Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Once again, Julia Glass comes through with a novel that draws you in with gorgeous prose and characters that you don’t want to let go of.  Kit Noonan is an unemployed father and husband who seems to be lingering at a crossroads.  His wife Sandra urges him to undertake a quest to find out who his biological father is.  His mother Daphne, a talented cellist and music teacher, has always adamantly refused to disgorge any details.  For lack of a better option, Kit pays a visit to his stepfather, Jasper, one of many delightful characters in this novel.  Jasper does know a bit about Kit’s paternity but promised long ago not to divulge this secret.  Kit proves himself to be a useful guest, and we readers soon realize that he’s a good guy stuck in limbo.  Will the discovery of his lineage provide the impetus to his escape from the quicksand that has bogged him down for years?  The story unwinds at a perfect pace without ever leaving us hanging for very long.  The author employs an interesting technique of skipping over pivotal events, leaving the reader to wonder what transpired.  Then she revisits these moments in retrospect, allowing us to absorb their impact along with the character who is reflecting on what happened.  I have a minor quibble with a tragedy that occurs toward the end of the novel, because I thought the author set it up a little too obviously.  However, it’s just a quibble, rather than a full-blown complaint.  All in all, this is an exquisite novel.  Some of the characters are reprised from Three Junes, motivating me to reread at least the middle section of that novel, just so that I can commune with these characters a little longer, resurrect them, and reevaluate them with the additional backstory, as well as future events, that this novel recounts.

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