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A startling and timely debut, Julie Carrick Dalton’s Waiting for the Night Song is a moving, brilliant novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed.
Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn’t she always know her secret would surface?
An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry researcher, back to her childhood home. There, Cadie and Daniela are forced to face a dark secret that ended both their idyllic childhood bond and the magical summer that takes up more space in Cadie’s memory then all her other years combined.
Now grown up, bound by long-held oaths, and faced with truths she does not wish to see, Cadie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, as drought, foreclosures, and wildfire spark tensions between displaced migrant farm workers and locals.
Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise.
Praise for WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG
“Julie Carrick Dalton’s deftly constructed, urgent yet slow-burning debut novel reads like a warning from the frontlines of our rapidly deteriorating natural world.” —Omar El Akkad, American War
“Both a timely and timeless literary mystery, Waiting for the Night Song is as seductive as it is smart, blending the allure of Julie Dalton’s beloved rural New Hampshire setting with the dark undercurrents of a community’s racial divisions and betrayals. This is a story of love, of home, of friendship and family, of a childhood’s innocence and an adult’s comeuppance, all of which are in the line of fire in this beauty of a page turner.” —Michelle Hoover, award-winning author of Bottomland and The Quickening
“Human nature clashes with Mother Nature in this riveting and heartbreaking coming of age story— gorgeously written, and wonderfully told. With its combination of powerful themes and intensely immersive setting, fans of Delia Owens will swoon to find their new favorite author. A phenomenal debut!” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, award-winning author of The First to Lie
“Dalton writes masterfully of human relationship and the fraught relationship humanity has with ecology…put it on your lists NOW.” —Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau
“I marvel when I come across a book that is at once timely and timeless…It’s a novel that burns–figuratively and literally–with sharp prose and uncommon wisdom. Do yourself a favor and have a look for yourself.” —Peter Geye, award-winning author of Wintering
“Waiting for the Night Song is a beautiful book that is also a hell of a read. Complex characters, unforgettable setting, taut storyline, big ideas.” —Ashley Shelby, author of South Pole Station
“Smart and searingly passionate, Dalton’s absorbing mystery debut explores many timely issues including global warming, female friendships, childhood secrets, and the lengths we take to protect them — Waiting For The Night Song is an illuminating snapshot of nature, betrayal and sacrifices set in the evocative New Hampshire wilderness.” —Kim Michele Richardson, award-winning author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
“A killer, gorgeous debut that tackles love, racism and even climate change. Waiting for the Night Song will break your heart, leave you breathless and wanting more.” —Rachel Barenbaum, bestselling author of A Bend in the Stars
“Dalton weaves the vagaries of friendship, the wonder of the natural world, and the power of truth to create a powerful and unforgettable story.” —Erica Ferencik, bestselling author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle
“Dalton’s debut is a story of friendship, family, and the consequences of acting out of fear, especially when those actions are performed to protect those we love. The storytelling is made even more vivid by the way the novel practically breathes the woods of New Hampshire.” —Booklist
“Stirring…a taut novel that builds suspense to the very end.” —Publishers Weekly
Secrets are something all of us have experienced in our lives. It could have been your secret or a secret told to you by a close friend. It was nerve-wracking to be a part of something so dangerous but we all knew in the end that secrets never stay hidden or buried for long. The truth always floats back to the surface.
How far would you go to protect a dark secret?
I really exited my comfort zone to try this debut novel. I’m glad that I did that because this felt like being wrapped in a comfort blanket. A blanket that holds you close and lets you melt into the familiarity. Reading this reminded me so much of Where the Crawdads Sing and I hope readers show this debut some love.
At first, I wasn’t instantly swept up into the story but I’m glad that I kept reading because once the first chapter was finished, I felt myself being pulled into those dark and mysterious woods. The woods where the trees listen and know your secrets.
Waiting For the Night Song was a strong and riveting debut. The words were mesmerizing and the story was unforgettable. This shows you the power of close friendships, family, and the costs of protecting the ones you love.
– 3 Winners will receive a Copy of WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG by Julie Carrick Dalton.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Carrick Dalton grew up in Maryland and on a military base in Germany. As an adult, she bounced around from Seattle to Dallas to Virginia, before finding her true home in Boston, where she has lived for more than twenty years. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, Electric Literature, and other publications. She contributes to The Chicago Review of Books, DeadDarlings, and The Writer Unboxed. A Tin House alum and graduate of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator, Julie holds a Master’s in Literature and Creative Writing from Harvard Extension School. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of writing fiction in the age of climate crisis. Mom to four kids and two dogs, Julie is a passionate skier, hiker, and kayaker. She also owns and operates an organic farm. Please excuse her dirty fingernails.