And the Dark Sacred Night
By Julia Glass
(Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780307377937, 400pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
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In this richly detailed novel about the quest for an unknown father, Julia Glass brings new characters together with familiar figures from her first two novels, immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from suburban New Jersey to rural Vermont and ultimately to the tip of Cape Cod.
Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with twins to help support and a mortgage to pay—and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised by a strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has never known the identity of his father—a mystery that his wife insists he must solve to move forward with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the mountain retreat of his mother’s former husband, Jasper, a take-no-prisoners outdoorsman. There, in the midst of a fierce blizzard, Kit and Jasper confront memories of the bittersweet decade when their families were joined. Reluctantly breaking a long-ago promise, Jasper connects Kit with Lucinda and Zeke Burns, who know the answer he’s looking for. Readers of Glass’s first novel, Three Junes, will recognize Lucinda as the mother of Malachy, the music critic who died of AIDS. In fact, to fully understand the secrets surrounding his paternity, Kit will travel farther still, meeting Fenno McLeod, now in his late fifties, and Fenno’s longtime companion, the gregarious Walter Kinderman.
And the Dark Sacred Night is an exquisitely memorable tale about the youthful choices that steer our destinies, the necessity of forgiveness, and the risks we take when we face down the shadows from our past.
Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes, winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction; The Whole World Over; I See You Everywhere, winner of the 2009 Binghamton University John Gardner Book Award; and The Widower’s Tale. Her essays have been widely anthologized. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass also teaches fiction writing, most frequently at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
“Winner of the National Book Award for her 2002 debut, Three Junes, Julia Glass takes another sympathetic look at the complexities of contemporary life in this novel about family secrets. . . Examining complicated family relationships among several families whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways, this warm and engaging story about what it means to be a father will appeal to most readers.” —Library Journal
“Glass explores the pain of family secrets, the importance of identity, and the ultimate meaning of family . . . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Although Glass borrows characters from her National Book Award–winning Three Junes, it is not necessary to have read that previous book to enjoy this lovely, highly readable, and thought-provoking novel.” —Booklist, starred review
The Widower’s Tale
“Beautifully sensitive . . . The Widower’s Tale is about the rub between old values and new times . . . In the tradition of Jane Eyre, it builds to a conflagration, a crisis that shakes everyone out of their complacency. But Glass quickly smothers the flames of catastrophe, for her vision is essentially more hopeful than tragic.” —Los Angeles Times
“A satisfyingly clear-eyed and compassionate view of American entitlement and its fallout . . . [Glass] approaches the ties of kinship with the same joyfully disruptive spirit that animated her previous books.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A masterful exploration of the secret places of the human heart.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
I See You Everywhere
“Glass is the Edith Wharton for the twenty-first century.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Rich, intricate, and alive with emotion . . . An honest portrait of sister-love . . . Brave and forgiving.” —The New York Times Book Review
The Whole World Over
“Beautiful and satisfying, chock-full of the gorgeous, heartbreaking stuff that makes life worth living.” —The Rocky Mountain News
“A voluptuous treat.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Enormously accomplished . . . Rich, absorbing, and full of life.”—The New Yorker
“Radiant . . . An intimate literary triptych of lives pulled together and torn apart.” —Chicago Tribune
“Almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains. Glass’s ability to illuminate and deepen the mysteries of her characters’ lives is extraordinary.” —Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours