Melissa Acuna's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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's review
Feb 09, 11

it was amazing
Read in February, 2011

Disclaimer: I have adored everything that Michael Cunningham has written so this review is admittedly biased.

By far, this is my favorite read of 2011. By Nightfall is a simple plot: a visitor brings upheaval to a relationship, but this simple plot in Cunningham's telling is mesmerizing,sexy and compelling.

The story ominously begins with the death of a carriage horse near Central Park and this convention serves notice that while on the surface things may seem wonderful, there are fissures in these lives and things are going to change.

The central figure, Peter Harris, is a mostly happily-married, middle-aged man, with a great New York apartment, a career that he loves and friends who interest him. His wife's much younger, beautiful but drug addicted brother comes to visit, and Peter sees in him his wife in her youth and his older brother who died at a young age. As the story plays out, Peter struggles with the banality of his life, with all the typical middle-age questions, but in Cunningham's hands they never seem typical or trite.
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