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Lights All Night Long

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,566 ratings  ·  362 reviews
A gripping and deftly plotted narrative of family and belonging, Lights All Night Long is a dazzling debut novel from an acclaimed young writer

"Lights All Night Long is utterly brilliant and completely captivating. . . . One of the most propulsive, un-put-downable literary novels I've read in ages."--Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Penguin Books (first published April 2nd 2019)
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  • Lights All Night Long by Lydia  Fitzpatrick
    Lights All Night Long
    Release date: Feb 04, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win a paperback edition of NIGHTS ALL LIGHT LONG by Lydia Fitzpatrick!

    Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 01 - Feb 24, 2020

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.95  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,566 ratings  ·  362 reviews

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    Angela M
    May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    Two brothers who couldn’t be any more different. The younger one, Ilya is 15 and smart, serious about his education, an exceptional student. Vladimir, at 17 is definitely not interested in school, drifts into a seedy, dangerous world of drugs. As different as they are, they love each other and this for me is the heart of the story, one that is about family, about brothers who would sacrifice for each other. It’s also about a teenage girl in another family trying to find her place and come to
    Susanne  Strong
    Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    4.25 Stars* (rounded down)

    Brilliant, intense, thought-provoking!

    When Ilya got the opportunity to go to America from his hometown of Berlozhniki in Russia, he always imagined that his older brother, Vladimir would be going with him. Never in a million years did Ilya think that Vlad would be in prison, charged with murdering three young women while he was on his way to Louisiana as part of an exchange program. Now, every day and night at the Masons, is spent thinking about Vlad, trying to figure
    Larry H
    May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Brooding yet hopeful, Lydia Fitzpatrick's debut novel, Lights All Night Long , is a gripping story about family, envy, and being caught between loyalty and the desire to make a better life for yourself. It is tremendously atmospheric, which is no mean feat considering the book really takes place in two completely separate places—Russia and Louisiana.

    Ilya is 15 years old and lives in a small town in Russia with his mother, grandmother, and his older brother, Vladimir, whom he idolizes. Vladimir
    Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A coming of age story of two devoted Russian brothers. Vladimir the oldest is quite a cad.. into thievery, drugs, sex, .etc. and Ilya the younger brother, a good kid with a great mind. They come from a very poor family and Ilya has the opportunity of coming to America as an exchange student.
    This story goes back and forth from their story while together in Russia and the time Ilya is here in Louisiana with his host family and attending high school.
    I enjoyed this story very much.. it contains a
    "T'was a junkie girl in my world
    And everything began to twirl
    And it spun so that I couldn't even stand
    She had many charms, I heard alarms
    She stuck needles in my arm
    And I guess that’s when the trouble began
    Days and nights, city lights
    Empty bags and broken pipes
    Slowly things got completely out of hand
    Oh my god how far
    Did we fall to get to where we are
    In the dark, it’s not always easy to see the light
    Was it just because
    It was love on drugs
    I don't know how we made it out alive"
    Aga Durka
    Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    4.5 Stars, rounded up to 5.

    Ilya and Vladimir, two brothers born and raised in Russia, make life choices that will lead them into two different worlds. Forced by their decisions and opportunities presented to them, they are torn apart from each other, but their strong brotherly bond keeps them connected no matter the circumstances they find themselves in.

    Close to perfect debut novel from Lydia Fitzpatrick, is a beautifully written story filled with emotions of brotherly love, devotion, family
    Sonja Arlow
    Every time I am finished reading a book that packs a literary punch I feel completely inadequate to review it.

    Ilya’s dream of going to America has come true, the land of plenty, of super stores with no queues, the land of Hollywood movies and where people leave lights on all night long. This exchange year is everything he has worked for yet the shadow of his brother in prison stretches all the way from Berlozhniki in rural Russia to sunny Louisiana.

    Even the host family’s pretty daughter can’t
    Julie Christine
    It's not lost on me that I consumed most of this book in the lonely clutches of insomnia, my internal lights on deep into the night. Sometimes I think I embrace this torture, for it offers the opportunity to do the thing I most love in life besides writing: reading.

    And this was one worth having insomnia for. One of the year's most moving (trembling, shaking) reads for me. I gasp in wonder and humbleness that Lights All Night Long is Lydia Fitzpatrick's debut.

    The lights of Fitzpatrick's novel
    Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ilya and Vladimir, two brothers joined in familial loyalty, regardless of cost. A highly personal look at addiction and the devastation it spreads all around. This is what happens when one brother takes responsibility for fixing the other brother’s problems. It’s been said like seeks like and once two kindred souls find each other, under most circumstances, they stick together. Enter Sadie, the American girl, who is a kindred soul. A debut novel where the writer is clearly at home with the hopes ...more
    Ilya Alexandrovich Ekhlakov arrives in Effie, Louisiana as an exchange student from Berlozhniki, Russia with a heavy suitcase of guilt. His brother, Vladimir, has confessed to killing three young women and is sitting in prison. Two years older than Ilya, Vladimir is a user of the devastating new drug krokodil; but Ilya just can’t believe that he is also a murderer. What can he do to help when he is thousands of miles away?

    Fitzpatrick focuses on the love we have for family, even when they do
    Abbie | ab_reads
    Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you @penguinpress for providing me with this free copy of Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick to read and review, it was such a compelling reading experience!
    I was really very impressed by this novel, which is Fitzpatrick’s debut. It follows the moving story of Ilya, a gifted Russian student from a small refinery town whose talent for languages is often overshadowed by his older brother’s problems, which become a lot worse when a new drug called Krokodil arrives in Berlozhniki and
    Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is gorgeously written and impossible to put down and just trust me: read it now, thank me later. Heartbreaking, beautiful, lyrical, but also equally compelling, this is literary fiction at its best.
    Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A beautifully written debut novel about the bond between brothers- the love, the guilt, the anger. The author has a way with words, and Lights All Night Long is almost more about how something is said than what is said. I say almost, because she manages to keep the plot and characters central in this literary coming of age story. I cared deeply for Ilya, the good brother, disregarding everything but his studies to get a chance as an exchange student in America. And felt probably even more for ...more
    Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction, netgalley
    Lights All Night Long feels really quite an accomplished debut novel from Lydia Fitzpatrick. A coming of age story following Ilya Ekhalov, a teenage boy from rural Russia who gains a place on an exchange programme to study in America. The story is told in alternating chapters set in Russia and America - focusing on the lead-up to his trip to America and chapters on what happens once he gets there.

    While Ilya is the main character, the supporting cast - Vladimir (his elder brother), his mother and
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5 rounded up! There is not much that I love more than a fantastic, debut novel and I’m definitely here to say-this one checks that box! It is a well-written and intense read that will be sure to make you think about this family, and their story, long after you read the last sentence. Although it started a little slow for me, that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed the book overall. Fitzpatrick has a way with her beautiful prose and character development that can’t help but hook you in as ...more
    Kasa Cotugno
    Living in a derelict mining town near the Arctic Circle, Ilya learns English from the bootleg VHS movies he and his brother Vladimir watch incessantly. Some tapes are so damaged that the dubbing of the languages overlap. After an astute teacher recognizes his "gift," Ilya's loyalties are split between his increasing ambitions to become an exchange student in the US and his love for his brother who he doesn't want to leave in the dust. From the first, we know he makes his way to Louisiana, and ...more
    Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    4.5 stars….Lydia Fitzpatrick is a debut novelist but you wouldn’t know it from her writing. She does so many things well in this novel about two brothers growing up in modern day Russia. First, she’s a consummate storyteller. There is plot here and it moves seamlessly between Ilya’s (younger brother) life in Russia and then in America.

    Second, there is a mystery and honestly I didn’t know until so very near the end that there wasn’t time to even guess what really happened.

    Third, the characters
    Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: russia
    Loved this novel which begins as a culture clash book--the Russian high school exchange student Ilya arriving from his impoverished life in an industrial town in distant Siberia with his mother, grandmother and hooligan brother Vladimir to stay with a middle-class Christian family in suburban Louisiana, but becomes more a brother-story, a story about secret lives and expectations, about loyalty and guilt, facades and what's behind them.

    The prodigy brother comes to America trailing skeins of
    Diane Yannick
    May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Ilya and Vladimir’s love for each other was brilliantly portrayed through actions not words. Vladimir’s choices so petrified his family that his well-being became their priority. Far too often this type of destructive behavior causes families to live in dread of the next bit of bad news, thus making it impossible for them to live in any sort of balanced harmony. The author did a great job of showing us this heartache— this kind of hurt that piling on more and more love can not fix. Self love ...more
    Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Profoundly sad and affecting story of two brothers from a small town in what is best known to the rest of the world as gulag archipelago who take very different ways out of there. One uses his smarts, learns English, gets to go to US to study, the other choses addiction. No idea if the author has ever actually visited the area, but her descriptions of it are superb, not just surroundings but the zeitgeist, the beaten down snowed in tired desperation of an oligarch owned small company town so ...more
    Bruce Katz
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: american-fiction
    What a remarkable book. Reading it I had the sense that was discovering something I had never seen before. The juxtaposition of two places, two cultures — a remote town in Russia, once a Stalin era penal village now become a place of dead and dying dreams, of drugs and drunken stupor, and flickering glints of hope; and a small town in Louisiana, with its own nests of poverty, it’s own conflicted identities — is revelatory. Throw in a smart young boy, a broken but loving brother, dark secrets, ...more
    Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    4+ stars

    Ilya arrives in Louisiana as an exchange student from Russia, and at first it's hard to understand his rude attitude, but it soon unfolds. His beloved older brother, Vladimir is in prison for murdering three girls, but Ilya is sure he didn't do it. The novel goes back and forth between the present in Louisiana and the past back home in a strongly written debut novel. He is not the only one with a troubled family background, but no point in spoiling this for you since I suggest you read
    Amy Meyerson
    Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I'm not sure if there's such thing as a perfect debut, but this is as close as I've read. Lydia Fitzpatrick captures small-town Russia and Louisiana with such precision, they are permanently etched into my mind. While the mystery of the murdered girls will keep you guessing until the end, this is fundamentally a story of two brothers. Ilya is a powerful protagonist and his love for his troubled brother, Vladimir, made me want to reach into the book and hug him. Combine these complex characters ...more
    Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Growing up in an impoverished town located in the former Soviet Gulag, two Russian brothers dream of leaving their town and finding a better life in the United States.

    Vladimir and Ilya are very close friends even though they couldn’t be more different. Vladimir is loud, boisterous, and a thrill seeker. The younger of the two, Ilya, is quiet, studious, and very smart. Their lives suddenly and irrevocably change when Ilya is offered an opportunity to study in the United States while Vladimir
    Debi Hawkes
    Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    An incredible book,. The characters so well defined, the locations visible to the readers eye, the storyline realistic, and the layering superb.

    Kudos author Lydia Fitzpatrick!

    A heartbreaking story of addiction, poverty, hope and dreams, brotherly bonds, family sacrifices, and redemption, with a nice mystery to boot! Who could ask for more?

    Highly recommended.

    Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Press for the opportunity to experience this book.
    Nancy McFarlane
    Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Ilya and his older brother Vladimir could not be more opposite. Vladimir is a poor student, gets in trouble constantly and eventually turns to drugs. Ilya is brilliant, has a true gift for language, and with the mentoring of a special teacher he has blossomed. But, they both have the same dream – to get out of their small bleak and depressing mining town in remote Russia and go to the US. Ilya idolizes his older brother while at the same time knowing he should not let his bad ways affect his ...more
    Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I was lucky to get my hands on an advanced copy of this wonderful book. I read Lights all Night Long on a long airplane flight and had about 15 pages left when the plane landed. I was so captivated by the conclusion of the book and the revelation of the mystery that I could not put the book down. I ended up being the last person on the plane with the stewardess gently telling me it was time to get off the plane! Simply put, Lights all Night Long is an utterly captivating story with a mystery ...more
    Sherry Chiger
    Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This book is as close to perfect as any other novel I've read. From the first paragraph, with its almost-throwaway mention of how a hook had given a coat "a permanent hump behind the collar," it transports you with its authenticity. Every character is well rounded, fallible, utterly human; every relationship is relatable, and the bond between the protagonist, Ilya, and his older brother, Vladimir, is limned beautifully. There's a mystery that drives the plot, but even if there weren't, I'd have ...more
    May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I really enjoyed this book. An excellent student in Russia who has been learning English through primary school tapes wins the chance to be the exchange student for an oil company. Ilya, 15, winds up in Louisiana at the home of his devote host parents and three children. The story jumps from Russia to America and tells the deep bond Ilya has with his brother Vladimir, a drug addict and convicted murderer.

    Ilya knows that while his brother is a junkie, he is not a murderer. The book takes us back
    Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is such an amazing, beautiful, sad and utterly compelling novel by the brilliant author Lydia Fitzpatrick that from the very first few pages transport’s you into two completely different ways of life from Ilya’s life in Russia to the life he then is sent to as an exchange student in America. I was completely captivated the character Ilya and by the descriptions of his life especially in connection to his brother Vladimir and the need for him with the help of Sadie the eldest daughter of the ...more
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    Lydia Fitzpatrick’s work has appeared in the The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, One Story, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fiction fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. She graduated from Princeton University and received an MFA from the ...more

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