Vigil Harbor

Julia Glass, 1956-

Book - 2022

"A decade in the future, in the historic town of Vigil Harbor, there's been 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 to withstand the escalating fury of coastal storms. Brecht, Austin's stepson, has dropped out of college and retreated home from New York after narrowly escaping one of the domestic terrorist acts... that, like hurricanes, are becoming all too common. When two outsiders come to town-one a woman determined to solve the disappearance of a long-lost lover who links her to Austin, the other a man with subversive charms-the fates of Vigil Harbor's residents become intertwined on one remarkable day and a long-held secret involving a selkie comes to light. In a Time of Tempests reveals Julia Glass in all of her virtuosity, braiding together multiple voices and several dazzling strands of plot in a story that mingles mortal longings and fears with immortal mysteries of the deep as well as the heart"--

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FICTION/Glass Julia
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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Glass Julia (NEW SHELF) Due Sep 2, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Psychological fiction
Domestic fiction
Published
New York : Pantheon Books [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
404 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781101870389
1101870389
Main Author
Julia Glass, 1956- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In finely detailed yet translucent descriptions of Vigil Harbor, an old coastal Massachusetts town, Glass summons a near-future ravaged by environmental devastation and "political extremes." Fledgling poet Brecht, the first narrator in this gracefully polyphonic novel, has left college in New York City and returned home after a deadly bombing. Petra, having lost her wife and her bearings, infiltrates Vigil Harbor's cocoon, seeking revenge against prominent architect Austin for the harm she believes he did long ago to her first love, Issa, an artist whose identification with the endangered creatures of the sea was strange and alarming. Mike, a scientist working for an ocean preservation group, and flinty former English teacher Margo regroup after being betrayed by their spouses. Landscaper Celestino is taken aback when Ernesto appears, claiming to be a climate scientist. Glass circles among her complex, conflicted characters, including two from her earlier novel, The Widower's Tale (2010), as violence threatens this once insulated enclave. 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. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In coastal Vigil Harbor, where the National Book Award-winning Glass acts as escort, yacht clubbers are divorcing in droves, high-profile architect Austin Kepner wants to build homes strong enough to withstand the increasingly violent storms resulting from climate change, and Austin's stepson returns home from the big city after having managed to avoid another terrorist attack. Then two strangers—a charming traveler and a mysterious widow—drop in to disrupt life further. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The National Book Award-winning Glass (I See a House Among the Trees) reveals the state of the world using one small coastal community, Vigil Harbor, MA, ten years in the future. College drop-out Brecht, who says he is generation NL (No Life), moves home to recuperate after an activist-set bomb blast in New York City killed a friend. His stepfather, Austin, has a successful architectural practice designing and building homes to withstand the fury of stronger coastal storms. Petra pretends to be a journalist as she dogs Austin, trying to get him to explain his insensitive breakup with her artist friend Issa, a woman who imagines she was a creature from the sea. Margo, an ex-English teacher with an attitude, finds an unlikely friendship with Mike because his wife ran off with her husband. Mike doesn't dwell on his new-found bachelor status, because, as a marine biologist, he's more concerned about the dire effects of climate change and disappearing ocean species. Everyday life comes to a halt when climate activists bent on violence set off a bomb on the Harvard campus and escape to nearby Vigil Harbor. The bar is going up on surviving what is to come. VERDICT Deftly weaving together eight intersecting stories, Glass offers fiction steeped in current events that her loyal followers will appreciate.—Donna Bettencourt Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

National Book Award winner Glass (A House Among the Trees) adds mystery and adventure to an engrossing near-future story of the perils of climate change. Covid-19 is in the rearview, but things are far from the old normal. Serial terrorist bombings target New York City's Union Square, Cambridge's Harvard Yard, and other places throughout the U.S. as a catastrophic tsunami threatens the Northeast. Austin Kepner, a renowned architect of houses for clients seeking "postmarital solitude," welcomes his stepson, Brecht, back to their small "almost island" Massachusetts fishing town after he drops out of college. There, Brecht discovers "weird weather, weird politics, and weird relationships." The last involves strangers who show up, among them Petra Coyle, who claims to be a journalist commissioned to do a documentary on Austin; Ernesto Soltera, a purported old friend of a local landscaper; and Issa, an artist's model with no navel and "pearly skin," who the locals believe is a selkie, a creature from Celtic myth that's half-person, half-seal. As the story unfolds, Glass skillfully reveals Issa's connections to Petra and Austin, and a heart-pounding hostage episode ratchets up the tension as multiple secret identities and several romantic triangles are exposed, leading to a satisfying conclusion. Both nightmarish and enjoyable, this will have readers hooked for the long haul. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After two visitors arrive in historic Vigil Harbor, one a stranded traveler and the other a widow seeking clues about a past lover who is linked to him, renowned architect Austin Kepner discovers their hidden motives when an incident endangers lives with dramatic repercussions for the entire town.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A decade in the future, in the historic town of Vigil Harbor, there's been 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 to withstand the escalating fury of coastal storms. Brecht, Austin's stepson, has dropped out of college and retreated home from New York after narrowly escaping one of the domestic terrorist acts that, like hurricanes, are becoming all too common. When two outsiders come to town--one a woman determined to solve the disappearance of a long-lost lover who links her to Austin, the other a man with subversive charms--the fates of Vigil Harbor's residents become intertwined on one remarkable day and a long-held secret involving a selkie comes to light. In a Time of Tempests reveals Julia Glass in all of her virtuosity, braiding together multiple voices and several dazzling strands of plot in a story that mingles mortal longings and fears with immortal mysteries of the deep as well as the heart"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From the National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of Three Junes comes "an engrossing, richly drawn and exquisitely told story of small-town residents grappling with the difficulties of changing times" (People).When two unexpected visitors arrive in an insular coastal village, they threaten the equilibrium of a community already confronting climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals.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 strangers 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.