And the Dark Sacred Night

Julia Glass. Pantheon, $26.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-307-37793-7
Glass's uneven new novel (after The Widower's Tale) centers around 40-year-old Kit Noonan, an unemployed college professor who—against his mother Daphne's wishes—wants to track down Malachy Burns, the father he never knew (and a character from Glass's 2002 National Book Award -winning debut Three Junes). At the urging of his wife Sandra, Kit turns to his stepfather Jasper for advice on the matter. Though Jasper is reticent to betray Daphne's confidence, he provides Kit with information that ultimately leads Kit to find his grandmother, Lucinda Burns. Glass uses the limited third person viewpoint to get in the heads of five very different characters, and she does it skillfully. Their disparate worlds are fleshed out in great detail, but though Kit is the character pushing the plot forward, he is the least intriguing of the five. Glass's portrayal of Lucinda is by far her strongest; the grief she feels is visible through the family dynamic of her and her other children. Such sections ring with emotional truth while others feel precious. Glass produces spot-on descriptions: one character spends most nights in bed "[laying] awake for half an hour or more, his mind, hawk-like, circling and re-circling his life from above." This imperfect work will still reward loyal readers. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 661 pages - 978-1-4104-6851-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-8311-7
Open Ebook - 281 pages - 978-0-307-90863-6
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-307-45611-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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