Lights All Night Long (Fitzpatrick)

Lights All Night Long 
Lydia Fitzpatrick, 2019
Penguin Publishing
352 pp.
ISBN-13:
9780525558736


Summary
A gripping and deftly plotted narrative of family and belonging, Lights All Night Long is a dazzling debut novel from an acclaimed young writer.

Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his native Russia for what should be the adventure of his life: a year in America as an exchange student.

The abundance of his new world—the Super Walmarts and heated pools and enormous televisions—is as hard to fathom as the relentless cheerfulness of his host parents.

And Sadie, their beautiful and enigmatic daughter, has miraculously taken an interest in him.

But all is not right in Ilya's world: he's consumed by the fate of his older brother Vladimir, the magnetic rebel to Ilya's dutiful wunderkind, back in their tiny Russian hometown.

The two have always been close, spending their days dreaming of escaping to America. But when Ilya was tapped for the exchange, Vladimir disappeared into their town's seedy, drug-plagued underworld. Just before Ilya left, the murders of three young women rocked the town's usual calm, and Vladimir found himself in prison.

With the help of Sadie, who has secrets of her own, Ilya embarks on a mission to prove Vladimir's innocence. Piecing together the timeline of the murders and Vladimir's descent into addiction, Ilya discovers the radical lengths to which Vladimir has gone to protect him—a truth he could only have learned by leaving him behind.

A rich tale of belonging and the pull of homes both native and adopted, Lights All Night Long is a spellbinding story of the fierce bond between brothers determined to find a way back to each other. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1981-82
Where—N/A
Education—B.A., Princeton University; M.F.A., University of Michigan
Awards—Wallace Stegner Fellowship
Currently—lives in Los Angeles, California


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 University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant.

Fitzpatrick graduated from Princeton University and received an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.  (From the publisher.)



Book Reviews
A luminous debut.… Fitzpatrick does so many things right in Lights All Night Long, it’s hard to believe it’s a debut novel. As a mystery, it’s paced perfectly, with the novel moving seamlessly back and forth in time between Ilya’s life in Russia and his new one in America. Fitzpatrick proves to be an expert in building suspense; it’s hard not to read the book in a single sitting.… It’s tricky to capture the specific, sometimes difficult language that brothers use to let each other know they care, but Fitzpatrick manages to do so perfectly, and it makes their relationship all the more beautiful and affecting. Lights All Night Long is both an expertly crafted mystery and a dazzling debut from an author who’s truly attuned to how families work at their darkest moments.… An excellent novel from an author who seems to be at the beginning of an impressive career.
Los Angeles Times

 
Formidably accomplished.… Fitzpatrick sharply examines the cheapness of life while at the same time flagging up and homing in on various redemptive riches, from brotherly bonds to cross-cultural relations to the pursuit of justice.… Few debut novels are so tightly plotted and powerfully written.… A gripping, emotional journey.
Minneapolis Star Tribune


This vivid coming-of-age novel spools out an engrossing mystery amid a tender story about family ties and adopted homes.
Esquire


[G]littering…. The murder mystery is intricate and well-crafted, but the highlight is the relationship between the two brothers…. [A] heartbreaking novel about the lengths to which people go to escape their own pain, and the prices people are willing to pay to alleviate the suffering of their loved ones.
Publishers Weekly


Fitzpatrick’s remarkable debut novel is a coming-of-age narrative interwoven with a gripping mystery.
Shelf Awareness


(Starred review) Beyond the brothers’ crystalline characterizations, Fitzpatrick gifts her intriguing debut with elegant prose, affecting images, and rich settings.
Booklist


A poised, graceful literary debut… An absorbing tale imparted with tenderness and compassion.
Kirkus Reviews


[T]hat rare work of fiction that gathers page-turning momentum from its prose as much as its plot. Fitzpatrick’s writing, accessible yet exquisite, relies on surgically precise metaphors for a lot of heavy emotional lifting.… Darkly beautiful, melancholic but not bleak, Lights All Night Long is storytelling at its finest. Fitzpatrick has written a compelling novel full of intimately portrayed, easy-to-love characters whose spoiled joys and resurgent hopes will linger with readers.
BookPage



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