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(James Hillyer #2)

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  49 reviews
From the acclaimed writer of the beloved Clara Callan comes a memorable new novel about first loves, love-after-love, and the end of things, set during summer in Quebec City.

James Hillyer, a retired university professor whose life was evocatively described in Wright's novel October, is now barely existing after the death of his beloved daughter in her forties. On a whim, h
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Simon Schuster
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3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  261 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was very fortunate to win a copy of NIGHTFALL by Richard B. Wright through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest. This was a very enjoyable read, where the writer transferred us to another time and place, to experience the memory and calling of first loves.

This novel is by a Canadian author, and the setting describes scenery from Ontario and during the summer in Quebec City. I found this novel easy to follow and brought back memories for myself, the streets and scenery as I was born in Montreal, Que
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: can-con, 2016
She laughed and so did he. Hints of the old Odette. Temperaments never change. We are what we were, only in old bodies, he thought.

As a retired widower who has recently suffered the devastating loss of his beloved daughter, James Hillyer endures loneliness and insomnia. Laying awake one night, he remembers a girl he knew briefly, sixty-two years earlier, and resolves to attempt to find her. And find her, he does. Nightfall begins with an Author's Note, explaining that Richard B. Wright include
Kathleen Nightingale
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a simplistic story! What a thought provoking story! This book states so simplistically that love is needed for one and all no matter how old or how young. And no matter what circumstances and what has happened in your life you can love or recapture love lost in your older years.

I am now reading Wrights books backwards, I should have read October first, then Nightfall. Next week I will read October and get the back story to the love affair started in James and Odette's youth.

This book for me
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
In so few pages, Richard B. Wright somehow manages to put his thumb directly on some of the most obscure characteristics of the biggest, most complex human emotions. I am always amazed by what this author writes; his words are always impactful and his stories linger in my my mind for years to come.

Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: canada
A lot happens in this short little book. I felt a lot of empathy for the two main characters, especially Odette. The sense of impending doom hovering over the story was quite unsettling at times. It was beautifully written and I'm glad I read it.
Nancy Andrews
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I've read a number of Wright's works now and found this one only average. A quick, light read, it didn't have the substance of his earlier novels. Still enjoyable. The world will miss will I.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: oh-canada, 2017
I was a huge fan of Clara Callan so happy to find another novel by the same author. I'm going to find a copy of October next. I recently visited the Gaspe region & Quebec City so I loved the setting.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished this final book by Richard B. Weight shortly after his passing. It was a melancholic experience. Having met the author a couple of times, I am ever grateful for his contributions to the world of literature. RIP Richard B. Wright.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A quiet meditation on a man who has lost his wife and daughter, and the woman he remembers as his first love. He contacts her, and her life, and its messy complicated relationships, impacts his both negatively and positively. His last book, and it seems a gentle good-bye.
Renee Glassberg
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading
Excellently written story about a man & a women who reconnect after not seeing each other since they were teenagers. I highly recommend this book.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Two stars - "it was OK". Kind of boring, mostly.
Trish Feeney
Oct 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
It just didn't grab my attention.
But that being said I will check out some of his other titles.
Caroline Gray
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely story. His characters are entirely believable.
Margo Mountjoy
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
a disappointing read by a good author. Loved Clara Callen.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A good book for those days when you want a light read.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-library
This short novel revisits the characters of Wright’s earlier novel, October. Readers might want to read this latter book first though they might then find Nightfall repetitive because passages from October are directly inserted. On the other hand, October does, as the author’s note in Nightfall states, “clarify the relationship between James and Odette at quite different stages in their lives.”

James Hillyer is a 76-year-old widower and retired professor. Despondent after the death of his daughte
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads for the advanced reading copy.

I first encountered the writings of Richard B. Wright in a Canadian literature course in the mid-1970's when we read Weekend Man. Since then I have read Clara Callan (outstanding), Adultery and October. This novel (which may be more of a novella as the copy I had consisted of some 170 pages. As many novels are now 400+ pages, this seemed very short to me.)

I was a bit leery of this book as the opening page has an author's note in it stating that
Steven Langdon
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Wright has written some fine books -- "Clara Callan" comes especially to mind. So I looked for something extra special from this book.

Nightfall is not that. It is a fairly pedestrian story of a retired professor from Toronto who decides to search for the 15 year old Quebec girl on whom he had a crush decades before. Odette, it turns out, he discovers through a local relative, is living in Quebec City -- and has just won millions in the lottery. He meets her, she faces difficulties from the ex-c
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadian, 2016-books, arc
so... i think i made a mistake in reading this book the way i did. i should have gone back and re-read October. nightfall has excerpts from that earlier novel, and revisits characters - showing us what's transpired since. and while i remember loving october, most of the details are lost to me. i feel like i would have been more engaged with nightfall if october was fresher in my mind. while i do think nightfall functions as a standalone work, if you are particular about continuity in your readin ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'll be honest; I didn't finish this book. It bored me out of my mind so I put it in the bag where I put "mistakes" to take to the library's used book sale.

While reading the book, I felt annoyed at the main character. He seems obsessed with a girl he met as a teenager 70 years before, for no particular reason that I could see. His motivation was not compelling to me.

While reading the book jacket and other material in the book, I discovered why I felt this way about the story. It seems that the a
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Nightfall” by Richard Wright is a heartwarming story of three teens from very different backgrounds who spend a summer in the Gaspe region of Quebec. Odette Hurd comes from a large working class family and she works at the local hotel to help out her family financially. James is spending the summer with his uncle and becomes friends with Odette.

James and Odette develop a deep friendship, but she is more than friends with Gabriel who is spoiled; he uses his disability sometimes to get whatever
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian-fiction
A well-told story about looking to meet up with a long-lost first love in old age. Picks up on two characters first encountered in Wright's book "October" (not essential to have read, though).
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
"Nightfall" is a follow-up to Wright's earlier novel, "October". I really wanted to like this book because I loved "October" and because I thought that the idea of seeing what ever happened to Odette was a really interesting idea since she was such an interesting character.

I did enjoy reading about James and Odette and I liked the way the author interspersed the current narrative with quotes from the previous story. However, I did not find that the characters were portrayed with as much depth as
Christopher Sword
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadiana
One can deduce how this book came to be. Odette's story and James' infatuation with her was never adequately resolved in the preceding novel. You can imagine this weighing heavily upon the mind of Richard B. Wright, given how fully-fleshed and intriguing these characters were in October.
Thus, as an exercise in tying up loose strings this short book is moderately satisfying. If you're new to Wright, start with another of his books. If you're already a fan, you'll appreciate his typical straightfo
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
A delicate story of how grief was helped by a childhood love realized late in life. The story was related by different characters but really all had the typically genteel voice of Richard Wright, with his subtle sensibilities and in his succinct style. It is a short novel with a mere 125 pages – but we had everything we need to create a picture for ourselves of the life of James Hillyer and his childhood crush Odette. The assisted suicide of their common friend Gabriel, a story from an earlier n ...more
Ash Chamberlain
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-giveaways
Great book, plot, themes. all in all this book is a page turner despite not having a whole lot of action, i found i NEEDED to know what happened to the characters. The only thing i didn't really care for is that sometimes, when the characters were talking to one another, they would give these huge speeches about their life, and keep going and going without encouragement, it just seemed a bit un realistic, if you can get what i mean. Best thing about this book was the fact that my home province ( ...more
Sherry Monger
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it

The thing I like about Richard B Wright's books is that he is able to examine under a microscope, the minutiae of ordinary lives. In this novel, James Hilyer, a retired university English professor, is struggling to find meaning in life after his daughter dies of breast cancer, as did her Mother.
It isn't until he contemplates his adolescent infatuation with Odette, a visitor from Quebec, that he decides to try and find her. When he does, life becomes livable again with moments of excitement and
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Goodreads for sending me this novel! I found the characters so human, it was like reading about friends. It has been a long time that I felt so much like I was actually part of the book. What a life Odette had lived giving her such a colourful past! James was always adoring of her. I was very sorry when the novel had ended.

Now to try to find other novels of Richard B. Wright. I loved the book!
Feb 27, 2016 marked it as to-read
While marketed as a horror or thriller book, I didn’t find it to be overwhelmingly scary. I think some people could be disappointed by the lack of “scare factors” but I’m not someone who likes to be scared out of my mind, so I was quite happy with the level in Nightfall. I actually found it to feel a lot more like an adventure novel—it was very fast paced, on-the-run, heart-racing and captivating. Once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down.
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-author
I've read many of Wright's novels and have really enjoyed his writings. This one, however, seemed to fall short of my expectations. It is a a lovely story of finding love again in the senior years. I just found the story to be quite simplistic and therefore, maybe a bit unbelievable.

Here's a question: who makes gravy from a ham? Is that a French tradition? I've never heard of that before.

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Richard B. Wright was a Canadian novelist.

Born in Midland, Ontario, Wright attended Trent University, from which he graduated in 1970. He was the author of 13 published novels and two children's books. Many of his older novels were republished after his novel Clara Callan won three of Canada's major literary awards in 2001: the Giller Prize; the Trillium Book Award; and the Governor General's Awar

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James Hillyer (2 books)
  • October
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