Susan’s Book Talk: Dara Horn’s All Other Nights


Okay, I’ve got to start talking about Dara Horn’s All Other Nights now, while it’s still fresh in my mind.

My book club read it last week, and if you know my book club, you know this means the book we’ve read probably has a Jewish theme to it.

Dara Horn, having won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, the Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction and the National Jewish Book Awards’ First Time Author Award, is clearly the sort of author my book club salivates over.

Now, saying that, we read her first novel, In the Image. We didn’t love it. We were initially leery of this book, but then one of the women in book club spoke up and said she’d listened to the audio version and loved it.

That was all the rest of us needed.

We weren’t disappointed. All Other Nights is way more than the story of a soldier in the Civil War who’s sent on spy missions. It’s more than a work of historical fiction, and it’s more than a strong entry in the canon called Jewish Literature.

It’s a story, at its heart, about love. About the power of love, about how sometimes familial love isn’t enough to compensate for personal destruction, about how sometimes, love for another person trumps all else — even that stupid familial love.

But you know what? If you don’t think about these themes, you might miss them. That’s another way of saying they were subtly, masterfully done.

Go read it. Let me know what you think.

Look. Here’s a buy link via Powell’s.


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