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Waiting for the Night Song is a genre-breaking work—literary fiction blended with suspense, racial issues, and climate change. The protagonist, Cadie Kessler, is an entomologist studying beetles and how they kill trees, which in turn, because of the increase in fuel, sets up forest fires.
Cadie and Daniela live on the shores of a New Hampshire lake—until a catastrophic incident occurs when Cadie is eleven destroys their friendship. Decades later Daniela calls Cadie to tell her their long-held childhood secrets are about to surface with dire consequences Daniela’s family and other people.
The prose is lyrical and the descriptions of nature, of the New Hampshire woods so vibrant you can almost hear the night call of the birds, taste the fresh water of the lake, feel the cushion of fallen leaves beneath your feet . If you’re a nature fan, you might want to read this in conjunction with several other recent reads with superb depictions of nature: The Wild Birds by Emily Strelow, Winter Loon by Susan Bernhard, In a Town Called Paradox by Miriam Murcutt, or Wild Life by Keena Roberts.
I was so excited to get my hands on Julie Carrick Dalton's stunning debut. This is a wonderful novel with a powerful story, great characters, and genuine heart. Focused on two childhood friends and a dangerous secret they guard, the novels skillfully weaves together the narrative of their idyllic but shattered childhood and a present day struggle to save the New Hampshire forest they both love. The book has deep feeling for the natural world and asks vital questions about what needs to be done to save it. Julie Carrick Dalton is an impressive talent and beautiful prose stylist. I love this book and recommend it highly to everyone.
This was my first read from the climate fiction genre and although I am conscious of climate changes and support the need to protect our environment, I am not a climate activist. I learned a lot about the environment and how it all connects. I also really liked the characters and how they are shown to the reader. The subplot (or competing plot depending on how it is experienced) of the immigration challenges and the mystery of how accountability for Juan's death would unravel is a bit much but not too tiring. Actually, it helped to move the novel forward and kept my interest. Dalton's strength though is in the writing about nature and climate science. She exquisitely paints scenes with such vivid detail that you are standing right there. She also obviously knows the science behind the climate crisis and guides the reader through the character Cadie to why it should matter to you as well.
Two girls become friends while committing a juvenile act. One grows up as an environmentalist, while the other remains bonded to her immigrant family. Someone is shot and years later the shallow grave releases the dead. Uncovering the clues and piecing the story is told by walking the same circular path for the entire book. Lack of accountability wasn't as concerning as lack of maturity. The stages of development was lost and reminding the reader of every client past event was annoying. The author could have focused on a central theme, if it were immigration, forest conservation or reunited in a small growth at the edge of National Land. I would recommend to a novice reader.
In Waiting for the Night Song, Julie Carrick Dalton has created a memorable character in Cadence Kessler, the feisty, indomitable heroine of this beautifully written story of forgiveness and love. I flew through the book, each chapter enticing the reader with what is to be revealed. Highly recommended!
Oh wow. This book does not stop and is ALL over the place. I don’t think there was one topic not covered in this book, which made it completely overwritten. Let’s see (none in any particular order and spoiler alert).... we had a murder. A coverup. A robbery. Child abuse. A whole lesson in fires. Tons of secrets. Immigration issues. Fighting the government. Bar fights. Girl returns to her hometown. Girl loves boy. Racism. A lesson in birds. A dog died. A bear died. People died. I could go on and on because literally that was this book. It just went on and on and on. Do yourself a favor and skip it.
A wonderful debut novel. The writer combines an engrossing story with deep personality insights and a beautiful way with words and imagery. The writing flows smoothly as the story unfolds. I loved the beautiful metaphors as much as the human story.