The Gloaming

The Gloaming

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"Deeply satisfying. Finn is a remarkably confident and supple storyteller. [ The Gloaming ] deserves major attention."
--John Williams, New York Times

"In this richly textured, intricately plotted novel, [Finn] assures us that heartbreak has the same shape everywhere. The Gloaming is chillingly cinematic in contrasting East Africa's exquisite landscape with the region's human needs. Yet even in a malevolent setting, Finn shows us acts of selflessness and redemption. Her fascination with the duality of Africa -- "the most honest place on earth" -- shines fiercely."
--Lisa Zeidner, New York Times Book Review , Editors' Choice

"A propulsive literary thriller. Finn, who writes with a psychological acuity that rivals Patricia Highsmith's, switches between Europe and Africa in tense alternating chapters, rewarding close attention. The book is terrific... subtle and thrilling. Remarkably well-paced and well-written... Don't expect to be able to set this book down or forget its haunted characters."
-- Kirkus Reviews , starred

"Intense, impressive."
-- The Guardian

"I rarely get as invested in the outcome of a novel as I did reading The Gloaming , but the empathies that Finn evokes in this powerful and unpredictable book are not casual; these traumas could be our own. [Finn's] prose is hypnotic and knife-precise and at times so beautiful it's unnerving. I didn't read this book so much as I experienced it and it will haunt me for a very, very long time."
--Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times -bestselling author of Hausfrau

Pilgrim's husband left her for another woman, stranding her in a Swiss town where she is involved in an accident that leaves three children dead. Cleared of responsibility though overcome with guilt, she absconds to Africa, befriending a series of locals each with their own tragic past.

Mysteriously, the remains of an albino appear, spooking everyone--sign of a curse placed by a witch doctor--though its intended recipient is uncertain. Pilgrim volunteers to rid the town of the box and its contents, though wherever she goes, she can't shake the feeling that she's being followed.

Melanie Finn was born and raised in Kenya until age eleven, when she moved with her family to Connecticut. She is the author of the novel Away From You and wrote DisneyNature's beautiful, haunting flamingo epic The Crimson Wing , which was directed by her husband, filmmaker Matt Aeberhard. During the filming, Melanie established The Natron Healthcare Project, and now lives in Vermont with Matt and their twin daughters.

Publisher: Columbus, Ohio : Two Dollar Radio, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781937512477
Branch Call Number: FINN M
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 20 cm


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Jun 06, 2017

I was OK with the author's switching back and forth between countries and dates, but got a bit tired of it being too much at times. Toward the end it got better only because chapters were told with certain people in mind and it was easier to pick up the story line and figure out what had happened. The ending could have, in my opinion, been a bit better and a bit longer and not just abruptly finished off.

Mar 11, 2017

This book was on one of those "best books of the year" lists. Usually I like novels about people dealing with adversity in foreign lands, but this one began to grate about one-third the way through. There's plenty of high-minded-but emotionally-distant lyrical writing. The chapters veer back and forth in time between past and present. The "present" sections are written in the present tense..."I see her come toward me," etc, another contrivance that I think adds little. A tinge of tragedy, grief, menace, and impending violence permeates throughout. Well written and it has certainly gotten good reviews, but I found it disappointing.

Jan 17, 2017

After being involved in the tragic death of three children, the protagonist absconds to Tanzania where she interacts with a series of locals each with their own tragic past mostly involving children. Finn describes Tanzania as a land of superstition, ghosts, violence, beauty and ugliness and the plot keeps the story interesting.

Dec 29, 2016

So beautifully written; an exploration of grief, loss and journeys. Hard to describe but when a book is this well written, the subject matter is almost secondary.


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