On the Night Plain (Hardcover)

By J. Robert Lennon

Henry Holt and Co., 9780805067224, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2001



A brave, beautifully written story about a man who reluctantly accepts his birthright in a hard-luck Montana sheep-ranching family, from the critically acclaimed author of The Light of Falling Stars.

Hoping to make a new life for himself after World War II and to escape the guilt he feels over the death of a brother who fought and died in his stead, Grant Person abandons his family's ranch in Montana for a fishing boat on the Atlantic. But the death of his mother three years later draws him back to the nearly deserted ranch. His father has mysteriously disappeared, and his only remaining brother, Max, a lifelong rival, takes off the day Grant returns, leaving Grant with a couple of hired hands, a sickly flock, and a pile of debt. Max comes home a year later, bringing with him a young woman named Sophia. As Grant falls in love with Sophia, he contemplates the possibility of a less isolated future. But Sophia is only happiness enough for one brother.

With unflinching honesty, J. Robert Lennon tackles the complications of love, loss, and work; loyalty to family, the land, and one's own desires; and the nature of solitude. Showing us the beauty of a bleak place, he redefines the notion of a life worth living.

About the Author

J. Robert Lennon is the author of "The Light of Falling Stars "and "The Funnies." He lives with his wife and children in Ithaca, New York.

Praise For On the Night Plain

". . . an unsentimental examination of the ways in which we find and lose those we love, both before and after death."--The New Yorker

"A moving, gracefully wrought exploration of grief and love." --Entertainment Weekly

"A debut of unusual depth and sensitivity." --Mademoiselle

"Lennon is an artist of the first rank . . . [this is] a book that will ure." --Chicago Tribune