We Shall Not All Sleep
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We Shall Not All Sleep : A Novel

3.57 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"An utterly compelling novel from a brilliant new voice."-M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans Seven Island has two houses. One for Hillsingers and one for Quicks. 1964. The Hillsingers and the Quicks have shared the small Maine island of Seven for generations. But though technically family--Jim Hillsinger and Billy Quick married Park Avenue sisters Lila and Hannah Blackwell--they do not mix. Now, on the anniversary of Hannah's death, Lila feels grief pulling her toward Billy. And Jim, a spy recently ousted from the CIA on suspicion of treason, decides to carry out the threat his wife has explicitly forbidden: to banish their youngest son, the twelve-year-old Catta, to the neighboring island of Baffin for twenty-four hours in an attempt to make a man out of him. With their elders preoccupied, the Hillsinger and Quick children run wild, playing violent games led by Catta's sadistic older brother James. The island manager Cyrus and the servants tend to the families while preparing for the Migration, a yearly farming ritual that means one thing to their employers, and something very different to them. Set during three summer days, Estep Nagy's debut novel moves among the communities of Seven as longstanding tensions become tactical face-offs in which everything is fair game for ammunition. Vividly capturing the rift between the cold warriors of Jim's generation and the rebellious seekers of Catta's, We Shall Not All Sleep is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation--a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 27.94mm | 561g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1632868415
  • 9781632868411

Review quote

"An unusual and compelling debut . . . a surprising delight. Nagy mixes narrative modes and tones (and generations) nimbly; it's rare to see suspense and literary lyricism woven together so well." - Kirkus Reviews "Estep Nagy's razor-sharp debut, We Shall Not All Sleep, brings us Jim Hillsinger, a Cold War-era high WASP with a wandering wife and a CIA career that's just gone up in smoke. Perhaps the upheaval can be blamed for his decision to abandon his 12-year-old son on an uninhabitable Maine island for 24 hours to tough-love him into manhood--or maybe it was the martinis." - W Magazine "From the first sentence, We Shall Not All Sleep whisks us off to the arcane world of the Quicks and the Hillsingers on Seven Island, a place alive with elaborate, arbitrary traditions and political and emotional tensions. Effortlessly interweaving intergenerational stories and cold war intrigue, the book explores the crossing of thresholds - between hearts and life stages, between islands and ideologies - and what such transitions cost. Torn between their desires as individuals and their duties to their wider group, Nagy's subtly drawn characters struggle to negotiate the gap between visible and invisible rules; between information and true understanding. Written with an exquisitely light touch, the result is an utterly compelling novel from a brilliant new voice." - M. L. Stedman, author of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS "This is an amazing book. It's rare to encounter such mature insight into as interesting and complex characters as these. Anyone who is fascinated by human crossovers and transformations will be thankful for We Shall Not All Sleep." - Gail Godwin, author of FLORAshow more

About Estep Nagy

Estep Nagy's writing has appeared in Southwest Review, The Believer, The Spectator, Paper, and elsewhere. He is the writer and director of The Broken Giant, an independent feature film starring Will Arnett, John Glover, and Chris Noth that is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and his plays have been produced across the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and Australia. He attended Yale University.show more

Review Text

In this fine-tuned, observant debut, the Hillsingers and the Quicks share a complicated family-line rivalry that just won't quit . . . A chilling portrait of privilege and secrets. Marie Claireshow more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 38% (10)
4 12% (3)
3 27% (7)
2 15% (4)
1 8% (2)
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