And The Dark Sacred Night
By Julia Glass
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/1/2014
My Rating: 3 Stars
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.
Since this was my first book by Julia Glass, possibly would have enjoyed it better if I had read her previous books to learn more about the characters background. I also listened to audiobook and was not wild about the narrator. DARK SACRED NIGHT, a family saga, Kit is ordered by his wife, Sandra to find out the identity of his birth father. Kit’s mother, Daphne has withheld the information from him for over forty years. Kit is unemployed, as previous art history professor, experiencing depression since he lost his job and his marriage seems to be in trouble. His wife Sandra thinks finding his father will help him pull out of his depression. They also have twins. The search leads him back to his stepfather Jasper in Vermont to find an outdoorsman who effectively raised him along with two stepbrothers. Eventually, the journey brings him to Lucinda, the elderly wife of a stroke-ravaged state senator and onward to Fenno (from Julia Glass’s first book) and his husband Walter. The middle section with Walter and Fenno attending therapy was too long and didn’t really add much to the story. There were too many unnecessary elements going on with back stories, and characters --plot fell flat for me and did not hold my interest. (could not wait for it to be over and kept waiting for a better part, which did not come) Kit’s journey and the meaning of family was somewhat good, but again felt it was lacking. Not very many likable characters, and hard to make a connection, as the novel drags out. A novel of family secrets which are revealed, a big disappointment and unfortunately, would not recommend.