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And the Dark Sacred Night

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  4,756 Ratings  ·  695 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 379 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Pantheon
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Eileen Dilbeck
Nov 11, 2013 Eileen Dilbeck rated it it was ok
Parts of this book was pure TORTURE to read. Too many characters-most underdeveloped. Scenes were drawn out and even unnecessary. I'd read and read and read- 5 pages. After the death of XXXX (no spoilers) I thought the story would wrap up and end- no. Another 40 pgs of drivel.
My OCD doesn't let me leave a book unfinished and oh how I wanted to stop.
Mar 20, 2014 Rosie rated it it was ok
I need to stop reading this author. I am so drawn to the cover copy and then so frustrated by the book itself - too many characters, none of whom are terribly well-drawn; tedious and unnecessary dramatic moments that don't add to the story; very little pay-off. I got 20 pages before the end and almost couldn't find the energy to finish the book.
Mar 07, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
Julia Glass’s latest book strikes right to the core of personal identity. How do solidify our sense of who we are if we don’t know where we came from? In what ways can we take our place in the universe if our knowledge of our past is incomplete?

Kit Noonan has reached a fork in the road. Underemployed with no clear sense of purpose, he is floundering, until his wife urges him to take some time away to work out the secret of his father’s identity. That search leads him back to his stepfather Jaspe
Rachel Watkins
Sep 17, 2013 Rachel Watkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Oh, Julia Glass! I haven't read you since THREE JUNES and I've missed your sweeping storytelling that engulfs me! I wish I had reread THREE JUNES before reading this but it's *totally* not necessary. I consider this a standalone novel, not a sequel, though you'll recognize some beloved characters. Get ready to lose yourself in this intricate story that examines families, relationships, lovers, fathers, mothers, and children. Highly recommend.
May 11, 2014 Ang rated it it was ok
This book took me forever to finish, and there's no good reason for that except that it simply wasn't compelling enough. I didn't feel like I wanted to pick it up in random moments. I didn't feel the burning need to read while I ate dinner, or while I watched TV or while I waited. I feel like I've liked Glass' books in the past, but...this one. I don't know. Slow. When I realized I was halfway through the book and NOTHING MUCH had happened, I sighed inwardly and trudged on. I probably should hav ...more
(This review was originally written for and posted at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography's site. The publisher graciously provided me with a copy of this book.)

I don't remember many details from Julia Glass's first novel, Three Junes, other than stumbling upon it that summer between high school and college when I only read books with award medallions emblazoned on their covers, finding justification for such a pretentious pursuit in my enjoyment of that novel. That same ease of ge
Betsy Hetzel
Apr 24, 2014 Betsy Hetzel rated it it was ok
It has happened again....two in a row: loved an author's 1st book that I read(Donaghue's ROOM/ Glass' THREE JUNES) /disliked the next novel(FROG MUSIC / AND the DARK SACRED NIGHT).
I liked the premise of AND the DARK SACRED NIGHT: Kit, a middle-age man goes off in search of information about his biological father(well, he's literally pushed out the door to do so by his wife Sandra) that his mother Daphne has ADAMANANTLY withheld from him for 40 some years. Now, I believe in a strong sense of id
For an individual, and for a family, events from the past determine what the present will be. The title of the book comes from the song "What a Wonderful World", sung by Louis Armstrong, which contains the lyrics "the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night". A therapist tells two of the characters:

"The past is like the night: dark yet sacred....There is no day without night, no wakefulness without sleep, no present without past. They are constantly somersaulting over each other."

Kit Noonan
Jul 04, 2014 Snotchocheez rated it liked it

There's something about Julia Glass' writing style (if indeed And the Dark Sacred Night is representative of her complete body of work) that just leaves me overwhelmed (in an unnecessary, not at all good way). It's clear she's an exacting, detail-minded artiste, but she's way too much in love with her "voice" that she doesn't know when to quit.

I thought I was going to get a moving story of unemployed, stymied art history professor Christopher "Kit" Noonan's search for his biological father, and
May 10, 2014 Nicholas rated it it was ok
Three Junes was just so good, and I keep coming back for more. But Glass has disappointed me, at least a little bit, ever since. And sometimes she's disappointed me a lot (her third, I See You Everywhere, was pretty awful).

And the Dark Sacred Night is better than that one, but not by all that much. I thought the section on Lucinda and Zeke was great, but the ones with Walter/Fenno and Jasper drove me mad. She writes Jasper with this down-home, aw shucks New England lingo that irritated me no en
Larry H
Feb 06, 2014 Larry H rated it really liked it
How much of our life's future direction can be gleaned from who we are, or who we believe we are? Do questions about our heritage really influence the way we think about ourselves?

Kit Noonan is an unemployed professor of art history with a strong interest in Inuit art. He was an excellent instructor but lost his job because he couldn't bring himself to finish his book, a condition of his continued employment. In fact, he can't seem to motivate himself to do much of anything but cook for his fami
Feb 27, 2014 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
Our story opens in a summer camp for talented young musicians; slowly we learn of the unexpected outcome; and years later, we learn more about what happened and what the consequences would be.

Kit Noonan, a husband and father, struggles with his unemployment, his troubled marriage, and unanswered questions from the past. Will he find the answers when he visits his stepfather, Jasper Noonan? And what doors will open?

"And the Dark Sacred Night: A Novel" can best be described as a family saga, as we
May 07, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Julia Glass shows her superior character development writing skills in this novel. She writes so beautifully, that the characters are easily imagined and jump off the page. Her stunning ability ranges from a male old codger’s perspective to a seventeen year old girl’s perspective. Even when there isn’t much action going on in the book, her writing is so beautifully rendered that the reader is adsorbed in her work.

In this novel, Kit, aka Christopher, is stuck in a rut. He is unemployed, has massi
Richard Kramer
May 02, 2014 Richard Kramer rated it it was amazing
In the interests of transparency I should say that Julia Glass blurbed my own book, but even though I love her for doing that I would have loved this book anyway, I think.Transparency is a helpful word here, as it's a quality her characters share, or a quality she causes them to share. You see, here as in her other books, the story beneath the skin. And it's a corker of a story ... Glass is not afraid of big narrative, of big sweeps of time, of secrets and surprises and ill-timed pregnancies, of ...more
Mary Lins
Mar 03, 2014 Mary Lins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
“And the Dark Sacred Night”, is classic Julia Glass in all the best possible ways; beautiful prose, varied narrative perspectives, always interesting and often lovable characters, and family secrets revealed. At the center, this novel is about Kit Noonan’s “origin quest”, as it ripples out to touch many others in (and out) his life. The story highlights the importance of fathers, the effects of long term unemployment; erosion of self-esteem, energy, and hope. It touches on teen-parenthood and it ...more
May 29, 2014 Knewmyer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-library, 2014
I'm not even through with this one but I'm rating it anyway. I loved Three Junes and also liked The Widower's Tale and The World Over, but this book just doesn't seem like it's going anywhere but in circles! The cliched characters (Queeny Walter and Mountain Man Jasper, really?) Daphne and Lucinda are just awful (in the case of Daphne, spoiled rotten, she has no redeeming characteristics; Lucinda at least means well but is equally awful).

It's just a tale about people (with detailed descriptions
Nov 23, 2013 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Did not disappoint! Classic story and writing by Julia Glass.
Ayelet Waldman
Jun 24, 2014 Ayelet Waldman rated it really liked it
I was so glad to reenter the lives of these characters!
Jenny Shank
Apr 13, 2014 Jenny Shank rated it liked it
By JENNY SHANK Special Contributor, Dallas Morning News
Published: 11 April 2014 07:24 PM

Julia Glass won the National Book Award in 2002 for her elegant debut novel, Three Junes, then continued the story of one character, gay bookstore owner Fenno McLeod, in 2006’s The Whole World Over. Glass gave Fenno a break in two subsequent novels, but he’s back in And the Dark Sacred Night.

This novel focuses on the family of Fenno’s friend Malachy Burns. Burns was a witty, acerbic music critic dying of AIDS
Jun 04, 2014 Patty rated it really liked it
And the Dark Sacred Night
Julia Glass

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Kit is on a quest to find his father...his mother refuses to share any information about his father with him...this quest leads him to a large extended family and finally...knowledge.

My thoughts after reading this book...

This is a lovely book that is filled with family, friends, family issues, lovely happy times but also very sad times. There are some characters within this book that were in Three of this author's ot
Apr 15, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2014 Schmacko rated it it was ok
There’s no doubt Glass writes some beautiful sentences - “Saints are merely tyrants in the kingdom of virtue.” However, this new novel, which borrows characters from her National Book Award winner Three Junes, just doesn’t gel.

First of all, the main character isn’t compelling; his struggles in unemployment are apparently caused by not knowing who his father is. I didn’t ever sense the connection between his unknown father and his unemployment or that his search would solve anything in his life.
Ann Woodbury Moore
Feb 24, 2015 Ann Woodbury Moore rated it really liked it
Kit Noonan, an unemployed art historian in his early 40's, is totally unmotivated to do anything. His extremely patient and long-suffering wife Sandra finally assigns him a "quest"--find his father. Kit was raised by a single mother, cellist and music teacher Daphne, and then adopted by her first husband, Vermont outdoorsman Jasper Noonan. Daphne has stubbornly refused to provide any information about Kit's birth father except that he's deceased. Kit's journey reunites him with Jasper (he and Da ...more
Bonnie Brody
Apr 15, 2014 Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok
Kit Noonan is an unemployed professor of Inuit art history. He did not receive tenure at the college where he was teaching. Not only did he not publish, but he was not good at networking with others. He did receive a job offer in Las Vegas but he and his wife Sandra chose not to accept it, hoping he'd get an offer nearer to the east coast. Unfortunately, he did not. They have fraternal twins and Kit is floundering. Most likely he is suffering from depression.

Sandra urges Kit to search out his bi
Apr 02, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it
I didn't realize this was a continuation/sequel to Three Junes until I had it in my hands; I was delighted since I loved that novel and its characters. While the characters in this one, and the continuation of the Mal's, Fenno's, and Lucinda's stories were all wonderful, it was not quite as deftly woven together as Three Junes because of more POVs and the insertion of Daphne's story at several places in the book; I wish Glass had condensed those sections a bit more to make them meatier and less ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
And the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass is a recommended novel for those who enjoy melodramatic family sagas, especially those that span several novels.

In And the Dark Sacred Night Kit Noonan 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 the 40 plus years since his birth. Currently Kit and Sandra are the parents of twins. Kit is an unemployed art history professor who is experiencing inertia, or more
Apr 25, 2014 Naomi rated it liked it
P51 "In the museum shop she told him to pick out some postcards--not to send, she told him, but to keep as a reminder. 'In your room, you can create your own museum. In miniature.'"

p52 "He did just that, and he would add to it whenever he had a chance to buy postcards of pictures and objects he liked. When they moved to Jasper's, he took down each one, meticulously peeling away the tape that held it to the wall. Up in the crow's nest, he reconstructed his gallery above his desk. He had thirty-fi
Susan Johnson
Jan 26, 2014 Susan Johnson rated it liked it
I was a big fan of "Three Junes" but it was published ten years ago and some of the details have slipped my mind. There are characters, including Fenno, from that book but, frankly, it's been so long that I didn't immediately develop a rapport with them. Really, it's been long enough that it really makes no sense to bring these characters back. In fact it frustrated me trying to make a connection to these people so I was immediately put off a little. By the time I finished the plodding book I fo ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Lina rated it it was ok
I picked this up because a few years ago I read The Widower's Tale, also by Julia Glass, which I had enjoyed very much. And the Dark Sacred Night is not of the same caliber. Not much happens. Kit is an out-of-work art historian, having lost his job as a college professor when he failed to publish. He is having no luck in his job search and his wife feels this is because he needs to resolve the mystery of his parentage. Kit was raised by a single mother who refused to tell him anything about his ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Glass' previous novels, so I was excited to read this. Unfortunately I did not like it nearly as much. After losing his job and going into somewhat of a tailspin, Kit Noonan's wife insists that he try and find out who his father is, a secret his mother has kept from him his entire life. She believes it has been eating away at him and is the root cause of many of their problems. Kit first turns to his first stepfather Jasper, who is no longer married to his mother. Jasper is an o ...more
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Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes , which won the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction, and The Whole World Over . She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, including the Tobias Wolff Award and the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Meda ...more
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“Now is almost always the better choice. You never know about later.” 8 likes
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