Brilliant and beautiful beyond comprehension, Lydia Fitzpatrick’s Lights All Night Long is a novel that pulls the reader in starting on page one.
Fitzpatrick tells the story of a Russian exchange student, Ilya, and his mission to save his brother, Vladimir, from punishment for a series of murders Ilya knows (or at least thinks he knows) Vladimir did not commit. Ilya is in Louisiana though and doesn’t quite know how to help his brother except by sending him lengthy emails detailing his life in America and his insistence that Vladimir is innocent. While in America, with the help of both fate and some new friends, Ilya begins to unravel bits of the truth about his brother’s life and his confession of the murders.
Told through a blend of past and present, the reader slowly starts to piece together Ilya’s history and the life he’s lived in Russia. We start to understand Ilya and Vladmir’s relationship as well as Ilya’s relationship with his hometown, his dead father, and what’s left of his family. A story of drugs and murder, of family and companionship, of honesty and dishonesty, of honor and love, Lights All Night Longis impossible to simply sum up in a few paragraphs. It’s a novel that has to be read and by being read almost lived.
Fitzpatrick is a dazzling and poetic writer who creates characters that are difficult to forget. Since the book is told from the close third perspective of a teenage boy, we hear a lot about his sexual fantasies and desires, and while this at times can detract from the flow of the book, the reader just has to remember the age of the main character, and it’s easy to move through some of these more staccato descriptions.
Overall, Lights All Night Long is a captivating book that will pull readers into an entirely new world.
Slated for released on April 2, 2019 by Penguin Press, you can preorder a copy of Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick at your local independent bookstore.
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FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.