2014: 44. And the Dark Sacred Night

"She saw them him through the trees, and she almost turned around."

And the Dark Sacred Night, Julia Glass

Another great read - like The Burgess Boys, it's just a story of people trying to figure out their lives, but so well written, and again, with such generosity to all the characters.  I honestly couldn't put it down, and I can't believe I've not read anything by Glass before (especially Three Junes, which was a huge bestseller).  It's the story of Kit, who is drifting through his life and his marriage, have lost his job as a professor of art history.  His wife, Sandra, finally puts her foot down and tells him he has to do something - and that that something is to finally learn about his birth father - the big secret his mother has kept from him all his life.  It sounds like a funny quest to fix your inertia - but it works.  Kit digs into his past - reconnecting with his stepfather and eventually with others from his past.  And along the way we meet a whole range of characters who are trying to get through life, and live with the choices they made.  As I said, what liked best about it was how there were no good or bad guys - just people trying to figure out how to live their lives (though Kit's poor mother, Daphne comes closest to an antagonist - but that's mostly because Kit is so mad at her for not telling her secret).

Another thing - this book, like Tell the Wolves I'm Home, deals in part with the AIDS crisis, and the tragedy of all we lost.  It struck me that when I grew up, we thought so much about AIDS - and the quilt and the loss - a la Rent and Falsettoland and And The Band Played On (ok, for some reason I mostly could only think of musicals), and then, when there was a "cure" of sorts, culture sort of grew silent on the topic.  This book specifically addresses that - but it's interesting to see if this is a trend, to revisit and memorialize the plague.  

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017