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Vigil Harbor: Book summary and reviews of Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass

Vigil Harbor

A Novel

by Julia Glass

Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass X
Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass
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  • Published May 2022
    416 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the National Book Award winner, a symphonic novel about a coastal community confronting climate instability, political violence, lost love, and the mysteries of the sea.

A decade from now, in the historic town of Vigil Harbor, there is a rash of divorces among the yacht-club set, a marine biologist despairs at the state of the world, a spurned wife is bent on revenge, and the renowned architect Austin Kepner pursues a passion for building homes designed to withstand the escalating fury of relentless storms. Austin's stepson, Brecht, has dropped out of college in New York and returned home after narrowly escaping one of the terrorist acts that, like hurricanes, have become increasingly common.

Then two visitors arrive: a stranded traveler with subversive charms and a widow seeking clues about a past lover with ties to Austin: a woman who may have been more than merely human. These strangers and their hidden motives come together unexpectedly in an incident that endangers lives—including Brecht's—with dramatic repercussions for the entire town.

Vigil Harbor reveals Julia Glass in all her virtuosity, braiding multiple voices and dazzling strands of plot into a story where mortal longings and fears intersect with immortal mysteries of the deep as well as of the heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The two big plot twists are more predictable than they should be, but Glass' sharply drawn portraits of people coping as best they can with a world in crisis will convince most readers to go along happily for the ride. Provocative themes, strong characterizations, and propulsive storytelling combine for another great read from Glass." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"National Book Award winner Glass adds mystery and adventure to an engrossing near-future story of the perils of climate change...Both nightmarish and enjoyable, this will have readers hooked for the long haul." - Publishers Weekly

"A novelist of fluid compassion adept at creating plots anchored in the ordinary but driven into disaster, Glass adds a drop of mythology to the whirl of this intricately suspenseful story. With sorrow and humor, beauty and fury rendered in prose as exquisitely nuanced and mutable as the seacoast setting, Glass dramatizes the psychic toll of climate change." - Booklist

"In her new novel, Julia Glass gathers a combustible cast of characters, places them ten years from now, and strikes a match. Fast-paced, immersive, and imaginatively daring, Vigil Harbor is a brave look at our climate perils, our political moment, and our deep dependence on one another." - Lily King, author of Writers & Lovers

"Julia Glass gives us exactly what we need during these trans-apocalyptic times, a novel of heart and humanity set against the growing insanity. I ate it up." - Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends

"Vigil Harbor is a gripping work of the imagination, its place and ensemble cast both familiar and wonderfully uncanny. Julia Glass's virtuosity has a sweeping, almost tidal quality befitting the landscape of the harbor itself—I found myself in awe at the ease with which she moves across both time and minds." - Daniel Mason, author of The Winter Soldier

This information about Vigil Harbor was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Julia Glass Author Biography

Photo: Dennis Cowley

Julia Glass is the author of six previous books of fiction, including the bestselling Three Junes, winner of the National Book Award, and I See You Everywhere, winner of the Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Other published works include the Kindle Single Chairs in the Rafters and essays in several anthologies. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Author Interview
Link to Julia Glass's Website

Other books by Julia Glass at BookBrowse
  • Three Junes jacket
  • The Whole World Over jacket

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