Audrey, Katy and Adam have been friends since high school—a decade of sneaky cigarettes, drunken misadventures on Melbourne backstreets, heart-to-hearts, in-jokes.
But now Katy's gone. And without her, Audrey is thrown off balance: everything she thought she knew, everything she believed was true, is bent out of shape.
Audrey’s family—her neurotic mother, her wayward teenage brother, her uptight suburban sister—is likely to fall apart. Her boyfriend, Nick, tries to hold their relationship together. And Audrey, caught in the middle, needs to find a reason to keep going when everything around her suddenly seems wrong.
A story of love, loss and discovery, Our Magic Hour captures that moment when being young and invincible gives way to being open and vulnerable, when one terrible act changes a life forever.
'All the rapture and calamity of youth. Jennifer Down is a writer of rare insight and heart.'
— Carrie Tiffany
'An emotionally sophisticated and impressive novel'
— Australian Book Review
'Down’s evocation of…grief is astute, perceptive and always convincing…Subtle, never resorting to easy histrionics or undue moments of catharsis…compelling writing’
'Down has an impressive feel for the drama of the ordinary'
— The Age/Sydney Morning Herald
Shortlisted, New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Glenda Adams Award for New Writing, 2017
Shortlisted, Voss Prize 2017
Longlisted, Dobbie Literary Award 2018
Commended, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2017
'An incredibly intimate and tender novel about friendship, family and the transformative power of grief… It is easily one of the best Australian debuts I’ve read in a long time'
— Lip Mag
'Down is an exceptional writer who displays real control over language. I’m sure that this novel will launch her career as a major new literary talent. Our Magic Hour is beautiful, gut-wrenching fiction'
'Down’s supple social realism has a vitality and energy to it'
— The Lifted Brow
'Down's preoccupations are those of a young adult grappling with heavy issues, and she does so admirably'
— The Otago Daily Times
‘A raw novel about growing up in a world that never seems to make any sense…this novel manages to neatly capture that universal malaise felt by terrified millennials all over the world.’
‘Striking, breathlessly written…Down’s clear and confident voice can play originally with language…An eloquent debut.’
— WA Today
‘Down writes equally of significant moments and unremarkable days with sparing beauty. Particularly adept at depiction of place, Down made me wonder if I hadn’t sat across from Audrey on the train to Redfern, bumped elbows with her at a bar in Bondi. Down is the kind of writer that you’ll be lucky to get on at the ground floor with, she is only going up.’
— Concrete Playground