Lights All Night Long

Lights All Night Long

Book - 2019
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Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his native Russia for what should be the adventure of his life: a year in America as an exchange student. The abundance of his new world--the Super Walmarts and heated pools and enormous televisions--is as hard to fathom as the relentless cheerfulness of his host parents. And Sadie, their beautiful and enigmatic daughter, has miraculously taken an interest in him. But all is not right in Ilya's world: he's consumed by the fate of his older brother Vladimir, the magnetic rebel to Ilya's dutiful wunderkind, back in their tiny Russian hometown. The two have always been close, spending their days dreaming of escaping to America. But when Ilya was tapped for the exchange, Vladimir disappeared into their town's seedy, drug-plagued underworld. Just before Ilya left, the murders of three young women rocked the town's usual calm, and Vladimir found himself in prison. With the help of Sadie, who has secrets of her own, Ilya embarks on a mission to prove Vladimir's innocence. Piecing together the timeline of the murders and Vladimir's descent into addiction, Ilya discovers the radical lengths to which Vladimir has gone to protect him--a truth he could only have learned by leaving him behind. A rich tale of belonging and the pull of homes both native and adopted, Lights All Night Long is a spellbinding story of the fierce bond between brothers determined to find a way back to each other.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2019
ISBN: 9780525558736
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 20, 2020

Two settings alternated in the story - half spent recalling Ilya’s young childhood up to the near-present in his Russian home town and the other half in Louisiana where Ilya moved as a high school exchange student. Lights All Night Long was largely a fascinating coming of age story that was often heartbreaking because of it's intense and gritty realism, but also hopeful in the intelligent and dogged determination of unconditional love. I was thoroughly invested the entire time. This wasn't a lighthearted read, but it had it's lighter moments and in the end, I was blown away by the skill and care that this author invested into the details and her overall writing.

multcolib_susannel Dec 01, 2019

Vladimir and Ilya have been inseparable brothers since childhood. Then one is sent to America on a scholarship and one is jailed for murder.

Aug 17, 2019

If you’ve read A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, you might like this one too. Fitzpatrick’s debut novel is not as heavy as Marra’s book, but it does employ a similar character-based structure while examining its main themes. Young Ilya has come from small-town Russia as a 10th grade exchange student in small-town Louisiana, but he cannot escape the circumstances that made his journey possible. He struggles with the facts of his beloved brother’s downfall into crime, drugs, and possibly murder. Ilya cannot reconcile the advantages he has won through talent and hard work with the degradation that consumed his family. Fitzpatrick develops the tension and tragedy of her story, but this is not so much a murder mystery as a look at the struggle, survival, and unexpected sacrifices we make to hold on to what we love.

DCLadults Apr 24, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. This compelling debut is like a set of Russian nesting dolls. An exchange student in Louisiana learns that his older brother, left behind in their small Russian town, has been jailed for murder.


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