And the Dark Sacred Night

  • by Julia Glass
  • Narrated by Mark Deakins
  • 16 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2014 - My very first listen – 10 years ago, and still one of my all-time favorites – was Julia Glass’ Three Junes and I’ve been a big fan of her work ever since. And the Dark Sacred Night promises a return not only to her compelling storytelling but to the beloved Fenno of Junes, who has a connection to Kit Noonan, our struggling protagonist who hopes that unraveling the mystery of his father’s identity will get his life back on track. Glass is at her best in revealing family secrets from alternating perspectives, and narrator Mark Deakins is more than up to the task of portraying each of these unique voices in the book I’m most looking forward to this month. —Diana D., Audible Editor

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What the Critics Say

“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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Unfocused

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.
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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Phenough is back!

Would you consider the audio edition of And the Dark Sacred Night to be better than the print version?

I cannot read the hard copy due to vision problems. So I can't answer this.


What other book might you compare And the Dark Sacred Night to and why?

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.


What about Mark Deakins’s performance did you like?

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.


If you could rename And the Dark Sacred Night, what would you call it?

Along the lines of THREE JUNES...maybe TWO SUMMERS & A THANKSGIVING. This is why I'm not in the publishing business, naming books.


Any additional comments?

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.

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- Annie M. "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio