And the Dark Sacred Night
April 2014 Indie Next List
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
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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 ReadingGroupChoices.com
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
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?