas, and desperate to help her friends, Millie will find herself drawn into the dramatic course of history.
As Millie—trusting and naive—is thrown into a world of lies, intrigue, spies and counterspies, she realizes she must fight for what she believes, who she loves, and what is right.
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Street Date:
10/20/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698162334
ASIN:
B00SI0B9OA
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jillian Cantor. (2015). The Hours Count: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jillian Cantor. 2015. The Hours Count: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jillian Cantor, The Hours Count: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jillian Cantor. The Hours Count: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 03, 2017 06:32:20
Date Updated:
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fullDescription
A spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and is drawn into their world of intrigue, from the author of Margot and The Lost Letter
On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.
A few years earlier, in 1947, Millie Stein moves with her husband, Ed, and their toddler son, David, into an apartment on the eleventh floor in Knickerbocker Village on New York’s Lower East Side. Her new neighbors are the Rosenbergs. Struggling to care for David, who doesn’t speak, and isolated from other “normal” families, Millie meets Jake, a psychologist who says he can help David, and befriends Ethel, also a young mother. Millie and Ethel’s lives as friends, wives, mothers, and neighbors entwine, even as chaos begins to swirl around the Rosenbergs and the FBI closes in. Millie begins to question her own husband’s political loyalty and her marriage, and whether she can trust Jake and the deep connection they have forged as they secretly work with David. Caught between these two men, both of whom have their own agendas, and desperate to help her friends, Millie will find herself drawn into the dramatic course of history.
As Millie—trusting and naive—is thrown into a world of lies, intrigue, spies and counterspies, she realizes she must fight for what she believes, who she loves, and what is right.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 10, 2015
        Cantor���s (Margot) suspenseful historical novel concerns Millie Stein, a lonely mother in late 1940s New York who befriends her kind neighbor Ethel Rosenberg, who later will be executed with her husband, Julius, after an FBI witch hunt at the height of anti-Communist paranoia. The women bond upon discovering that they both face challenging parental situations: Ethel���s son, John, is difficult and off-putting, while Millie is often vilified because her two-year-old David has yet to speak. At a gathering with the Rosenbergs��� friends, who have Communist sympathies, Millie encounters psychologist Jake Gold, who offers to treat Millie and her son in exchange for being able to write about them in a paper. Jake is kind and patient with David, and shows interest in Millie as a person. Millie finds herself falling for Jake as her Russian husband, Ed, tries to send David away and demands that she conceive another baby. Cantor deals deftly with themes of friendship and motherhood, but doesn���t fare as well when it comes to romance. The book is at its best throwing surprises at Millie, beginning when sweet-talking Jake suddenly vanishes and Millie suspects that Ed might be hanging with a nefarious crowd. Cantor keeps the reader guessing about various characters��� motivations right up until the climax. While the love story is the weakest element in this narrative, the novel is notable for its affecting depiction of motherly love and the skillful way it captures the suffocating air of the McCarthy era.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 15, 2015
        Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, caught by the Cold War. In her last novel, Cantor (Margot, 2013, etc.) imagined Anne Frank's sister surviving the Holocaust and living in Philadelphia. Now she turns her attention to the Rosenbergs, who were executed in 1953 for conspiring to commit espionage. As she writes in her Author's Note, after reading about the case and the couple's lives, Cantor became convinced they were victims of America's vicious hunt for communists in the 1950s. Her view is represented by sheltered, lonely Millie Stein, the Rosenbergs' neighbor in a Manhattan apartment house. Millie is married to Ed, a taciturn Russian immigrant who barely acknowledges her existence, except for sex, and who ignores their autistic son, David. Millie is devoted to the boy, guilt-ridden when the family doctor insists she's caused his behavior by her coldness. Isolated with David, starved for affection, it's no wonder she falls for warm, handsome Jake, who befriends her at a gathering hosted by the Rosenbergs. He tells her he's a psychotherapist with experience helping children like David, and Millie agrees to meet him, with David, twice a week. Although Ethel warns her not to trust him, and although Millie repeatedly suspects that he's lying, she fantasizes about running off with him, leaving her boorish, elusive, and secretive husband. In a rare gesture of independence, she agrees to a tryst at a cabin in the Catskills and, after one night of chastely described sex (buttons are slowly undone), finds that she's pregnant. Millie's naivete about politics is barely believable, and when the Rosenbergs are accused of being traitors, she knows in her heart that they're innocent: Ethel is such a good mother; Julius, such a loving husband. Plot twists tease the reader into wondering who's telling the truth, who's working for the KGB or the FBI, but despite its historical context, the book reads like a predictable, although engaging, love story.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 1, 2015
        Cantor's (Margot, 2013) second, well-researched foray into historical fiction opens on the night in June 1953 when Ethel Rosenberg and her husband, Julius, were executed at Sing Sing for conspiring to commit espionage. Cantor then moves back in time to 1947, when her fictional character, Millie Stein, first meets Ethel, shortly after Millie, her husband, Ed, and their autistic son move to a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in New York City. Millie and Ethel become friends in that otherwise lonely place, each with a difficult son to raise with little help. Ethel, Julius, and Ed are Communist Party members, and this becomes risky with the appearance of the House Un-American Activities Committee, a threat that hovers menacingly over the Rosenbergs and, to a lesser extent, the Steins. But Cantor's main goal is to paint Ethel not as a traitor but as a loving wife and mother to two sons, who ended up orphaned at ages 6 and 10. Cantor intricately blends the fictional parts of her novel with historically accurate events from the early 1950s, continuing until the march in June 1978 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rosenbergs' executions. The Hours Count is a provocative, gripping read about the era in U.S. history when fear of the bomb and anti-Russian sentiments ran rampant.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2015

        Following her LibraryReads pick, Margot, which imagined that Anne Frank's sister survived the Holocaust, Cantor again vivifies history. In 1950, Millie Stein lives next door to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and is caring for their two sons when the FBI carts the parents off. Soon Millie's struggling with growing doubts about her husband's political views even as she is engulfed by the tragedy of the Rosenbergs.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2015

        The lives of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, executed as "atom spies" in 1953, are recounted through the eyes of a fictional neighbor. Millie, a young mother dealing with a mute child and a distant, older Russian immigrant husband, befriends the Rosenbergs in 1947. This is a time of fear in the United States, with the threat of nuclear war and Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hunt for communists. At a cocktail party at the Rosenbergs' home, Millie meets Dr. Jake Gold, who wants to work with her son, David. Soon she is drawn to this warm and caring man, so different from her husband, Ed. When the search for "Reds" turns to the Rosenbergs, Millie is caught in a world of secrets. Where does Ed go every day if not to work? Is Jake helping her son out of kindness or does he have another motive? Is Ethel a housewife or a spy? Caught in a dangerous situation as her friends are arrested, Millie doesn't know whom to trust. VERDICT Cantor (Margot) has perfectly captured the climate of America after World War II. This intriguing novel that intertwines facts about the Rosenbergs into the life of an average American housewife is highly recommended for historical fiction fans. [See Prepub Alert, 4/6/15.]--Catherine Coyne, Mansfield P.L., MA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2015

        The author of Margot, a reimagining of the life of Anne Frank's older sister, this time focuses on Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the only Americans put to death for espionage during the Cold War. Narrating the couple's story from the perspective of Ethel's friend and neighbor who takes in the two Rosenberg sons after their parents' arrest in 1950, Cantor combines mystery, romance, drama, and espionage into a spellbinding and fascinating page-turner that also gives readers insight into this chapter of American history. (LJ 8/15)

        READ-ALIKES Caroline Leavitt's Is This Tomorrow and Jennifer Gilmore's Something Red.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2015

        The lives of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, executed as "atom spies" in 1953, are recounted through the eyes of a fictional neighbor. Millie, a young mother dealing with a mute child and a distant, older Russian immigrant husband, befriends the Rosenbergs in 1947. This is a time of fear in the United States, with the threat of nuclear war and Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hunt for communists. At a cocktail party at the Rosenbergs' home, Millie meets Dr. Jake Gold, who wants to work with her son, David. Soon she is drawn to this warm and caring man, so different from her husband, Ed. When the search for "Reds" turns to the Rosenbergs, Millie is caught in a world of secrets. Where does Ed go every day if not to work? Is Jake helping her son out of kindness or does he have another motive? Is Ethel a housewife or a spy? Caught in a dangerous situation as her friends are arrested, Millie doesn't know whom to trust. VERDICT Cantor (Margot) has perfectly captured the climate of America after World War II. This intriguing novel that intertwines facts about the Rosenbergs into the life of an average American housewife is highly recommended for historical fiction fans. [See Prepub Alert, 4/6/15.]--Catherine Coyne, Mansfield P.L., MA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
A spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and is drawn into their world of intrigue, from the author of Margot and The Lost Letter
On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. The day Ethel was first arrested in 1950, she left her two young sons with a neighbor, and she never came home to them again. Brilliantly melding fact and fiction, Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, and the life of Ethel and Julius, an ordinary-seeming Jewish couple who became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War.
A few years earlier, in 1947, Millie Stein moves with her husband, Ed, and their toddler son, David, into an apartment on the eleventh floor in Knickerbocker Village on New York’s Lower East Side. Her new neighbors are the Rosenbergs. Struggling to care for David, who doesn’t speak, and isolated...
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