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And the Dark Sacred Night

Julia Glass


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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (3/31/2014)
Hardcover (4/1/2014)
Hardcover, Large Print (4/4/2014)
Compact Disc (4/1/2014)

April 2014 Indie Next List

“A decade has passed since we fell in love with the unforgettable characters of Three Junes. In her latest, Glass gives readers another all-consuming novel, this time centered around Malachy Burns, the journalist who made a profound impact on Three Junes' beloved protagonist, Fenno McLeod. Beautifully told, this is an immensely satisfying tale of family secrets, hidden truths, and personal discovery -- a moving story that leaves the reader breathless, in awe of the author's ability to hit each and every note.”
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
View the List


Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with twins to support, a mortgage to pay, and a frustrated wife who insists that, to move forward, Kit must first confront a crucial mystery about his past. Born to a single teenage mother, he has never known the identity of his biological father.

Kit’s search begins with his onetime stepfather, Jasper, a take-no-prisoners Vermont outdoorsman, and ultimately leads him to Fenno McLeod, the beloved protagonist of Glass's award-winning novel Three Junes. Immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from Vermont to the tip of Cape Cod, And the Dark Sacred Night is an unforgettable novel about the youthful choices that steer our destinies, the necessity of forgiveness, and the risks we take when we face down the shadows of our past.

Praise For And the Dark Sacred Night

“An elegant and moving novel.” —The New Yorker

“A tender, insightful, and winning exploration of the modern family and the infinite number of shapes it can take.” —People

“Sophisticated and surprising. . . . Luminous.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“The only regret you’ll have at the end of this particular story is that it’s over.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Breathtaking. . . . Heartfelt. . . . What makes this novel so fresh is its notion that the need to know where we come from isn’t limited to our formative years. And that all buried secrets are bittersweet when revealed.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“An exquisitely detailed novel.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“An engrossing read.” —Newsday

“This memento mori is as much about the teeming, glad business of life as it is about grief—‘the bright blessed day,’ as the Louis Armstrong song puts it, as well as the dark sacred night.” —The Washington Post

“Glass’ prose is so lovely and filled with felicitous phrases and insights that when she orchestrates a family reunion, the reader is apt to just follow along like Kit, knowing the music is bound to enthrall.” —The Dallas Morning News

“The delight of reading Julia Glass turns out to be the connections we make with her generous characters, who become as endearing—and exasperating—as the people we love in real life.” —The Miami Herald

“Wretched and wonderful—indeed, dark yet sacred.” —BookPage

“Glass explores the pain of family secrets, the importance of identity, and the ultimate meaning of family. . . . [A] lovely, highly readable, and thought-provoking novel.” —Booklist (starred) 

Anchor, 9780307456113, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

About the Author

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.

Conversation Starters from

Kit’s wife, Sandra, tells him, “I think you need to move,

I mean pry yourself free from a place that’s become so

familiar you simply can’t see it” (p. 22). Have you ever

come to a place in your life where you felt stuck? How

did you resolve this?

Why do you think Daphne insists on keeping the name of Kit’s father a

secret? Whom is she protecting?

If you were Kit, do you think you could/would have waited so long

to find your father? Do you think men and women have different

attitudes toward “finding” their lost family connections?

Describe Kit and Daphne’s relationship. How does this change

throughout the book?

Daphne accepted Lucinda’s help with Kit for the first few years of

his life. What do you think about her cutting off that connection so

abruptly? Can you empathize with her reasons for doing so?

Lucinda has yearned for decades to reconnect with Kit. Do you think

she should have done that on her own, without waiting for him to take

the initiative? Or do you think the initiative always has to come from

the child/grandchild?

Did you have a magical time or place in your life similar to that summer?

In your view, who has the most to forgive? Who most deserves

forgiveness? Who most needs it?

Lucinda gets mad at Zeke for hiding Malachy’s need to know of Kit,

and gets mad at Jonathan for hiding his homosexuality from Malachy

as well as from his parents. Do you think these secrets were justified?

The Burnses’ barn, the Shed at the music camp, Jasper’s crow’s nest: All

of these structures hold meaning for the characters involved. Are there

places in your life that you feel as strongly about?

In the end, do you think Kit found what he was looking for?

What character in this story do you most identify with, and why?