Book Review: Day for Night – Frederick Reiken

Title: Day for Night: A Novel
Author: Frederick Reiken
ISBN: 9780316077569
Pages: 336
Release Date: April 26, 2010
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Day for Night is a series of interconnected stories, set in different times and places.  Each of these characters have independent lives that seem to overlap in the most surprising ways.  The novel builds towards the solution to the mystery behind the family history of one of the characters.

Review:

When my book club picked Day for Night, I had no idea what to expect.  I hadn’t even heard of it when we picked it, and despite hearing good things, I put it off as long as possible.  When I finally did pick it up, I raced through it and managed to complete the entire novel in one sitting.

One unique quality I loved about Day for Night was how different it was from other books that use the interconnected stories technique.  This time, it wasn’t about trying to discover how all these characters were connected and what they had in common.  Most times when the narrator switches, it’s clear from the beginning how they are related to the other characters, as they’ve usually appeared in a previous story.  Instead, the reader watches in wonder as Reiken brings all of these stories and characters together to solve one single puzzle.

Reiken does an excellent job developing his characters, a serious challenge when the reader is exposed to them for such a short time.  I loved multiple characters in this book, most notably Beverly and Doris, two strong, independent women.  Reiken writes with such passion and confidence, gracefully sketching each of these people and their situations.  I was very impressed by how well he executed this novel.

The novel also shows an incredible level of complexity, both in the way it’s written and the characters’ lives.  With such short glimpses at characters, it usually would be difficult to keep the reader engaged in this type of novel.  Additionally, it would be easy to become frustrated with its meandering nature.  However, Reiken ties everything together so well and manages to keep the level of suspense raised such that he has the reader’s attention during every second they spend with the book.

Day for Night was an excellent read, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance.  Reiken writes beautifully and manages to instill an innate sense of urgency within the book.  As a result, readers will be unable to put this book down, desperate to understand the link between the characters and what the book is building to.  It’s an exceptional novel that I highly recommend for fans of literary fiction.

Comments

  1. wow…I haven’t seen many reviews rated Exceptional by you

  2. wow…I haven’t seen many reviews rated Exceptional by you

  3. Great review! I really want to read this one!

  4. Great review! I really want to read this one!

  5. Nice review on a book that was so difficult to review. I keep wavering between love and like.

  6. Nice review on a book that was so difficult to review. I keep wavering between love and like.

  7. I agree with Beth F. Great review! I really liked this one but felt as if my review were lacking. Wish you could have been part of discussions!

  8. I agree with Beth F. Great review! I really liked this one but felt as if my review were lacking. Wish you could have been part of discussions!

  9. Have you read others by Reiken? I read his first two books a couple years ago and wasn’t impressed with either, plus he recycled the same elements from the first into the second. I’ve considered trying this one but I’m not sure.

  10. Have you read others by Reiken? I read his first two books a couple years ago and wasn’t impressed with either, plus he recycled the same elements from the first into the second. I’ve considered trying this one but I’m not sure.

  11. This one has gotten so much attention. I almost downloaded it on my Kindle, but something held me back. I was afraid I might not “get” it…

  12. This one has gotten so much attention. I almost downloaded it on my Kindle, but something held me back. I was afraid I might not “get” it…

  13. Wonderful review! I’m eager to read this one.

  14. Wonderful review! I’m eager to read this one.

  15. I am so glad that you liked this one so much! I have heard differing opinions on it, but I really want to read it and see for myself what I think. I love literary fiction done well, so I think that’s one of the main attractants to me. Great review! I will be looking forward to this one!

  16. I am so glad that you liked this one so much! I have heard differing opinions on it, but I really want to read it and see for myself what I think. I love literary fiction done well, so I think that’s one of the main attractants to me. Great review! I will be looking forward to this one!

  17. I admired the writing in this book but felt like I’d missed something after I read it.

  18. I admired the writing in this book but felt like I’d missed something after I read it.

  19. Great review, I really want to read this one but something is holding me back.

  20. Great review, I really want to read this one but something is holding me back.

  21. “[…] manages to instill an innate sense of urgency within the book.”

    typically authors are very heavy handed in this area, even really popular or well know authors.

    good to see it pointed out here. makes the review worth while in itself.

    thanks!

  22. “[…] manages to instill an innate sense of urgency within the book.”

    typically authors are very heavy handed in this area, even really popular or well know authors.

    good to see it pointed out here. makes the review worth while in itself.

    thanks!

  23. I’m with Candace on wavering a bit between like and love, but I agree this was an exceptionally well-done book.

  24. I’m with Candace on wavering a bit between like and love, but I agree this was an exceptionally well-done book.

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