Marsia's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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's review
May 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-literary
Read in February, 2011

I think this is Cunningham's best novel since THE HOURS. The story of a marriage between Rebecca and Peter, it's told mainly from Peter's point of view. He's a sucker for beauty and love, and he's always looking for both. (Part of his charm and possibly his downfall?) In Peter's 45th year, his and Rebecca's life together is brought (perhaps) to an emotional/psychological crisis by the appearance of her younger brother, Eric, called Mizzy, as in "The Mistake" (he was an unplanned offspring when his parents were around fifty). His appearance in the household of Rebecca and Peter causes husband and wife to reexamine their feelings and their choices; the ending also brings some surprises--not only to Peter but to this reader. Cunningham's use of language is brilliant in describing these likable New Yorkers's sophisticated, contemporary lives.

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