And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass

dark-sacred-nightFormat: E-book galley

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Pantheon

Source: Edelweiss

From the publisher:

Kit Noonan’s life is stalled: unemployed, twins to help support, a mortgage to pay—and a frustrated wife, who is certain that more than anything else, Kit needs to solve the mystery of his father’s identity. He begins with a visit to his former stepfather, Jasper, a take-no-prisoners Vermont outdoorsman. But it is another person who has kept the secret: Lucinda Burns, wife of a revered senior statesman and mother of Malachy (the journalist who died of AIDS in Glass’s first novel, Three Junes). She and her husband are the only ones who know the full story of an accident whose repercussions spread even further when Jasper introduces Lucinda to Kit. Immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from Vermont to the tip of Cape Cod, Glass weaves together the lives of Kit, Jasper, Lucinda and ultimately, Fenno McLeod, the beloved protagonist of Three Junes (now in his sixties). An unforgettable novel about the youthful choices that steer our destinies, the necessity of forgiveness, and the surprisingly mutable meaning of family.

Here’s what I thought:

I was happy to see that Glass had a follow-up coming out to Three Junes, which is one of my all-time favorite novels. And The Dark Sacred Night picks up on the lives of some of the characters from the previous novel and introduces new ones who are connected to them, whether through blood or affinity.

The novel delves into the back story of how Malachy (from Three Junes) and Daphne met as teenagers at a summer music camp and how the events which transpired there affected their lives. The story moves between the past and the present, in which their son Kit is looking for answers about his father.

The story drew me in early on, and I particularly enjoyed the character of Jasper, Kit’s stepfather. It was nice to be re-introduced to Lucinda and Fenno, both of whom appeared in the earlier novel. With the exception of these characters, however, the others came off as more one-dimensional than I would have expected from my previous experience with Glass’ writing.

About halfway through the novel, the storyline just sort of peters outs and never manages to pick up speed again. The characters spend a lot of time eating and talking and overanalyzing their lives. Then, a strange twist occurs near the end which seems completely out of place and unproductive. And that’s it.

Needless to say, although it started off well enough, I was ultimately disappointed by this follow-up and can’t really recommend it.

Thanks to Pantheon and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book.

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3 thoughts on “And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass

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