Then Came the Evening

By Brian Hart
(Bloomsbury UK, Paperback, 9781408809662)

Publication Date: April 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2010 Indie Next List
“Brian Hart's dark, brooding debut novel portrays an American West that few writers capture, and certainly not as well as he does. Tense dialogue captures the lives entwined in this bleak, raw landscape. Then Came the Evening is a psychological stunner.”
-- Andy Nettell, Back of Beyond Books, Moab, UT


Bandy Dorner, home from Vietnam, awakes with his car mired in a canal, his cabin reduced to ashes, and his pregnant wife preparing to leave town with her lover. Within moments, a cop lies bleeding on the road. Nearly two decades later, Bandy is released from prison, and on the family's Idaho ranch, he faces an unexpected reunion. Tracy, his now teenage son, has come to claim the father he's never known. Iona, Bandy's ex-wife, has come on the heels of her son. Haunted and hardened, the three struggle toward a shared future and a sense of family in this beautiful novel of devastating power.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Then Came the Evening begins and ends with house fires, and Bandy also dreams of a mill fire from Lake Fork’s history. Discuss who set each fire, and why: Bandy and Iona’s cottage, Tracy’s restoration of his grandparents’ home, and the old mill fire. What is destroyed in each of these blazes, and what is rebuilt?

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