Cover image for Little night
Title:
Little night
Author:
Rice, Luanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, [2012]

©2012
Physical Description:
321 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Clare Burke's life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne's defense of her spouse, all lies, and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Claire is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep. The two long for a relationship with each other, but they'll have to dig deep into their family's difficult past in order to build one. Together, they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and her husband and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might have followed Grit to New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her...but will it be the joyous occasion they dream of? And will Clare and her longtime partner, Paul, whose complicated relationship has been sorely tested through the years, find a way back to love and to each other, again?--From inside front flap of book jacket.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780670023561

9780143123323
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

An emotionally gripping family drama from beloved New York Times bestseller Luanne Rice

Clare Burke's life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne's defense of her spouse--all lies--and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Clare is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep.

The two long for a relationship with each other, but they'll have to dig deep into their family's difficult past in order to build one. Together they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might be in New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her.

A riveting story about women and the primal, tangled family ties that bind them together, Little Night marks a milestone for Luanne Rice--the thirtieth novel from the author with a talent for creating stories that are "exciting, emotional, terrific" ( The New York Times Book Review ).


Author Notes

Novelist Luanne Rice was born in Old Lyme, Connecticut on September 25, 1955. She has written over twenty books and her stories, such as Home Fires and Cloud Nine, depict average people in emotionally complex situations. Many of her novels have been adapted into TV movies including Crazy in Love (1992) which starred Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman and Gena Rowlands, and Blue Moon (1999) which starred Sharon Lawrence, Kim Hunter and Richard Kiley. She currently splits her time between New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut.

(Bowker Author Biography) Luanne Rice is the author of Follow the Stars Home, Cloud Nine, Secrets of Paris, Stone Heart, Angels All over Town, Home Fires, Crazy in Love (made into a TNT Network feature movie), and Blue Moon, which has been made into a CBS television movie. Originally from Connecticut, she now lives in New York City with her husband.

(Publisher Provided) Luanne Rice is the author of ten novels, most recently Dream Country, Follow the Stars Home, and Cloud Nine. She lives in New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut, with her husband.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In her thirtieth novel, Rice (Silver Boat, 2011) continues to find original ways to mine her signature themes of love and family as she introduces sisters Claire and Anne and their strong yet complicated bond. That bond is all but severed once Anne becomes trapped in an abusive marriage and withdraws from family and friends. Claire ends up in prison for assaulting her brother-in-law in a bid to rescue Anne, who testifies in defense of her spouse. Rice fast-forwards 20 years to when the sisters are completely estranged. Claire, who has struggled emotionally since Anne's betrayal, is surprised by the appearance of her niece, Grit, who has been thrown out by her parents and now hopes to connect with the aunt she barely knows. As the two grow close, they long to complete the circle and reconcile with Anne. Rice manages to create a fair measure of suspense around a reunion that feels inevitable, holding Anne at arm's length for much of the narrative. Never rushing her story or revelations, Rice reaches the satisfying conclusion that while wounds runs deep, love runs deeper. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A major national promotion campaign will support best-selling Rice's milestone novel, including a May 1 release of an e-special (How We Started, $3.99) containing two short stories.--Wetli, Patty Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

After bludgeoning her sister's abusive husband with a burnt log, Clare Burke is whisked away to jail in the dramatic opening of Rice's 30th novel (after Secrets of Paris). Based on Anne's false testimony in defense of her husband, Clare serves two years for assault, the sisters become estranged, and the story picks up 18 years later in 2011 in New York City, where Clare is a blogger and birdwatcher. Though she's never fully recovered from the trauma of her sister's betrayal, Clare desperately wants to reconnect with Anne, who has since cut all ties with her family at the behest of her manipulative husband. But when Anne's 21-year-old daughter, Grit, shows up on Clare's doorstep seeking a family that loves her, Clare and her niece bond, though the subject of their common tie-Anne-is never far from either of their minds. The two support one another as they attempt to create a relationship and reconnect with the woman who hurt them. Poetic and stirring, Rice's latest beautifully combines her love of nature and the power of family. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (June 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In 1993, Clare Burke attacked her sister Anne's abusive husband, Frederik, and went to prison for assault. Once close, the sisters grew estranged after Anne lied in court about what precipitated the attack. Clare, however, never stopped missing and worrying about Anne and her two children, Gillis and Margarita (Grit), who continued to live with a man they often feared. Now working as a birder and blogger in New York City, Clare is stunned to receive a letter from Grit asking to stay with her for a few days. Days turn into months as the aunt and niece get to know each other and try to live in the present while understanding the past. VERDICT Best-selling author Rice's 30th book is an outstanding read that both chills and warms the soul. Her descriptions of abuse are startling and unnerving, while her vibrant verbal paintings of birds and nature are calming and uplifting. This hard-to-put-down story about how family ties can be undone and sometimes retied is compelling and will undoubtedly resonate with fans of contemporary women's fiction. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/11.]-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

February 14, 1993 My hands are bandaged, but I'm not supposed to care that they hurt. When i was treated at the scene, the husky EMT said flatly, "He's a lot worse off than you." The police officer had to remove my handcuffs; he snapped on latex gloves to avoid having to touch my burned palms and wrists. They drove me in a squad car to the East Hampton station house for booking, and finally into the sheriff's van for the ride here to the county jail, fifteen miles away in Mashomuck. I'll tell you one detail because it's frozen in my mind. The phrase "two to the head." That's what I've been hearing since the police arrived. "She gave him two to the head." Then they laugh at me. it's supposed to be a big joke about how inept Ii was. This enormous, shaved-head bodybuilding sheriff acted it out for me in the van on the way here. "One," he said, pretending to clobber the other sheriff over the head. "Two." He imitated the second blow. Then, "Ouch," he said as he waggled his fingers at me and winked nastily at my bandaged hands. "You burned yourself as bad as you hurt him, but he's going to the hospital and you're going to jail." I'd like to block his words out. They make this seem like any other crime, one of the salacious stories you see on CNN Headline news. To the outside i suppose all crimes are the same--someone attacks, another is injured. It's only in a person's mind and heart, only within the soul of any given family that the entire tender, brutal, surreal story makes any sense. I say "family," but it might only be me. i have three blood relatives in this world: Anne, my older and only sister, and her children, a niece and nephew i barely know because her husband has cut us off so thoroughly. Blood is one thing, but to be family, you need so much more. This morning I'd reached my breaking point on that and taken the LIRR out east, unannounced, to show up with roses for Anne and books and Valentines for the kids. I chose late morning, when Frederik would be at his gallery. The day was bright blue but frigid, no humidity, a sharp wind whirling around Montauk Point. i caught a cab from the station to their house on Old Montauk Highway. I was a wreck, thinking she'd slam the door in my face. But she didn't--she let me in. Right now I can hardly stand the memory of seeing the shock and joy in her eyes, feeling our strong embrace, as if our lives in that instant had been reset, back to the time before him. The children didn't know who I was. They're only three and five, and I last saw them all at my mother's funeral a year ago, when Frederik had dragged the family away from the gravesite before Anne and I had a chance to console each other, or even speak. For twenty minutes today we had a good time. The house was freezing; obviously the heat was turned way down. Anne, Gillis ("Gilly"), and Margarita ("Grit") wore warm shirts and fleece pullovers. I kept my jacket on. We huddled around the hearth where two logs sparked with a dull glow; a third had barely caught, flames just licking the top edge. The brass screen had been set aside, as if to keep the wire mesh from holding back the fading warmth. I glanced around for a poker, but saw nothing to stoke the fire. There didn't seem to be any more wood either. I was afraid to ask about the heat, or lack of it. Anything can trigger Anne, especially when it comes to Frederik. She might have taken my question as implied criticism of his ability or willingness to provide basic needs for his family. She's very defensive about him. But the truth is, she's always had a strange, secret side when it came to men. She puts them on pedestals, and then subverts them in ways they'd never guess. I'll confess something else: Anne and i had probably been the closest sisters on earth, but we have never been completely, one-hundred-percent easy with each other. i don't believe Anne can be that way with anyone. Excerpted from Little Night by Luanne Rice All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.