The woman is initially unwilling to engage with this unknown other, and suspects his account is, if not a total fabrication, then something he is in the process of “creating” as he goes along. Yet their encounter allows her, as one of the final encyclopedia entries puts it, “to save or rescue something. To grow back a skin that can shelter nerve endings. To be able to feel again without the feeling burning. To bloom again, to sprout new life, put roots down. To have gone through hell.” In short, to recover. How this recovery begins – and we see only the first signals of new life – makes The Vanishing Hours a moving and unconventionally wise account of loss and memory and of how redemption works, even for those who resist it most.