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And the dark sacred night
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"Kit Noonan's life is stalled: unemployed, twins to 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"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Enduring a stagnant life of hard work and a long-standing mystery about his father's identity, Kit Noonan searches for answers from statesman's wife Lucinda Burns, who reflects on a long-ago accident and its widespread repercussions. - (Baker & Taylor)

Enduring a stagnant life of hard work and a long-standing mystery about his father's identity, Kit Noonan searches for answers from statesman's wife Lucinda Burns, who reflects on a long-ago accident and its widespread repercussions. By the author of Three Junes. 75,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

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.

- (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes, winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction;The Whole World Over; I See You Everywhere, winner of the 2009 Binghamton University John Gardner Book Award; andThe Widower’s Tale. Her essays have been widely anthologized. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass also teaches fiction writing, most frequently at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

- (Random House, Inc.)

First Chapter or Excerpt

And the Dark Sacred Night

A Novel

By Julia Glass

Random House LLC

Copyright © 2014 Julia Glass
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-307-37793-7


She saw him through the trees, and she almost turned around. In just eight days, she had come to believe that this wedge of shore, tumbled rock enclosed by thorny juniper and stunted saplings (but lit by the tilting sun at the western side of the lake) was her secret. Each afternoon, it became her refuge—just one brief measure, a piacere, of solitude—from another attenuated day of rehearse, practice, and practice even more; of master classes and Popper études, hour after hour of Saint-Saëns and Debussy; of walking over plush lawns, passing adults who spoke zealously, even angrily, in German and Russian; of waking and going to sleep in a room shared with three other girls.

Not that this life wasn't precisely, incandescently, what she had craved, dreamed about, most of all worked for. How funny that all this discipline and deprivation rewarded Daphne with the headiest freedom she had ever known: freedom, to begin with, from her mother's vigilance and her brother's condescension, from another summer mixing paints and copying keys in her father's hardware store.

During Afternoon Rest, some campers retreated to their rooms to write letters or take naps. When the rooms were too hot to stand, they spread beach towels under the estate's monumental trees—or on the sliver of sandy beach. Others loitered at Le Manoir, though nobody called it that. They called it HQ. There was a games lounge with a moth-eaten billiards table; you could play Monopoly, backgammon, chess. They took turns using the pay phones on the porch.

But Daphne came here: sometimes just to sit, sometimes read, more often to gaze at the water and let herself wonder at ... well, at the hereness of here. To reassure herself that it was real. To be alone.

Except that today she wasn't.

Malachy, first flute, sat on her favorite rock facing the lake. She recognized him right away, because just that day, standing behind him in the lunch line, she happened to notice the distinctive swallowtail of his tame brown hair as it forked to either side of his narrow neck. (His close haircut seemed almost affected; most of the boys had mussed-up manes, Paul McCartney hair.) His posture, typical of flautists, was upright, attentive. He wore his T-shirts tucked into the belted waist of loose khaki shorts. And like his hair, his shirts were defiantly square: no slogans, tie-dyed sunbursts, silhouettes of shaggy rock stars, or sly allusions to other music camps. That day his T-shirt was orange.

"What, not practicing?" she said.

He did not jump, nor did he stand. Waiting till she stood beside him, he looked up and said, "If it isn't the swan herself, come to test the waters."

Daphne's swimsuit was a navy-blue one-piece chosen by her mother. She wore shorts as well, book and towel clasped against her chest, yet she blushed.

"You don't suppose," he said, "that Generalissima has spies in these woods? I've heard there's a flogging room in the cellar of HQ."

Daphne laughed.

"Not kidding," he said.

"Yes you are."

Malachy's prim expression broke. "Pretty martial around here, don't you think? And can you believe all the Iron Curtain accents?"

"What did you expect, the cast of Captain Kangaroo?"

This made him laugh. "Maybe Hogan's Heroes."

"You mean, we should dig a tunnel and escape?"

"We could steal those little mallets Dorian uses to play his glockenspiel." Malachy had swiveled to face her. He sat cross-legged, his calves pale and sparsely freckled, his bare feet long and bony.

He shaded his eyes. "Sit, or I'll go blind. And then I won't be able to see my music, and my brilliant symphonic career will flash before my irradiated eyeballs."

She unrolled her towel and sat, facing him. He had no book or other obvious diversion. Was he there to meet someone? What a perfect place for a private meeting.

"So are you aware," said Malachy, "that Rhonda would pay me a nice reward to drown you here and now?"

Daphne laughed nervously. She and Malachy played together in Chamber One; Rhonda was her counterpart, a cellist in Chamber Two. Openly and cheerfully competitive, she'd announced at their first dinner that anyone assigned the swan solo in the Saint-Saëns was clearly the director's pet. (Daphne might say the same of Malachy, chosen to play "Volière.")

"I just got lucky," said Daphne.

"No false modesty allowed," said Malachy. "They decided our parts based on our auditions. Nothing here happens by accident. You know that."

"I guess." She didn't like talking about the ranking they all deplored yet knew had to be a part of their lives forever if they wanted to succeed. "So are you from one of those musical families where everybody plays something different?"

He smirked. "Like the Jackson Five? There's a picture to savor. No, I'm it. The one who got whatever genetic mutation makes our subspecies behave the way we do. My brother and sister see me as the weirdo. The family fruitcake. Which is a huge relief to them. They get to be the normal ones."

"So maybe I've got it, too. The mutation. Mom plays piano, but Christmas carols. Hymns. She subs for the church organist. Actually, I'm not sure how I got into this place."

"Give it up, Swan. They've got their eye on you here. I saw our taskmistress smile yesterday in the middle of your solo. For about a tenth of a second. I didn't think she had those muscles in her cheeks." Natalya Skovoroda, the conductor of Chamber One, was Ukrainian, with a dense, porridgelike accent. Her face—a prime object, morning after morning, of Daphne's most devoted concentration—was as round and pale as a dinner plate, mesmerizingly smooth for someone who scowled so much. Beneath that scowl, Daphne and her fellow musicians had grown close to one another quickly, like a band of miscellaneous hostages.

Malachy leaned toward Daphne. "You have that cello stripped naked."

"Is that a compliment?" Because he sat almost directly behind her during morning rehearsal, she hardly ever saw his face. It was long and serious, his eyes a frosty blue that made him look all-seeing, older in a way that was spooky but cool. Across his nose—narrow like the rest of him—a scant dash of freckles stood out sharply, distinct as granules of pepper.

A speedboat careened raucously past, skimming the water, passengers shrieking as it bounced up and down. For a moment, they let it capture their attention.

Daphne started to stand up. "I should go wait for a phone. Haven't called home in a couple of days."

"No," he said. "You should stay and listen to one of my limericks."


"I'm working on a suite of limericks about our wardens."

Daphne shifted on her towel. "Well. Sure."

Malachy cleared his throat and sat up even straighter. He cocked his head at a dramatic angle toward the lake, as if posing for a portrait.

A Soviet chick named Nah-tail-ya
Said, "Eef you play flat, I veel flail ya,
But come to my room
Vare I'll bare my bazoom.
Maybe let you peek at holy grail-ya."

Blood rushed to Daphne's face. She felt both thrilled and appalled.

He turned to her, widened his eyes. "Svahn? May vee haff your creeteek?"

She covered her mouth, trying to repress the spasms of laughter. "Oh my gosh, that is so ... obscene!"

"Uh-oh. I've shocked you. See, I told you I'm a weirdo."

"Oh my God."

"Here, I'll give you something just a bit tamer. Appetizer to next week's celebrity recital." Again he struck his pose.

There once was a diva named Esme
With a lengthy and worldly résumé.
Listed way at the end
Was her tendency to bend
Quite far over and trill, "Yes you may."

"You are horrid!" Daphne cried. But she couldn't stop laughing.


Excerpted from And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass. Copyright © 2014 Julia Glass. Excerpted by permission of Random House LLC, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Stuck in a nightmare of unpaid bills, dwindling bank accounts, and leaky roofs, unemployed art-history professor Kit Noonan needs a jolt. Convinced that deep-seated identity issues are fueling Kit's inertia-inducing depression, his wife urges him to find the identity of his biological father, a fact his otherwise loving mother refuses to divulge. To solve the mystery, Kit embarks on a journey that takes him across the northeastern U.S., starting with a visit to his gruff and outdoorsy stepfather's home, and ending with a revelation that transforms his life in ways he could never imagine. Woven throughout the narrative are flashbacks to key events in Kit's history, including the tender and beautifully told story of the relationship between Kit's mother and father. Divided into sections written from the perspective of key characters, 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. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Unemployed, mortgage-trapped Kit Noonan has children to support and a restless wife who wants him to uncover his father's identity. That leads Kit to Lucinda Burns, wife of a famed senator and mother of the journalist who died of AIDs in Glass's the 2002 National Book Award winner, Three Junes. Now in his sixties, Three Junes protagonist Fenno McLeod also appears. With a nine-city tour.

[Page 63]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews

Winner of a National Book Award for her 2002 debut, Three Junes, Glass takes another sympathetic look at the complexities of contemporary life in this novel about family secrets. Kit Noonan was born to teenager Daphne back in the 1960s after she had an impulsive interlude with another teen, Malachy (Mal) Burns, at a summer music camp. Daphne gives up her dream of having a career as a cellist to become a teacher and raise Kit as a single mother. Malachy, who is gay, later becomes an important music critic; he dies of AIDS in Three Junes. Though Daphne eventually marries twice, she never tells Kit who his father is. Now in his 40s, with a wife and twins, Kit feels stymied; his academic career is going nowhere. At his wife's urging, he tries to find his father's family, which leads to some surprising twists and turns, including the requisite big family blowup at Thanksgiving. VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, 10/21/13.]—Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA

[Page 65]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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