Read what people think about Night Navigation by Ginnah Howard, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

Night Navigation

by Ginnah Howard

Night Navigation
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2009
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 4
There are currently 27 reader reviews for Night Navigation
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Wayne Francis (03/30/10)

A Fine Novel on More Than One Level
Others more qualified than I am have testified to the veracity of Ginnah Howard's portrait of the complex family dynamics that come into play when a person is afflicted by both mental illness (bipolar disorder) and drug addiction - in a nutshell: the optimum stance for a family member coping with the behavior spawned by one is a potentially disastrous stance for coping with the other. And the people caught in this bind have lives of their own to lead.

What I'd like to stress, however, is Howard's artful, indeed virtuosic, handling of language, her nearly perfect ear and her seemingly instinctive avoidance not only of verbal cliches but of easy turns of plot and characterization. This makes her telling of the story more effective - and more likely to endure - but it also results in prose that will be read with pleasure even by those of us fortunate enough not to relate intensely to the story on a personal level.

After registering this fact, one is not surprised to find that she has other, quite different, stories to tell. I've read some on her web site (, where she has posted stories from an unpublished book, "Rope and Bone," and I have also found some stories, originally published in magazines, on the web sites of the magazines.
Jeanie Stuntzner (03/29/10)

Stunning fresh voice, powerful story to tell
I don't think Night Navigation could have been more perfect, more affecting. Those characters were so INHABITED. The pacing was tight and so very purposeful. Every single word on every single page had a meaning, and made a gesture towards something we needed to see -- even if we had our "eyes closed" out of love and frustration for the characters. Just flawless. Even if you have never had a personal connection with the themes of the book, you will understand Del and Mark's intricate dance. A must-read if you are in search of a fresh voice. I have a feeling that this will be a movie someday...
Betsy R. (Gig Harbor, WA) (04/08/09)

Night Navigation is reality
The book Night Navigation is a novel but reads as a memoir. It is a difficult book to read, but its honesty about the cycles of despair and hope inherent in a relationship with someone who is addicted is dead-on. Mark's diagnosis of bipolar disorder is an understandable one that often comes with addiction. Because of my own experiences, I related deeply to Del, Mark's mother, who both hated and loved him enough to help even while she often made things worse. This is an important book but its dark and graphic subject matter may mean that not enough people read it. I hope not because it provides insight that most would not get otherwise.
Lois G. (Redding, California) (04/03/09)

One to recommend.
I don't know about you, but when I read a really good book, I recommend it to other people. Not just my friends, but people in bookstores with that "what to read next" look on their face. Night Navigation by Ginnah Howard is a great book to tell others about.

I enjoyed reading Night Navigation, with parts of it touching me deeply. I think it would be a wonderful book for a discussion group, due to the fact that certain parts of it may stand out to different readers.

Ginnah Howard is a talented author and I am looking forward to reading her next book. A book that I hope will not be too long in coming.
Barbara J. (West Valley City, Utah) (03/25/09)

Book was difficult to read. I thought that it was disconnected.
Jodie A. (Corpus Christi, TX) (03/24/09)

Night Navigation
It did not hold my attention.
Carol J. (Isle, MN) (03/24/09)

Tough, realistic read
Not an easy book to read due to the topic, but realistically written. Even without a child with an addiction one can identify with Del's desire to fix her son's life. I believe the author accurately portrayed the ups and downs of the life of the addict and those around him.

I would recommend the book for anyone dealing with addiction, personally or peripherally. Some interesting insights as to the ripple effects of addiction.
Vicky (03/22/09)

Interesting Portrayal of Addiction
I really enjoyed the dual perspectives from mother and son on the son's addiction as well as mom's response to the addiction. I found that I wanted to keep picking the book up and read it later into the night than I should have. Even the peripheral characters had depth - mom's boyfriend as one. There was a lot going on - with their lives- the addiction, mental illness and past relationships with other characters and deceased family members.

I'd recommend it for book clubs since there are many decisions - good and bad - and consequences. We'd probably all see a part of our selves in someone.

More Information


Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.