Thanks to Shapiro’s tender mastery of her story and her craft – knowing when to dwell in detail, and when the bird’s-eye view will better situate the author’s own small experience within the species’ – Hourglass yields a rare combination of lyrical writing and startling, sometimes disturbing insights. Reading Hourglass is like spying on the slow, intimate dance of two imperfect, well-intentioned humans, moving through their devotion and their doubts, riding the quotidian tides of passion and contentment and antipathy.
Dani Shapiro has written several courageous and searing memoirs...She has never written anything as raw, dark, or brave as Hourglass ... Hourglass is not an unflawed work...But for the most part she gives us a gorgeous, poetic stay against loss and confusion ... Hourglass is a stalwart witness to the erosions of time’s tides that, in being stalwart, it also wishes to stand against.
...[a] touching and intimate memoir ... Shapiro beautifully weaves together her own moving language and a commonplace book’s worth of perfect quotes from others. Journals from her honeymoon—the last she kept—are often lists of things and places that in their very meaninglessness make an effective counterpoint, emphasizing what she has learned since the days of that beginning.