AND THE DARK SACRED NIGHT

Julia Glass

Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with

twins to help support and a mortgage to pay—

and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised by a

strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has

never known the identity of his father—a mystery

that his wife insists he must solve to move forward

with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the

mountain retreat of his mother’s former husband,

Jasper, a take-no-prisoners outdoorsman. There,

in the midst of a fierce blizzard, Kit and Jasper confront memories of the

bittersweet decade when their families were joined.

more …

Kit Noonan is an unemployed art historian with

twins to help support and a mortgage to pay—

and a wife frustrated by his inertia. Raised by a

strong-willed, secretive single mother, Kit has

never known the identity of his father—a mystery

that his wife insists he must solve to move forward

with his life. Out of desperation, Kit goes to the

mountain retreat of his mother’s former husband,

Jasper, a take-no-prisoners outdoorsman. There,

in the midst of a fierce blizzard, Kit and Jasper confront memories of the

bittersweet decade when their families were joined. Reluctantly breaking a

long-ago promise, Jasper connects Kit with Lucinda and Zeke Burns, who

know the answer he’s looking for. Readers of Glass’s first novel, Three Junes,

will recognize Lucinda as the mother of Malachy, the music critic who died

of AIDS. In fact, to fully understand the secrets surrounding his paternity,

Kit will travel farther still, meeting Fenno McLeod, now in his late fifties,

and Fenno’s longtime companion, the gregarious Walter Kinderman.

less …
  • Anchor
  • Paperback
  • January 2015
  • 400 Pages
  • 9780307456113

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About Julia Glass

Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes, winner of

the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction; The Whole World Over; I See

You Everywhere, winner of the 2009 Binghamton University John Gardner

Book Award; and The Widower’s Tale. Her personal essays have been widely

anthologized. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for

the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute

for Advanced Study, Glass also teaches fiction writing, most frequently

at the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown. She lives with her family in

Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Praise

An elegant and moving novel.”—The New Yorker

“A tender, insightful, and winning exploration of the modern family and the

infinite number of shapes it can take.”—People

“Sophisticated and surprising. . . . Luminous.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The only regret you’ll have at the end of this particular story is that it’s

over.”—Entertainment Weekly

Discussion Questions

Kit’s wife, Sandra, tells him, “I think you need to move,

I mean pry yourself free from a place that’s become so

familiar you simply can’t see it” (p. 22). Have you ever

come to a place in your life where you felt stuck? How

did you resolve this?

Why do you think Daphne insists on keeping the name of Kit’s father a

secret? Whom is she protecting?

If you were Kit, do you think you could/would have waited so long

to find your father? Do you think men and women have different

attitudes toward “finding” their lost family connections?

Describe Kit and Daphne’s relationship. How does this change

throughout the book?

Daphne accepted Lucinda’s help with Kit for the first few years of

his life. What do you think about her cutting off that connection so

abruptly? Can you empathize with her reasons for doing so?

Lucinda has yearned for decades to reconnect with Kit. Do you think

she should have done that on her own, without waiting for him to take

the initiative? Or do you think the initiative always has to come from

the child/grandchild?

Did you have a magical time or place in your life similar to that summer?

In your view, who has the most to forgive? Who most deserves

forgiveness? Who most needs it?

Lucinda gets mad at Zeke for hiding Malachy’s need to know of Kit,

and gets mad at Jonathan for hiding his homosexuality from Malachy

as well as from his parents. Do you think these secrets were justified?

The Burnses’ barn, the Shed at the music camp, Jasper’s crow’s nest: All

of these structures hold meaning for the characters involved. Are there

places in your life that you feel as strongly about?

In the end, do you think Kit found what he was looking for?

What character in this story do you most identify with, and why?