Little Night by Luanne Rice
Luanne Rice became one of my favorite authors a few years ago. A couple things that have drawn me to her books are the way she crafts a story and how I can connect with her characters. While I can’t say I’ve loved them all, I do look forward to exploring the next place she’s going to take us. For her 30th novel, Little Night, she’s taking us to New York City and to a broken family who is searching for peace.
Claire and Anne are sisters who haven’t spoken in years. Anne, the older of the two, married Frederik, a Danish glass artist, who alienates Anne from her family. One Valentine’s Day when her niece and nephew are small, Claire decides to make a visit to Anne’s Long Island home. When she arrives, she notices there is little heat, and her niece and nephew don’t know her. After a bit, the children, Gilly and Grit, warm up to their Aunt.
While Claire and Anne are visiting, Claire notices bruises on Anne’s wrist and tells her she’ll get her and the kids out of there. They start to prepare to leave and Frederik returns and sees the situation and begins to choke Anne. Claire takes a hot log from the fire and hits Frederik in the head twice, and she ends up arrested for assault/attempted murder. Anne lies on the stand and Claire spends two years in jail for assault.
Years later, Claire comes home to her Chelsea apartment and finds a note from Grit who wants to stay with Claire while working on a project for college. Soon, Grit trusts Claire with the truth: her parents have disowned her and stopped paying her tuition and Claire and Grit slowly form a relationship.
As the relationship forms, you see Claire and Grit each change and deal with the demons of their past. They also grapple with their love for Anne and their frustration that she stays with someone so cruel.
This is an incredible story of emotion, heart, and family. I have to say I felt the ending was a bit unfinished. I feel like there is more to the story of Claire, Anne, and Grit, but all in all this is definitely a keeper.
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