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We Shall Not All Sleep: A Novel by Estep…

We Shall Not All Sleep: A Novel

by Estep Nagy

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204515,329 (3.92)2



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This book immediately brought me back to my roots, and stirred up a lot of memories. The coast of Maine in the 1960's, two families - the Quicks and the Hillsingers inter-married and share the social power.
The personalities the smells of the ocean air the pecking order the kids......all of it was 'sense inspiring' if you know what i mean. A good book for sure, a GREAT book if one is a New Englander! ( )
  linda.marsheells | Aug 16, 2017 |
Maine island sagas come in many forms – beach reads, generational tales, summer people vs lifers – but this one is a bit different and more intense. Two families – the Hillsingers and the Quicks – share Seven Island and much history and enmity, including intermarriage, suicide, and the McCarthy era. Set in 1964, there’s political intrigue and a riveting coming-of-age tale. The PoVs switch off effectively, and although it’s a bit slow in spots, the rituals of the island and the back stories of the families make this a satisfying picture of aoppressive era and a life before everything sped up and changed. ( )
  froxgirl | Aug 13, 2017 |
I thought this book was quite brilliant, very literary, and highly intriguing. It takes place over a few days, however, there are flashbacks to earlier times such that the reader gets a much longer and larger view into the lives of the characters.

The setting is July 1964 during the era of McCarthyism on Seven Island in northern Maine. Seven is a fictional island home to two very wealthy families whose history is interconnected dating back to the 1700s. In present day, each family owns a beautiful house on the island, one yellow and one white. There is a barn for the animals and outbuildings for the staff, all in bright red. The Hillsingers are in one house and the Quicks are in the other. Interestingly, although their histories are connected and the men of these houses married two sisters, their lives have been very separate until these 3 days spent on the island where past and present collide. There is a huge cast of characters which includes Billy Quick, Jim Hillsinger, their immediate families, their guests, and the staff. Within each chapter past and present are described and the narration jumps from one situation to another. At first I found this confusing and difficult to track, but fairly quickly on, I had figured out who was who and reading this book was like watching a movie unfold. It really had a cinematic quality of switching from one scene to another as in a movie. I can’t compare this quality of the book to another like it, it seemed quite unique. The effect was tantalizing and compelling, making this a very quick read. The storyline builds and compounds as the novel progresses reaching the crescendo point by the end.

I won’t say much more as I don’t want to give too much away. I would definitely recommend this book. It would make a great beach read as well as a great book club choice. It contains many historical elements without feeling like it is beating you over the head with them. They simply exist in the book only because they are important to explaining the characters and their situation. There are no wasted words in this novel. It is written succinctly, beautifully and intentionally. However, the reader, needs to pay close attention, or will miss something. In short, well written, well researched and well worth the read!

For discussion questions, please see: http://www.book-chatter.com/?p=1697 ( )
  marieatbookchatter | Jun 30, 2017 |
I do have a published review coming and will provide a link but in the meantime, this is the kind of book you read and think - who in publishing owed you a favor because this is really not very good. Maybe an editor could have teased out a novel from this mess and in fact, there is one storyline - the young son who is left on the island alone in a sadistic attempt to 'make a man of him' that is quite moving. But all the cold war nonsense and complex plot about nothing and characters like puppets being moved around on a stage. No. ( )
  laurenbufferd | May 30, 2017 |
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