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.
©2014 Julia Glass (P)2014 Random House Audio
“Winner of the National Book Award for her 2002 debut, Three Junes, Julia Glass takes another sympathetic look at the complexities of contemporary life in this novel about family secrets. . . Examining complicated family relationships among several families whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways, this warm and engaging story about what it means to be a father will appeal to most readers.” (Library Journal)
“Glass explores the pain of family secrets, the importance of identity, and the ultimate meaning of family . . . HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Although Glass borrows characters from her National Book Award-winning Three Junes, it is not necessary to have read that previous book to enjoy this lovely, highly readable, and thought-provoking novel.” (Booklist, starred review)
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Unlike other books by Julia Glass, this read meanders directionless, and is largely a series of short stories about family members through several generations.
I don't know the original publish date (or am not finding it when I try to look it up) but it reads like a first effort. The reader only has time to participate in one family's issues, only to be abruptly transported into the stories of another back story of the same family. Yes, they are all related genetically or in terms of extended family, but it's still a jarring transition, and it creates for me a negative animus toward the author, whom I have come to love, and whose books I always purchase without a preview.
Topping that off, the focus is generally on the male perspective, with very little nuanced insight.
I found myself really surprised by the characters' lack of introspection and continuous emotional blank slate.
I dislike when an author seems to declare through character development and story arc, "this is the main story" and then goes off on another tangent which in turn becomes the "main story". It's like getting off at the wrong bus stop, and it's all just too much. Perhaps this is a personal issue, having moved in my life many times geographically, but I ended up with emotional whiplash after reading this.
I did not think this read was nearly as "good" on many levels, as other books by this author.
But I am hopeful for more work from her.
"Phenough is back!"
I cannot read the hard copy due to vision problems. So I can't answer this.
Well, obviously I'm going to compare it to its predecessors. I loved THREE JUNES, and it was really nice to read yet another installment of in the ongoing family saga. It's like catching up with old friends.
There are a lot of characters in this book, both male and female, young and old. It must be difficult to put voice to all those people. Deakins did a nice job.
Along the lines of THREE JUNES...maybe TWO SUMMERS & A THANKSGIVING. This is why I'm not in the publishing business, naming books.
My only comment I guess is that I did not love this book as much as I have past Julia Glass novels, and I think this has to do with Kit. He has a compelling story...and I was happy to follow him on his quest for his identity...but he did not grab me as much as other Glass characters have. Still, well worth the read in this continuation of a great story.
"Can I have my money back"
I couldn't really care about the characters. When was the point going to be made in the story.
The performance was okay.
"Starts strong and peters out at the end"
The story takes awhile to get rolling, but once Kit really starts seeking out his parentage, it gets interesting. The novel goes along at full boil until the last couple of hours, when it starts to disappoint. Plot points you can see coming from a mile away, meaningless jumps back and forward in time, the unnecessary demise of a main character and far more time spent in Kit's head than any reader would desire. The author spends so much time tying up the loose ends that the book becomes predictable and boring--the opposite of what it was earlier on. Four stars for the first three-quarters of this novel.
"Lost the Protagonist"
An interesting twist on a man searching for his biological father, with lots of other characters involved in their lives. So many detailed personalities, that I sometimes wondered what happened to the main guy. Very descriptive, easy to imagine the scenes.
"Torturous listening experience"
There was very little emotion in this book, which is really the author's fault, but it was endless and full of pointless and unnecessary details and references. The narrator could not adopt a believable Scottish accent when required, which was quite a bit of the dialogue.
It was overlong and so boring that I dreaded listening to it.
The only reason I finished listening to this book was because it became a personal challenge. I just could not believe that the story wasn't going to get any better or even become interesting.
"A Disappointment from Julia Glass"
I purchased "And the Dark and Sacred Night" by Julia Glass, one of my favorite authors. Since this latest book is a sequel of sorts to "Three Junes", I thought I would re-listen to refresh myself on the characters. Once again, I loved "Three Junes", the way it was read, the different and interesting characters, the way the same event can be interpreted so differently by one character versus another, and the way Julia Glass links characters across time and country. Re-listening was like visiting old friends and being part of their lives once again. Unfortunately, "And the Dark and Sacred Night" was a huge disappointment. Most of the characters lacked the same color and dimension, the reading was poor, especially for Fenno (after the wonderful presentation in Three Junes), and the story dragged on endlessly. Sadly, the additional information presented about the characters from The Three Junes detracted from them in this sequel instead of enhancing the perception of them by the reader. I encourage readers of this review to listen to Three Junes and not bother with And the Dark and Sacred Night.
"Disappointing after Three Junes novel"
Dull story line, dull characters, too much description of day to day life without anything happening..
Narratives about dull routines went on and on.. Never captured me though I tried twice to get thru it.
They all had a part. Jaspar was the only character that had any depth and was interesting
This book was too long for its story line by about 9 hours. I love audiobooks and never give up on a plot, but this came to be excrutiating. I couldn't connect with any of the characters.
Meandering and melodramatic.
Wooden, clipped and overly formal delivery. I felt like every character was played ri a stereotype
The gay couple --- a 3 hr unnecessary and unbelievable plot diversion.
"Well written, in-depth characters"
In this case yes, because of the skill of the narrator and the emotional depth of the characters.
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