Synopses & Reviews
The powerful new work from one of our greatest historical novelists, A Slant of Light
deals with profoundly seminal American moments: the end of the Civil War, the religious freedom that was manifested in the Second Great Awakening, the last gasps of the Jeffersonian ideal of American yeomanry, the shadow on the horizon of the Industrial Revolution.
At the heart of the novel are two men: one who has committed a horrific act, but is slowly revealed to be a man of honor and integrity; the other, a seemingly righteous man of great spiritual dedication, whose lust for power within his community will eventually blind him to his own actions. These two men are surrounded by a varied host of others, many damaged but stronger for it: a veteran profoundly changed by war, a father tormented by the loss of his daughter, a Seneca man more powerful than others realize, a boy forced too early to become a man. And in this male world, women, too, are assuming new strength—through the roles they take on, and the loves they allow themselves.
A Slant of Light is a novel of lust and love, of loss and war, of prophets and followers, of theft and revenge, in an American moment where a seemingly golden age has been shattered. It is a novel about how people make sense of such things, and how they remake their lives.
"Majestic . . . Epic . . . Vital . . . A necessary piece in a uniquely American mosaic." —The New York Times Book Review on In the Fall "A richly observed epic, Lents first novel tackles big questions—the limits of love, the cost of secrets, the pain and rage that are slaverys enduring toll—while spinning a gripping tale. . . . A deeply affecting novel." —People on In the Fall "You can hear echoes of Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy in Lents prose. But the presiding geniuses of this dark novels painterly, poetic scenes are Robert Frost and the artist Winslow Homer . . . flint-eyed Yankees who never saw a paradise that didnt have a snake." —Newsweek on In the Fall "Masterfully create[d] . . . A sincere, honest telling of a man's struggle to mature and embrace a life after years of failing to find peace." —Rocky Mountain News on A Peculiar Grace "Shows that [Lent's] talent has staying power. His carefully crafted but hardscrabble prose is like a rutted country road carving out its own literary territory." —St Louis Post-Dispatch on Lost Nation
From the author of bestselling In the Fall, an epic historical novel that fearlessly addresses the largest questions of love, justice, and how to live.
At the close of the Civil War, weary veteran Malcolm Hopeton returns to his home in western New York State to find his wife and hired man missing and his farm in disrepair. A double murder ensues, the repercussions of which ripple through a community with spiritual roots in the Second Great Awakening. Hopeton has gone from the horrors of war to those far worse, and arrayed around him are a host of other people struggling to make sense of his crime. Among them is Enoch Stone, the lawyer for the community, whose spiritual dedication is subverted by his lust for power; August Swarthout, whose wife has left earthly time and whose eye is set on eternity; and a boy who must straddle two worlds as he finds his own truth and strength. Always there is love and the memory of love--as haunting as the American Eden that Jeffrey Lent has so exquisitely rendered in this unforgettable novel.
A Slant of Light is a novel of earthly pleasure and deep love, of loss and war, of prophets and followers, of theft and revenge, in an American moment where a seemingly golden age has been shattered. This is Jeffrey Lent on his home ground and at the height of his powers.
About the Author
Jeffrey Lent was born in Vermont and grew up there and in western New York State, on dairy farms. He studied literature and psychology at Franconia College in New Hampshire and SUNY Purchase. His first novel, In the Fall, was a national bestseller and a New York Times Book Review Notable Book for 2000. His other novels are Lost Nation, A Peculiar Grace, and After You've Gone. Lent lives with his wife and two daughters in central Vermont.