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- Paperback: 318 pages
- Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (September 20, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1937512479
- ISBN-13: 978-1937512477
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
"Deeply satisfying. Finn is a remarkably confident and supple storyteller. [The Gloaming] deserves major attention." —John Williams, New York Times
In rich, compelling prose, Melanie Finn perfectly captures a world of consequences, and the characters who must survive them. Pilgrim Jones' husband has just left her for another woman, stranding her in a small Swiss town where she is one day involved in a tragic car accident that leaves 3 school-children dead. Cleared of responsibility though overcome with guilt, she alights for Africa, where she befriends a series of locals each with their own tragic past, each isolated in their own private way in the remote Tanzanian outpost.
Mysteriously, the remains of an albino African appear packaged in a box, 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.
The Gloaming is a thrilling, haunting new work of guilt, atonement, and finally, hope.
* New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2016.
* The Guardian's "Not the Booker Prize" Shortlist.
* Publishers Weekly's 'Big Indie Books of Fall 2016'
"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 psychologically astute thriller that belongs on the shelf with the work of Patricia Highsmith. Alternating chapters between two continents, the book is brilliant on the pervasiveness of corruption and the murkiness of human motivation. Here is a page-turner that leaves its reader wiser."
—Karen R. Long, Newsday
"Masterfully timed, frightening in its precision and delivery... a haunting story about consequence that spans literal continents. My skin prickled with every chapter. This is a story that explores coping with loss and consequence, its plot spliced with the implicit mystery of those emotions."
"This ambitious novel addresses age-old questions through the story of one woman's abrupt alienation from her own life. It's an immersive, atmospheric read that is difficult to shake."
"Suffice it to say that this is one of the most exhilarating, heartbreaking, and haunting novels that I have ever read—and I’ve read a great deal. Few other writers could rival Finn’s exquisite prose... The plot leaves you guessing, wanting more, not quite finished with the story when you’re forced to turn the last page."
—Tethered by Letters/F(r)Online
"Brilliant... [The Gloaming] is a pure example of a literary page-turner, one that begins with an ending and ends with a new beginning, written by a very smart author."
"Excellent. A wonderful book."
"An intense and clever literary thriller."
"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* review
"[The Gloaming is] intense, raw, a story less about moving on with ones’ life than learning how to live aware of life’s messy, connective tissues. And of course, it’s a testament to the striking writing of its author, Melanie Finn."
"Finn’s sure-footed prose, an intricate, clever plot, and the novel’s powerful examination of cultural divides enrich this story, leading up to its shocking, brilliant conclusion as Pilgrim and the others search for salvation in an unforgiving land."
"Intense, impressive... Told with force, and bracing directness... It's a book that smashes into you."
"I rarely get as invested in the outcome of a novel as I did reading The Gloaming, but the empathies that Melanie Finn evokes in this powerful and unpredictable book are not casual; these traumas could be our own. These characters could be us. And so, the themes are familiar and unyielding: Pain. The past. That flyspeck point of convergence where they meet. The regrettable inevitability of everything that passes after that. And shame. Her 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
"A thought-provoking novel... deftly set in a world of mercenaries, philanthropists and witch doctors in polyester suits, the book asks how one atones for atrocity."
"There's an eerie, existential quality about Melanie Finn’s new novel... A paean to a magical continent of silent forests, slow, dark rivers, wild green mangroves; a world populated by child ghosts, haunted whites and AK-47-toting rebels. It is through this heart of darkness, a landscape rich in possibilities, that Pilgrim stumbles towards the light."
—New Zealand Herald
"Full of empathy and intelligence... The ending is startlingly optimistic and very moving."
—Sydney Morning Herald
Melanie Finn, author of The Gloaming and The Underneath, was born and raised in Kenya until age 11, when she moved with her family to Connecticut. After studying journalism at NYU, she worked as a freelance journalist and screenwriter for twenty years, living and working in six different countries. In 2004, her first novel, Away From You was published to international acclaim. The following year, she and her husband, the wildlife filmmaker Matt Aeberhard, moved to a remote region of Tanzania to make DisneyNature’s beautiful, haunting flamingo epic, The Crimson Wing. During the filming, Melanie became the medic to the local Masai community and established The Natron Healthcare Project. She now lives on a hill in Vermont with Matt, their twin daughters, three Tanzanian mutts and two very old horses.