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.
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.
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)