“An utterly compelling novel from a brilliant new voice.” M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans
Seven Island has two houses. One for Hillsingers and one for Quicks.
1964. The Hillsingers and the Quicks have shared the small Maine island of Seven for generations. But though technically familyJim Hillsinger and Billy Quick married Park Avenue sisters Lila and Hannah Blackwellthey do not mix. Now, on the anniversary of Hannah's death, Lila feels grief pulling her toward Billy. And Jim, a spy recently ousted from the CIA on suspicion of treason, decides to carry out the threat his wife has explicitly forbidden: to banish their youngest son, the twelve-year-old Catta, to the neighboring island of Baffin for twenty-four hours in an attempt to make a man out of him.
With their elders preoccupied, the Hillsinger and Quick children run wild, playing violent games led by Catta's sadistic older brother James. The island manager Cyrus and the servants tend to the families while preparing for the Migration, a yearly farming ritual that means one thing to their employers, and something very different to them.
Set during three summer days, Estep Nagy's debut novel moves among the communities of Seven as longstanding tensions become tactical face-offs in which everything is fair game for ammunition. Vividly capturing the rift between the cold warriors of Jim's generation and the rebellious seekers of Catta's, We Shall Not All Sleep is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulationa compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Estep Nagy's writing has appeared in Southwest Review, The Believer, The Spectator, Paper, and elsewhere. He is the writer and director of The Broken Giant, an independent feature film starring Will Arnett, John Glover, and Chris Noth that is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and his plays have been produced across the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and Australia. He attended Yale University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great Debut Novel.
We Shall Not All Sleep is the story of two tangled, often-competitive families who share Seven Island off the coast of Maine. The setting, 1964 New England, evokes something akin the Kennedy family. These are two families struggling with the burden of expectation that comes from privilege. Those pressures manifest themselves in any number of ways, from infidelity to how you raise your children. Catta Hillsinger, the son of Jim and Lila, is forced to inherit the strains that a life of expectation has put on his parents. Jim lost his CIA job and his purpose in life. Lila lost a sister and her connection to her husband. So Catta is forced to spend a night in the wild of a neighboring island. His test of reliance is meant to prepare him for the life ahead.