review Night Sleep Death The Stars 103

characters Night Sleep Death The Stars

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writersNight Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of This was so good Set in Hammond New YorkI was thoroughly caught up inside the lives and minds of this big familya uite wealthy familya widow and her five adult children all struggling to move on after the tragic loss of their much beloved husbandfatherThere are many topics touched on in this novel such as racial discrimination police brutality sibling rivalry emotional traumaetcThe family dynamics were uite fascinating to watch yes watch I felt like I was there watching everything going on 800 pages yet I would still have liked to read about these charactersThis was my first book by this author I plan to read Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC

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Night Sleep Death The Stars

Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race psychological trauma class warfare grief and eventual healing as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys How ironic that the first chapter of Oates' latest novel is about police brutality A timely subject for our country one that needs to be discussed and solutions found I am disappointed therefore that Oates doesn't use this opportunity to fully address these issues after beginning her novel with that dramatic scene but instead writes a rather commonplace story about yet another wealthy white American family that begins to unravel after the death of the patriarch There are five adult children in the McClaren family and the story explores each child's relationship with their parents and each other Oates' skill at creating characters is impressive however these are not very likable people How awful that the husband is called 'Whitey' that nickname given to him after his hair turned white at a young age Wouldn't you have refused to let people call you that? The most interesting character to me is the mother Jessalyn who went through her married life being coddled by her husband treated like a child not his eual when making important decisions Jessalyn continues to live by herself in the huge historic eight bedroom family home Its size is a bit of an embarrassment but how can it be sold if part of Whitey still remains there if anywhere where she still hears his voice advising her on life I was hoping she'd rise up out of her overwhelming grief and take the opportunity to become a fully independent woman for once But no she meets a new man and like a chameleon begins changing to fit his lifestyle values and opinions Unfortunately I've known several women who changed just like thatOkay so you are probably wondering why I've given this novel four stars if I have so many criticisms The gesture is a bow to the writer's impressive skills I have to say here though that her habit of using parentheses when the ualifying word or phrase could have stood on its own drove me a little bit crazy after awhile Why? Why? Why? I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions Many thanks for the opportunity さくら荘のペットな彼女 9 race psychological trauma class warfare grief and eventual healing as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys How ironic that the first chapter of Oates' latest novel is about police brutality A timely subject for our country one that needs to be discussed and solutions found I am disappointed therefore that Oates doesn't use this opportunity to fully address these issues after beginning her novel with that dramatic scene but instead writes a The Art of Not Breathing rather commonplace story about yet another wealthy white American family that begins to unravel after the death of the patriarch There are five adult children in the McClaren family and the story explores each child's As Bees in Honey Drown relationship with their parents and each other Oates' skill at creating characters is impressive however these are not very likable people How awful that the husband is called 'Whitey' that nickname given to him after his hair turned white at a young age Wouldn't you have Historic Hahns Peak refused to let people call you that? The most interesting character to me is the mother Jessalyn who went through her married life being coddled by her husband treated like a child not his eual when making important decisions Jessalyn continues to live by herself in the huge historic eight bedroom family home Its size is a bit of an embarrassment but how can it be sold if part of Whitey still Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys (Annie Graceland Mystery remains there if anywhere where she still hears his voice advising her on life I was hoping she'd Zombie CSU rise up out of her overwhelming grief and take the opportunity to become a fully independent woman for once But no she meets a new man and like a chameleon begins changing to fit his lifestyle values and opinions Unfortunately I've known several women who changed just like thatOkay so you are probably wondering why I've given this novel four stars if I have so many criticisms The gesture is a bow to the writer's impressive skills I have to say here though that her habit of using parentheses when the ualifying word or phrase could have stood on its own drove me a little bit crazy after awhile Why? Why? Why? I Conquerors received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions Many thanks for the opportunity

Joyce Carol Oates å 3 read

Contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy when a powerful parent dies each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of allStark and penetrating Genre Literary FictionFamily SagaPublisher HarperCollinsPub Date June 9 2020Joyce Carol Oates has long been a favorite literary author of mine Just when I think that she can’t do it again—write another gripping family saga—she does The book’s title comes from the closing lines of Walt Whitman’s “A Clear Midnight” The poem “refers to the moment of transition that happens from one day to the next The moment is used as a metaphor from changing corporeal existence to the spiritual existence” The interruption of the poem is from PoetAndPoemcom Yes I needed to look up its meaning Once I got it I could easily see how its message is used repeatedly throughout this weighty novel of 800 pagesThe theme of “Night” is familiar to fans of Oates Once again she is writing about love and loss which most would agree are preoccupations in our lives as well as in our literature Oates has lost two husbands one after forty seven years of marriage and the other after ten I read her 2011 memoir “A Widow's Story” which she wrote after the death of her first husband There she suggests that to get through the agonizing grief “the widow should think I kept myself alive” In this novel the author holds nothing back when writing on the psychological effects of grief on Jessalyn who is one of the main characters and a grieving widow The novel is filled with her emotions of shock loss feelings of unreality and thoughts of never loving again Oates didn’t write personally after the loss of her second husband I can’t help but wonder if she chose to tell any of that story here The author has said no such thing to be sureIn this big sprawling tale Oates takes her readers to a small town located in upstate New York Along with examining grief healing and a family coming undone the author takes on race and class issues The story revolves around John Earle “Whitey” McClaren a successful 67 year old husband and father with a big personality He is the anchor of the family as well as the respected former mayor of the town When he sees two cops beating a defenseless nonwhite man he stops his car to intervene The police do not recognize him and they use their taser guns on him repeatedly Conseuently he has a stroke And that is it for Whitey Oates has him die in the hospital soon afterwardThe rest of the tale centers around Whitey’s widow and five adult children all with very different personalities All the kids lose their footing after their father’s death They come off as having been overly connected or fused to him Their fragile mental states are not immediately noticeable as with their mother but they all experience life altering changes Oates writes the family’s pecking order at a pace that begins slow and controlled but builds up angrily Out of the siblings the youngest son is the most sympathetic character He is the black sheep of the family and at the bottom of the pecking order The author portrays him with bone deep loneliness The middle daughter is a high school principal She transfers her anger onto her students She actually spoiler sabotages some kids by editing their transcripts so they will not get into their first choice colleges The author has never shied away from writing on the dark side of human nature“Night” has been compared to Oates’ 1996 “We Were the Mulvaneys” which is a saga about another family living in a small rural upstate New York town which happens to be where she grew up “Mulvaneys” is one of my favorite novels by the author I believe that it is superior to “Night” An argument can be made that “Night” takes on too many characters with too many details It can leave the reader thinking that each character’s story should be a novel in itself making the story feel bloated Indeed the master storyteller’s latest novel according to her website this is her 59th is long Whether it’s too long is debatable—at times yes at times no Still the poetic uality of the author’s prose is worth your time When all is said and done the thing about Oates is after reading her work it becomes impossible not to notice when you are reading a mediocre novel That is the power of Joyce Carol OatesI received this Advance Review Copy ARC novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest reviewFind all my book reviews at


10 thoughts on “Night Sleep Death The Stars

  1. says:

    I haven’t read something so good for so long I confess I was scared and my eyes were about to pop out of my sockets as soon as I saw page numbers of the book I liked to work on long books but they should be “Goldfinch” worthy greatly written and memorable reads I was having second thoughts but I realized the book’s named after one my favorite poems so I have to go blind and dodge the bullet There is nothing to be afraid of dnf’ing a book I hate to do it but if it’s necessary you should have to do it as well But as soon as I start this powerful extra ordinary reading that ruined me for any mediocre readings I did recently my emotions were everywhere I smiled I cried I gritted my teeth I clenched my fists I laughed aloud I whined I clapped I hurt I ached I smiled and finally I LOVED THIS DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY and the author’s brilliant realistic portraits living breathing characterization moving story telling like a fresh breeze touches your face and you’re swimming in the literature sea discovering new tastes new gems and remarkable vividness of word choices When I read a book two things are important for me The story’s pacing and strength of the characters’ depictions For so long I haven’t read multi layered detailed characters make you feel like you really know them But the author brought them out with impeccable visualization They seem like one of your family members The author makes us easier to connect them and understand their motives strengths weaknesses faults flaws beliefs worries dreams I loved Jessalyn and I understand that she is better alone She doesn’t need anyone to share her life after she lost her husband She doesn’t want to be controlled by her own children And of course those siblings fight with their own inner demons My favorites were normally golden hearted Sophie and Virgil Beverly and Thom are problematic characters with their bottled up resentments and angers Beverly shows her feelings by using her aggressive critical tone and Thom prefers mockery and sarcasm as defense mechanism We’re introduced so many remarkable characters throughout our journey and mesmerized by the story’s progression and memorable ending This book needs your effort your time your full concentration and demands your heart and mind to open to the possibilities surprises and unexpected twists of life But at the end your feel the warmness in your heart that sings to you loudly and you embrace the happiness with your soul So this is amazing experience you’d love to welcome with open hands Overall THIS IS MASTERPIECESpecial thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins PublishersEcco for sharing this fantastic fiction’s ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest reviewbloginstagramfacebooktwitter


  2. says:

    THIS IS STILL MY FAVORITE BOOK THIS YEARJust released today?VERY HIGH RECOMMENDATION TO THOSE READERS WHO ENJOY A GREAT LONG FAMILY SAGAITS GRIPPING from page 1 with a very thought provoking situation RELEVANT to our current events I read this ‘before’ these events I say no about the beginningBut my God I LOVE THIS BOOKStrong favorite UPDATEWhew WOWAMAZINGan 800 page novel that I'm sad to see endReview to follow in a few days or soI’m Back Here it Goes love to chat with other readers who read itThe book cover is gorgeousThe title is inspired by the Walt Whitman poem “A Clear Midnight”“This is thy O Soul thy free flight into the wordlessAway from books away from art the day erased the lesson doneThee fully fourth emerging silent gazing pondering the themes thou lovest best Night Sleep death and the stars”Joyce Carol Oat’s novel “Night Sleep Death The Stars” is a great work of artgrandly entertaining bold comic tragic deeply moving family drama It’s sharp witty and highly descriptive This novel dissects each family member with a ruthless cutting edge unraveling at the seamsa book well worth reading John Earle McCleannicknamed Whiteywas born in Feb1943 He died in 2010 If only Whitey had livednone of this would have happened Whitey’s familyJessalyn wife and the adult kidsThom Beverly Lorene Sophia and Virgil often asked themselves after his death”WHAT WOULD DAD SAY?”As the readerI often asked”does it matter?” “Why? andor Why not?”What was obvious The entire McClean experienced great loss after Whitey died Every character had distinct characteristics talents interests strengths weaknesses accomplishments passive and aggressive sides fears concerns worries self doubts opinions and secrets At any given time one or all of the siblings might have kept a tight lid on their emotions or be explosive with them “Siblings form alliances with one another that are both permanent and shifting Disagreements disappointments feuds temporary and expedient bonds shared resentments—“Each character had multi dimensional sides to them An entire novel could be written on any ‘one’ of the siblings or Jessalyn the widowA complete novel could be written on a few of the minor characters as well A FEWTidbit generalstereotype examples but don’t pegged them too harshly as every character may surprise you at some point as specialized chameleons do in this 800 page novel The siblingsBeverlywas resentful judgementaland criticalThom was bossy who’s sarcasm could be construed as funny if it wasn’t directed at youSophia was the earnest schoolgirlLorenethe sardonic schoolmistressVirgiljust was was also my favorite characterJessalynwanted to be left alone to live her own life make her own choices She certainly didn’t want to marry a boring old shoe as a replacement husband And she certainly didn’t want her children to dictate her choices She’s a woman after my own heart Jessalyn wondered if????? “You’re only as happy as your most unhappy child Is this true? Jessalyn wonders if it is a statement of resignation and defeat or a goad to action and change If it means you will never be happy if your child of yours is not happy; then you must do all you can to ensure that neither of you unhappy”Many characters places to sink your teeth into Galapagos is a stand outHugo Martinez photographer artist poet activist adds a lot to this storyMack the Knife Mackey is a Tomcat to loveA GREAT embarrassing scene I was cringing with a sibling a side of coughcough her or he as I’m not saying whohad me CRINGING with embarrassmentDid I cry? My eyes ‘watered’ for a minute in one scene One’s own existence so small One’s grief happiness love or failure to love—of so little conseuence” “Night Sleep DeathThe Stars” takes a good hard look at the complex relationships within a familyOats supplied us with a tragic event that sets the stagethat will have the family members and readers not only looking at loss responsibilities to family members marriages boundaries cracks in the foundation of beliefs but she examines race injustice class which for better or worse shape the reality and continuity of our livesDomestic realismLuminous details of every day life and all the riffraff’sWith masterful skillsJoyce Carol Oats exposes us to the sobering choices strains of unexpected sorrow unexpected pleasures and rich rewardsI thoroughly loved this bookThank You HarperCollins and Joyce Carol Oats This book will be released on June 9th 2020


  3. says:

    This was so good Set in Hammond New YorkI was thoroughly caught up inside the lives and minds of this big familya uite wealthy familya widow and her five adult children all struggling to move on after the tragic loss of their much beloved husbandfatherThere are many topics touched on in this novel such as racial discrimination police brutality sibling rivalry emotional traumaetcThe family dynamics were uite fascinating to watch yes watch I felt like I was there watching everything going on 800 pages yet I would still have liked to read about these charactersThis was my first book by this author I plan to read Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC


  4. says:

    Since Joyce Carol Oates freuently writes about social and political issues at the heart of American society her fiction can often feel eerily prescient But it's an extraordinary coincidence that in the week preceding the publication of her latest novel NIGHT SLEEP DEATH THE STARS widely publicised real life events would so closely mirror the book's prologue The opening describes an incident where a middle aged white man driving on an upstate New York expressway notices a police confrontation on the side of the road He observes white police officers using excessive force while detaining a young dark skinned man and stops to uestion their actions In response the officers restrain beat and taser the driver The injuries he sustains eventually lead to his death The video of George Floyd a 46 year old black man who died as a result of being brutally restrained by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25 2020 has sparked widespread protests and newly motivated the Black Lives Matter movement Public discussions regrading institutionalised racism prejudice and privilege continue These are also the pressing issues at the centre of Oates's epic new novel about a family whose lives unravel as a conseuence of such a tragic event Read my full review of Night Sleep Death The Stars by Joyce Carol Oates on LonesomeReaderYou can also watch me interview Joyce Carol Oates about this novel where she candidly discusses her very personal reasons for writing it


  5. says:

    Genre Literary FictionFamily SagaPublisher HarperCollinsPub Date June 9 2020Joyce Carol Oates has long been a favorite literary author of mine Just when I think that she can’t do it again—write another gripping family saga—she does The book’s title comes from the closing lines of Walt Whitman’s “A Clear Midnight” The poem “refers to the moment of transition that happens from one day to the next The moment is used as a metaphor from changing corporeal existence to the spiritual existence” The interruption of the poem is from PoetAndPoemcom Yes I needed to look up its meaning Once I got it I could easily see how its message is used repeatedly throughout this weighty novel of 800 pagesThe theme of “Night” is familiar to fans of Oates Once again she is writing about love and loss which most would agree are preoccupations in our lives as well as in our literature Oates has lost two husbands one after forty seven years of marriage and the other after ten I read her 2011 memoir “A Widow's Story” which she wrote after the death of her first husband There she suggests that to get through the agonizing grief “the widow should think I kept myself alive” In this novel the author holds nothing back when writing on the psychological effects of grief on Jessalyn who is one of the main characters and a grieving widow The novel is filled with her emotions of shock loss feelings of unreality and thoughts of never loving again Oates didn’t write personally after the loss of her second husband I can’t help but wonder if she chose to tell any of that story here The author has said no such thing to be sureIn this big sprawling tale Oates takes her readers to a small town located in upstate New York Along with examining grief healing and a family coming undone the author takes on race and class issues The story revolves around John Earle “Whitey” McClaren a successful 67 year old husband and father with a big personality He is the anchor of the family as well as the respected former mayor of the town When he sees two cops beating a defenseless nonwhite man he stops his car to intervene The police do not recognize him and they use their taser guns on him repeatedly Conseuently he has a stroke And that is it for Whitey Oates has him die in the hospital soon afterwardThe rest of the tale centers around Whitey’s widow and five adult children all with very different personalities All the kids lose their footing after their father’s death They come off as having been overly connected or fused to him Their fragile mental states are not immediately noticeable as with their mother but they all experience life altering changes Oates writes the family’s pecking order at a pace that begins slow and controlled but builds up angrily Out of the siblings the youngest son is the most sympathetic character He is the black sheep of the family and at the bottom of the pecking order The author portrays him with bone deep loneliness The middle daughter is a high school principal She transfers her anger onto her students She actually spoiler sabotages some kids by editing their transcripts so they will not get into their first choice colleges The author has never shied away from writing on the dark side of human nature“Night” has been compared to Oates’ 1996 “We Were the Mulvaneys” which is a saga about another family living in a small rural upstate New York town which happens to be where she grew up “Mulvaneys” is one of my favorite novels by the author I believe that it is superior to “Night” An argument can be made that “Night” takes on too many characters with too many details It can leave the reader thinking that each character’s story should be a novel in itself making the story feel bloated Indeed the master storyteller’s latest novel according to her website this is her 59th is long Whether it’s too long is debatable—at times yes at times no Still the poetic uality of the author’s prose is worth your time When all is said and done the thing about Oates is after reading her work it becomes impossible not to notice when you are reading a mediocre novel That is the power of Joyce Carol OatesI received this Advance Review Copy ARC novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest reviewFind all my book reviews at


  6. says:

    So I started reading this just before the protests started and I was surprised how relevant the subject matter ended up being The initial conflict which takes place in the prologue involves explicit police brutality and has some devastating conseuences I’m not usually someone who will avoid or seek out topical books to read so this coinciding with real world events didn’t really affect my reading either way That said I wanted to give people a heads up before diving in because the description provided doesn’t mention that as far as I can seeI haven’t read anything by Joyce Carole Oates before so I had no idea she wrote these absolute tomes when I reuested this one Truthfully it’s difficult for me to stay focused on something so long unless it’s a faster paced plot This one was a little too meandering for me to fully absorb so I’m not going to leave a rating for it But for those who are already fans of Oates you’ll probably like this The characters are complex and well developed the writing is beautiful and though it may be a ‘family drama’ the tension feels real and earned A lot of reviewers I follow and who’s opinions I value really loved Night Sleep Death The Stars so don’t discount this one just because it didn’t work for me Thanks to HarperCollins Netgalley for an advance copy


  7. says:

    Note This is one of the longest reviews I have written in a while It is a plea for the benefits of reading outside one's comfort zone I hope you understand I think it is safe to say that readers are divided into devoted fans of Joyce Carol Oates and those who would not read her ever Here is how I became fanI first read her one hot month in 1988 when I was stranded in Los Angeles due to a snafu in a training program I was attending My accommodations were located across the street from a used bookstore with racks out on the sidewalk where battered paperbacks sold for a uarterI picked up Marya A Life only two years after its publication and already a 25 cent paperback I lay on my bed in a sweltering room and read about Marya's terrible gritty life having really no idea what I was reading It was the most disturbing thing I had ever read Not surprising because in those days I usually read trashy bestsellersBy 1992 I was living permanently in LA and had embarked on an effort to branch out in my reading I read Joyce Carol Oates's first novel With Shuddering Fall It was pretty gritty too Her characters were fairly unrecognizable to me Generally lower class whites not mainstream in any way violent and sometimes outright crazy My mother told me she had tried reading Oates but found her books weirdI persevered still eager in those days to rebel against my mother I have read her first nine novels and some early short stories then dropped her for several years In 2013 I started again reading whatever was her latest book She is still weird in her own uniue way so I can only conclude that I have changed as a reader I now count myself among her dedicated fans I have not read the recent bestsellers How To Be An Antiracist or White Fragility but I would say that Night Sleep Death The Stars is JCO's answer to such conundrums from a literary viewpoint The title is the last line of a Walt Whitman poem A Clear Midnight The novel is an intimate family tale concerning a white family in upstate New York The father a much loved and well to do man in his community pulls off the road one evening to intervene in what appears to be a scene of police harassment against a Black man In the ensuing debacle John Earle McClaren is beaten tasered and left by the police on the side of the road where he suffers a massive stroke The dark skinned man being harassed is taken into custodyMcClaren dies in the hospital from a staph infection a couple weeks later By that time in the story his wife and five grown offspring have been introduced It is clear they are not exactly the close and happy family they are perceived to be by the communityThe novel is long but I read it uickly not wanting to look away The family majorly fractures after the patriarch's death but she shows us the hairline fractures present from the beginning though they had been held in stasis in almost a hostage situation by John Earle McClaren His control was not ever physically brutal but it was absolute Not his wife nor any one of his children were allowed to be who they really were nor to think for themselvesJCO has always appeared to be prescient in her novels She wrote this one a year before the recent explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement Listening to an interview with her about writing this novel I realized again how attuned she is to the evils and upheavals of American culture At this point in her life she is a privileged white woman but she came up in near poverty in the midst of small town violence A favorite childhood book of hers was Alice In Wonderland She has written at least 56 novels I feel her writing has become somewhat accessible over the years but has never lost that bite penetrating the human heart with all of its strengths and weaknesses its fears and joys In her novels I have found everyone I've ever known the ones I was afraid to know and myself I most loved Jessalyn McClaren the widow of John and the mother of those five children Her grief and her emergence from it her tentative forays into life as her true self are all so meticulously shown Somehow we white people get to know ourselves through the book our ridiculous assumptions about others our reluctance to move outside our perceived safety zones our ill informed prejudices about people and our inherent fragility as the most powerful race on earth no matter what our political stances areAll of that is in Night Sleep Death The Stars Read it at your own risk


  8. says:

    In person Joyce Carol Oates JCO has an air almost of detachment looking over your shoulder as if at something or someone interesting over there But in her writing she displays a deep well of empathy in her characters Over her prodigious career she has created enough characters to populate a small town possibly a city and from my recollection no two are alike I've been reading her for over 40 years and given the amount of novels and short stories that have flowed from her it was still amazing to read Widow her account of her life after the death of her first husband of her profound grief and depiction of a full life spent away from the keyboard When does she find the time to produce such a body of work Now in her 80's she takes for her title a line from a poem by Walt Whitman when does she have time to read? and presents an 800 page masterwork on grief and its effect on a widow and her five adult children Each person is so clearly realized and given such a potent inner life each child thinks they know what's best for the Mom they remember as an adjunct to their beloved father who wasn't such a saint after all In other hands this material could feel bloated and padded but JCO has managed to make every page necessary and while I usually don't find novels of such length intriguing I found this one reuired every step


  9. says:

    How ironic that the first chapter of Oates' latest novel is about police brutality A timely subject for our country one that needs to be discussed and solutions found I am disappointed therefore that Oates doesn't use this opportunity to fully address these issues after beginning her novel with that dramatic scene but instead writes a rather commonplace story about yet another wealthy white American family that begins to unravel after the death of the patriarch There are five adult children in the McClaren family and the story explores each child's relationship with their parents and each other Oates' skill at creating characters is impressive however these are not very likable people How awful that the husband is called 'Whitey' that nickname given to him after his hair turned white at a young age Wouldn't you have refused to let people call you that? The most interesting character to me is the mother Jessalyn who went through her married life being coddled by her husband treated like a child not his eual when making important decisions Jessalyn continues to live by herself in the huge historic eight bedroom family home Its size is a bit of an embarrassment but how can it be sold if part of Whitey still remains there if anywhere where she still hears his voice advising her on life I was hoping she'd rise up out of her overwhelming grief and take the opportunity to become a fully independent woman for once But no she meets a new man and like a chameleon begins changing to fit his lifestyle values and opinions Unfortunately I've known several women who changed just like thatOkay so you are probably wondering why I've given this novel four stars if I have so many criticisms The gesture is a bow to the writer's impressive skills I have to say here though that her habit of using parentheses when the ualifying word or phrase could have stood on its own drove me a little bit crazy after awhile Why? Why? Why? I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions Many thanks for the opportunity


  10. says:

    NIGHT SLEEP DEATH THE STARSBY JOYCE CAROL OATESA Clear MidnightThis is thy hour O Soul thy free flight into the wordlessAway from books away from art the day erased the lesson doneThee fully forth emerging silent gazing pondering themes thou lovest bestNight sleep death and the stars Walt WhitmanThis was a big sprawling examination about race issues different classes grief and healing which ultimately brings hope It begins with John Earle McClaren witnessing an Indian doctor named Azim Murthy being brutally beaten by two police officers on the road Azim Murthy wasn’t resisting arrest or fighting with the police as they brutally beat him and taser him He in reality had been pulled over for no reason other than his dark skin These two police officers racially profiled him They must have already had anger for not being able to find drugs or a weapon and took their excessive force on this poor victim He is a doctor with no criminal record at St Vincent’s Hospital in New York John Earle McClaren had been in the wrong place at the wrong time dressed up with an expensive vehicle He used to be Mayor of Hammond where he has had a good relationship with the police John or his nick name “Whitey” bravely pulled over to try to intervene with what he saw happening The police beat Whitey and taser him and he has a stroke His wife Jessalyn and his five children have no idea other than he has had a stroke and crashed his vehicle I don’t understand how the doctors of which he had a neurologist and with all of the imaging machines that they easily bought this exclamation It is only when the oldest of his five children Thom goes to the impound lot to pick up his father’s vehicle he finds no damage on it at all He finds a slip of paper saying all charges are dropped As the days pass and Jessalyn and her five children stay with Whitey waiting for him to open his eyes or become conscious Thom starts snapping pictures of his father of all of the red purple blotches on his skin with his cell phone Whitey is only 67 years old and when he does become conscious he tries to talk and one side of his body is paralyzed but his wife Jessalyn can understand him He says “hi there” and “I love you” They all think Whitey is going to recover but he dies of a staph infection It is uite shocking to me that he died so young when the doctors thought he would make a full recovery but of course would reuire many months of physical therapy The two oldest daughters blame the fourth child Virgil for not using the hand sanitizer and since Virgil is not materialistic and works as an artist and lives on a farm they blame him for their father’s demise Jessalyn is the nicest and most likable character other than Virgil and the younger Sophia who is taking a break from getting her doctorate Sophia is working in a medical laboratory under the wing of the director Alistair Means her boss She works with mice and rats and is known for her steady hands Virgil and Sophia are good to their mother Jessalyn who is a saint They respect who she chooses for friends and are supportive to the grieving widow There is much written about grief and pages of Jessalyn grieving the loss of her husband Thom takes his father’s place at the helm of McClaren Inc Thom lives the furthest away and is married with children Beverly is second oldest and buts into her mother’s grieving process by complaining about a stray feral cat that Jessalyn feeds and adopts Beverly does things like call Thom on the phone telling him that he has to do something about Jessalyn’s cat named Mack the Knife or Mackie who I think helped her grieve Whitey’s death Beverly also finds her mother has decided to give away all of her expensive clothes to Goodwill and Beverly acts like she is the mother and takes all the nice clothes fur coats and shoes for herself She also can’t seem to recognize that Jessalyn is grieving and wants to stay close to home where she feels Whitey’s presence Beverly complains that Jessalyn is neglecting her grandchildren Lorene does not have children but is very mean spirited She is the Principal at North Hammond High school and is very technological savvy She sabotages Senior’s by interfering with their first choice colleges because she finds out that they make fun of her on social media Lorene and Beverly are very judgmental about people of color or aren’t as concerned with money for example their younger brother Virgil who in the beginning rides around on an old bicycle They didn’t get that way from their mother or fatherThis is a good literary novel by Joyce Carol Oates whom I have had so many of her books over the years but haven’t gotten around to reading them It may appear that I have given away too many spoilers but there is so much to this novel I have described some of the very beginning and who I liked as character’s such as Jessalyn and her two youngest children Sophia and Virgil I was recommended this by a Good Reads friend and she was right This is approximately 800 pages but I read it in three sittings It is interesting and Joyce Carol Oates has crafted a very realistic contemporary novel that I found to be very timely and easily readable It takes place in 2010 through 2011 in Hammond New York I did witness sibling rivalry how we all cope with grief in our own ways There is some pretty impressive writing and it is hard to believe that racial profiling still exists and how excessive force is a real problem with some police How hard it is to prove police brutality for people of color and how sometimes people are wrongly accused With the selfless lovable Jessalyn you are in good company as she is still young and there is a triumph of hope I will read from this author who is a very talented and who writes a new book just about every year Publication Date June 9 2020Thank you to Net Galley Joyce Carol Oates and EccoHarper Collins Publishers for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review#NightSleepDeathTheStars #JoyceCarolOates #EccoHarperCollinsPublishers #NetGalley


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