The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl – Book Review

Title: The Missing Hours

Author: Julia Dahl

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Publication Date: 4th November 2021 (Paperback)

Rating: 4/5



She doesn’t remember. He won’t let her forget.

From a distance, Claudia Castro has it all: the famous family, the trust fund, thousands of Instagram followers, and a spot in NYU’s freshman class. But then one drunken night everything changes.

Her memory hazy, Claudia cuts herself off from her family, seeking solace in a new friendship, but when the rest of school comes back from spring break, Claudia is missing.


I have read some really fantastic reviews of The Missing Hours so I was very much looking forward to reading it and I wasn’t disappointed. The story follows Claudia, a university student who wakes up one morning with no memory of the night before. However, she knows that something awful happened to her and as the book develops we find out more and more about the ‘missing hours’ and witness the fallout. The story is told from a few different perspectives that give the reader a fascinating insight into the different perceptions of sexual assault.

The Missing Hours is one of those books that is hard to look away from, no matter how harrowing the subject matter is. It does a brilliant job of effectively demonstrating the devastation of knowing something terrible happened to you but not being able to properly remember or articulate it. Claudia is in many ways, incredibly privileged. She is beautiful and her family is extremely wealthy. However none of that really matters when she is forced into the role of victim by two self-entitled and arrogant young men. I found the different narratives and perspectives of the characters so thought provoking. Each character has such a different understanding of what has happened to Claudia which makes the reader question themselves continuously. The Missing Hours is well-written, relevant, incisive and timely. I would highly recommend it.


I kindly received an e-copy of the book via Netgalley. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.

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