Night Came with Many Stars

Night Came with Many Stars

3.95 (980 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.95 (980 ratings by Goodreads)
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"It is a heartbreaking book, a gorgeous book...In Night Came with Many Stars, Van Booy finds the weakness, grace and beauty of common lives fully lived."
-NPR, "Books We Love"

"Not to miss!"
-USA Today

In Kentucky, back in 1933, Carol's daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. Award-winning author Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blessed with light.

"What you give in this world," an old man tells his grandson, "will be given back to you." Those words illuminate the actions within this unforgettable novel and its connected characters. A young man survives two nearly fatal accidents. A Black family saves an orphaned white boy. A pregnant teenager is rescued by the side of the road. A teenager with developmental disabilities is given his first job. Each incident grows in meaning and power over many decades as we see connections sometimes felt but not always apparent to the people themselves. "Everything was moving," observes Samuel (Carol's grandson) in the Kentucky woods. "An invisible force that was everywhere, and made everything touch."

Told by a master storyteller, Night Came with Many Stars is a rare novel that reveals how wondrous, mysterious, and magically connected life can be-the light Simon Van Booy creates illuminates our own lives.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 33.02mm | 566.99g
  • Lincoln, United States
  • English
  • 1567927033
  • 9781567927030
  • 1,729,524

Review quote

"It is a heartbreaking book, a gorgeous book...In Night Came with Many Stars, Van Booy finds the weakness, grace and beauty of common lives fully lived."
-NPR, "Books We Love"

"Not to miss!"
-USA Today

"Kindness and raw luck undergird Night Came with Many Stars-echoing the trials and windfalls of Oliver Twist or David Copperfield. And like Dickens's young heroes, Van Booy's determined souls act with their whole hearts-as does this brave, fierce novel-to earn what good may come."
-Boston Globe

"Van Booy is a beautiful storyteller, and his latest offering is no exception."
-New York Post, "Best new books"

"A beautifully realized, multigenerational family novel that is exceptional for its memorable, fully developed characters. Readers will become emotionally invested...invited to consider the meaning of family and the power of memory."

"A work of great warmth, generosity, and optimism. Van Booy is a writer of grace and empathy."
-East Hampton Star

"Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel is told with an exquisite and poetic delicacy, imbued with a profound compassion for the humanity of its characters. It is a gorgeously written, deeply moving triumph."

-Gabriel Byrne, Walking with Ghosts

"Night Came with Many Stars is an ensemble narrative, with stories and perspectives spanning the 20th century. What connects them is place, and the search for a sense of home and safety-whether that means a car, a house, a piece of land, or another person. They are also connected through the strength and ingenuity of girls and women, whose stories in this novel are searing and unforgettable."
-Fiction Writers Review

"I read this novel in a headlong rush, unable to break free of its spell. Beautiful as an old bruise, plain-spoken as a prayer, Night Came with Many Stars rings hard and true with the poetry of real life. Van Booy knows that love and heartache go hand-in-hand-and that cold hard reality is no match for the dreams and longings each of us carry inside."
-Christina Baker Kline, author of The Orphan Train

"This beautiful novel left me with a heightened appreciation of the pattern created by each individual life, as well as the larger pattern of several lives overlapping. Night Came with Many Stars is about impermanence and resilience, and the marvelous randomness of the world."
-Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither

"Simon Van Booy's Night Came With Many Stars is an ambitious and deeply humane novel about the lives of an American family across multiple generations. Not since Ray Pollock's Knockemstiff and Denis Johnson's Jesus's Son has middle America been so powerfully evoked and brilliantly animated. This is a monumental novel that brings something new and resonant to the classic American multi-generational family novel."
-Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fisherman

"I have long loved the work of Simon Van Booy, and this spare, gorgeously-written novel may be his best yet. These unforgettable characters and the intersection of their destinies through time form a pattern as true and human and beautiful as life itself."
-Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

"A breathtaking talent and an artist in the fullest sense of the word, few writers sculpt their sentences with such beautiful precision, and fewer still imbue their characters with such depth of humanity. Night Came with Many Stars is a triumph, possibly his best work yet, a devastating, heartbreaking, and deeply truthful novel that will keep its hooks in the reader long beyond the final page. A stunning achievement."
-Billy O'Callaghan, author of Life Sentences

"Cycles of racism, violence, and misogyny are disrupted by the grace-filled actions of friends, relatives, and strangers...This well-crafted and often serendipitous saga recognizes that family cannot be escaped but can be expanded."
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About Simon Van Booy

Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of thirteen books, including Love Begins in Winter (winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award) and Everything Beautiful Began After, which Andre Dubus III called, "A powerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty of one's own fate." He has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, the BBC and the Chinese edition of Elle, where he wrote the "New Yorker" column for eight years. Van Booy's books have been translated into many languages. When Van Booy was 17, he received a full scholarship to play American football at a university in Kentucky and later lived in a rural part of that state for several years. Now based in New York City, Van Booy has returned regularly to Kentucky for the past two decades.
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Rating details

980 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 28% (278)
4 43% (426)
3 24% (235)
2 3% (34)
1 1% (7)
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