Goodnight Stranger

Goodnight Stranger

by Miciah Bay Gault


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“Somewhere the ghosts of Shirley Jackson and the Henry James of The Turn of the Screw are smiling, because a wildly talented young writer has joined their lineage.”
— George Saunders, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

Entertainment Weekly’s New Books to Read in July • Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • Poets & Writers Annual Debut Fiction Roundup • “One of the best literary thrillers you’ll read this year, I was hooked from page one.” — Cosmopolitan

Lydia and Lucas Moore are in their late twenties when a stranger enters their small world on Wolf Island. Lydia, the responsible sister, has cared for her pathologically shy brother, Lucas, ever since their mom’s death a decade before. They live together, comfortable yet confined, in their family house by the sea, shadowed by events from their childhood.

When Lydia sees the stranger step off the ferry, she feels an immediate connection to him. Lucas is convinced the man, Cole Anthony, is the reincarnation of their baby brother, who died when they were young. Cole knows their mannerisms, their home, the topography of the island—what else could that mean? Though Lydia is doubtful, she can’t deny she is drawn to his magnetism, his energy, and his warmth.

To discover the truth about Cole, Lydia must finally face her anxiety about leaving the island and summon the strength to challenge Cole’s grip on her family’s past and her brother. A deliciously alluring read, Goodnight Stranger is a story of choices and regrets, courage and loneliness, and the ways we hold on to those we love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778308706
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 192,754
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Miciah Bay Gault grew up on Sanibel Island, Cape Cod, and other beautiful places. A graduate of the Syracuse MFA program, she now teaches in the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the coordinator of the Vermont Book Award. She's the recipient of a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, and a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Montpelier, VT with her husband, three kids, and some backyard chickens.

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Goodnight Stranger 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
SardisYS 3 months ago
Goodnight Stranger really opened my eyes about family roles, twin-ship, and trust. A very nice story examining family values. Recommended.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Beautiful writing and hard to put down. I physically reacted to this story with gasps, a elevated heart rate and emotional triggers. Worth the read!
LeslieLindsay 8 months ago
Deeply compelling and highly disturbing at times, GOODNIGHT STRANGER is a suspenseful literary thriller with themes of grief, love, and human behavior. This is one of those books that is as eerie as moving, for me, and also has a bit of magical realism/suspended belief that may excite and intrigue. As a debut, GOODNIGHT STRANGER (Park Row Books, July 30) is darn good. Lydia and her brother, Lucas live in their family's ramshackle home on fictional Wolf Island (just off Cape Cod) and while they are adults, they haven't exactly 'launched.' Lydia is 28 years old when the story begins and she's a college dropout with dreams of going back. She left Brown when her mother became ill. Her brother is a bit 'different' in the way he sees the world. Pathologically shy, Lucas spends his time doing odd jobs and living in the home shadowed by past events. And ghosts. Lucas and Lydia are the two remaining children of triplets. The other child, who is referred to as 'Baby B,' died tragically as an infant. When Lydia sees a stranger step off the ferry one day, she is immediately drawn to him. Lucas is convinced this man, who calls himself Cole, is the reincarnation of their baby brother, Baby B. Cole somehow knows inside information about Lydia and Lucas, shares some of the same mannerisms. Could he actually be the reincarnation of this brother, one they never even really knew because he was only months old when he died? Lydia is doubtful but continues a friendship with Cole while simultaneously doing her own research into who he might really be. The story takes us from the small island to the Cape and to Vermont where other, darker truths lie. I found some of the set up wasn't always there and I found some of Lydia's behavior somewhat far-fetched and sometimes unwise. However, there were several gasp-out-loud moments, and I was intrigued with this reincarnation concept. The ending is somewhat inevitable but leaves some open-ended questions. Ultimately, GOODNIGHT STRANGER is a well-written literary suspense about the power of grief and love, regrets and anxiety, loneliness, and the darker side of human behavior. I found some similarities between GOODNIGHT STRANGER and THE CHILD IN TIME (Ian McEwan) meets MY DARLING DAUGHTER (Margaret Leroy) with a touch of THE BOBCAT (Katherine Forbes Riley), with a touch of some of Diane Chamberlain's earlier works (especially those set on water) and maybe a bit of Anita Shreve. L.Lindsay|Always with a Book
MKF 9 months ago
Lydia and Lucas live together in a ramshackle house on (fictitious) Wolf Island, the smaller, less well endowed neighbor of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Their mother died 10 years ago, Lucas has anxiety issues, and Lydia, well Lydia came back to the island before completing a single semester at Brown to care for their mother and hasn't left since. They are the two remaining children of a set of triplets, the dead one being Baby B, whose existence, life, and death comes into question when Cole appears on the Island. Cole winds his way into both their hearts but most especially to Lucas, who comes to believe strongly that he is Baby B. Lydia is less convinced and sets out to find out who Cole really is. This gets seriously creepy in spots- Gault has a good way of ramping up tensions. Lydia is a very sympathetic character; she's someone who has lived along the margins and been paralyzed by her own inertia but the need to protect Lucas from Cole catapults her into action. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is a well done, nicely plotted thriller with a number of twists I didn't see coming. I liked how a small thing and event you might not have paid much attention becomes quite important. A satisfying read.