12 June 2018

Today's Read: The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick

Opening lines from Robert Goolrick's The Dying of the LightHow far would you go to save your family's social standing? Diana Cooke's parents put all their hopes on her making an excellent (read: moneyed) marriage that will save them and their beloved family estate.

She was born with the century. She was born as well into the memory of two wars--her grandfather had been Jeb Stuart's aide-de-camp, her father had lost a leg in the Philippines--and then, when she was fourteen, she knew the agony of the Great War. Her whole childhood was touched by the present evil of war, as it was war that killed all six of her cousins, Penny, Carter, Stuart, William, Augustine, and Uncle Charlie, who was called that because by the time he was born, his oldest sibling already had children of his own.
The Dying of the Light by Robert Goolrick (Harper Books, July 2018)

Quick Facts
  • Setting:Virginia, about 1918 to 1941
  • Circumstances: As World War I comes to an end the Cookes find themselves unable to maintain their beautiful Virginia estate, which has been in their family since colonial times. It is now up to Diana, young and beautiful, to marry into money and save the house and her parents' futures. Her arranged marriage doesn't bring her happiness, and Diana's choices, secrets, loves, and hates follow her throughout her life. Her one joy is her dear son, but can he help her find peace?
  • Genre: literary fiction with elements of Southern Gothic.
  • Themes: family, marriage, secrets, duty, love
  • Characters: Mostly Diana's family, neighbors, and her son's friends
  • Why I want to read this book: I liked several of Goolrick's earlier novels (A Reliable Wife, Heading Out to Wonderful), so am curious about his latest. I generally like Southern fiction and books about families.
  • Reviews: I read several advanced reviews of The Dying of the Light, and found mixed reactions. Most readers liked Goolrick's writing style, but several thought Diana's character was too stereotyped.
  • One more note: I took the opening quotation from chapter 1 because I thought it was stronger than the opening to the prologue. The prologue, by the way, seems to reveal much of what's to come in the novel, and I'm not sure I like so much foretelling.


Beth F 6/12/18, 6:23 AM  

obligatory self-comment so I can get notifications of your comments....

rhapsodyinbooks 6/12/18, 7:01 AM  

I really like his writing but I think he is not an "easy" read. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading this one!

Literate Housewife 6/12/18, 7:47 AM  

I have loved all of his books. I need to check this out.

Girl Who Reads 6/12/18, 8:02 AM  

I don't read much Southern fiction, but I do like the time period. I might give it a try. See what we are featuring at Girl Who Reads

bermudaonion 6/12/18, 8:11 AM  

I haven't tried this author yet but I know tons of people who loved A Reliable Wife.

Anonymous,  6/12/18, 8:11 AM  

Haven't read him before but sounds interesting — lots of secrets. Here's the link to my 1C, 1P & TTT: https://mysmsbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/TTT-1C1P-the-shipping-news

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 6/12/18, 10:14 AM  

I like this author and have an ARC of this one just waiting to be read.

Beth Hoffman 6/12/18, 10:39 AM  

Goolrick is one heck of a fine writer. I loved "Heading Out to Wonderful" so much that I read it twice. I didn't know he had a new offering and it's going on my list right now.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative-Read.com 6/12/18, 11:27 AM  

This is new to me, but I do like her style of writing. Really fits the genre.

Here's mine: http://bit.ly/TTues4

Enjoy your day! ;)

Margot 6/12/18, 11:41 AM  

It sounds like I've been missing a great author. I'm going to have to fix that.

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/12/18, 11:43 AM  

It has been too long since I read historical fiction. I am tempted! Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “EDUCATED”

Vicki 6/12/18, 1:58 PM  

I think I'd pass on this book.

Kathy Martin 6/12/18, 4:57 PM  

I am not familiar with this author. It seems like an interesting premise for a book. I hope you enjoy it. This week I am featuring A Merciful Silence by Kendra Elliot. Happy reading!

Daryl 6/24/18, 10:55 AM  

finally catching up ... apologies

i read A Reliable Wife some time ago .. wasnt crazy about his style .. but this sounds interesting

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