Night Came With Many Stars
Simon Van Booy
December 21, 2021
Night Came With Many Stars (Godine, 2021) ebbs and flows with people who only take or destroy, balanced by those who give or heal. And everything centers on a family. A Kentucky father treats Carol, his thirteen-year-old motherless daughter like a servant up to the moment he loses her in a poker game. It’s 1933, and Carol’s aching heart begins a novel of stories filled with heartache or joy that weaves back and forth across decades. Carol gets rescued on the side of the road and finds a home with two women who help pregnant teenagers, a woman survives a botched self-induced abortion, a Black family saves a starving white boy, and Carol’s grandson wins money playing poker. In this beautifully-written novel, characters are defined by what they do, not by what they are.
Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of fifteen books that include: The Secret Lives of People in Love (short-listed for the Vilcek Prize), Love Begins in Winter (awarded the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award), Everything Beautiful Began After, The Illusion of Separateness, Tales of Accidental Genius, Father's Day, The Sadness of Beautiful Things (short-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize), two novels for children, Gertie Milk & The Keeper of Lost Things and Gertie Milk & The Great Keeper Rescue, along with three anthologies of philosophy, Why We Fight, Why Our Decisions Don't Matter and Why We Need Love. He has has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, National Public Radio, the BBC, and the Chinese edition of ELLE. His books have been translated into many languages and optioned for film. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in their storytelling abilities through annual awards. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.