After her mother dies, a young Kentucky girl falls prey to her abusive father, forever known only as Carol’s Daddy, who winds up using her as stakes in a poker game. Fifty years later, Samuel and Eddie are forever bonded by a shop class accident. How the stories connect, and how seemingly small acts can resonate over generations, drives the latest novel from the author of the Boswell favorite, The Illusion of Separateness. Van Booy loves bonds, he loves repercussions, he loves large characters on a small stage, and most of all, he loves grace. Is it sentimental? Unabashedly, but it’s counterpointed by a spare style, where often what’s unsaid is as important as what is. There’s no speculative element to the story, and yet, in its contemplativeness, I’d recommend it to folks liking Matt Haig’s books. Affecting and wondrous!— Daniel Goldin
"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 "
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.