Little Night

Little Night

by Luanne Rice

Hardcover(Large Print)

$35.99 View All Available Formats & Editions


An emotionally gripping family drama from beloved New York Times bestseller Luanne Rice

Clare Burke’s life took a devastating turn when she tried to protect her sister, Anne, from an abusive and controlling husband and ended up serving prison time for assault. The verdict largely hinged on Anne’s defense of her spouse—all lies—and the sisters have been estranged ever since. Nearly twenty years later, Clare is living a quiet life in Manhattan as an urban birder and nature blogger, when her niece, Grit, turns up on her doorstep.

The two long for a relationship with each other, but they’ll have to dig deep into their family’s difficult past in order to build one. Together they face the wounds inflicted by Anne and find in their new connection a place of healing. When Clare begins to suspect her sister might be in New York, she and her niece hold out hope for a long-awaited reunion with her.

A riveting story about women and the primal, tangled family ties that bind them together, Little Night marks a milestone for Luanne Rice—the thirtieth novel from the author with a talent for creating stories that are "exciting, emotional, terrific" (The New York Times Book Review).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410448866
Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning
Publication date: 07/26/2012
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 491
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Luanne Rice is the author of thirty novels, twenty-two of which have been New York Times bestsellers. Five of her novels have become movies or mini-series, and two of her short pieces were featured in off-Broadway productions. There are more than twenty-two million copies of her books in print in twenty four territories around the world. A bi-coastal advocate of the environment, she divides her time between New York City and southern California.

Date of Birth:

September 25, 1955

Place of Birth:

New Britain, CT

Read an Excerpt

February 14, 1993

My hands are bandaged, but I’m not supposed to care that they hurt. When i was treated at the scene, the husky EMT said flatly, “He’s a lot worse off than you.” The police officer had to remove my handcuffs; he snapped on latex gloves to avoid having to touch my burned palms and wrists.

They drove me in a squad car to the East Hampton station house for booking, and finally into the sheriff’s van for the ride here to the county jail, fifteen miles away in Mashomuck.

I’ll tell you one detail because it’s frozen in my mind. The phrase “two to the head.” That’s what I’ve been hearing since the police arrived. “She gave him two to the head.” Then they laugh at me. it’s supposed to be a big joke about how inept Ii was.

This enormous, shaved-head bodybuilding sheriff acted it out for me in the van on the way here. “One,” he said, pretending to clobber the other sheriff over the head. “Two.” He imitated the second blow. Then, “Ouch,” he said as he waggled his fingers at me and winked nastily at my bandaged hands. “You burned yourself as bad as you hurt him, but he’s going to the hospital and you’re going to jail.”

I’d like to block his words out. They make this seem like any other crime, one of the salacious stories you see on CNN Headline news. To the outside i suppose all crimes are the same—someone attacks, another is injured. It’s only in a person’s mind and heart, only within the soul of any given family that the entire tender, brutal, surreal story makes any sense.

I say “family,” but it might only be me. i have three blood relatives in this world: Anne, my older and only sister, and her children, a niece and nephew i barely know because her husband has cut us off so thoroughly. Blood is one thing, but to be family, you need so much more.

This morning I’d reached my breaking point on that and taken the LIRR out east, unannounced, to show up with roses for Anne and books and Valentines for the kids. I chose late morning, when Frederik would be at his gallery. The day was bright blue but frigid, no humidity, a sharp wind whirling around Montauk Point.

i caught a cab from the station to their house on Old Montauk Highway. I was a wreck, thinking she’d slam the door in my face. But she didn’t—she let me in. Right now I can hardly stand the memory of seeing the shock and joy in her eyes, feeling our strong embrace, as if our lives in that instant had been reset, back to the time before him.

The children didn’t know who I was. They’re only three and five, and I last saw them all at my mother’s funeral a year ago, when Frederik had dragged the family away from the gravesite before Anne and I had a chance to console each other, or even speak.

For twenty minutes today we had a good time. The house was freezing; obviously the heat was turned way down. Anne, Gillis (“Gilly”), and Margarita (“Grit”) wore warm shirts and fleece pullovers. I kept my jacket on. We huddled around the hearth where two logs sparked with a dull glow; a third had barely caught, flames just licking the top edge.

The brass screen had been set aside, as if to keep the wire mesh from holding back the fading warmth. I glanced around for a poker, but saw nothing to stoke the fire. There didn’t seem to be any more wood either.

I was afraid to ask about the heat, or lack of it. Anything can trigger Anne, especially when it comes to Frederik. She might have taken my question as implied criticism of his ability or willingness to provide basic needs for his family. She’s very defensive about him. But the truth is, she’s always had a strange, secret side when it came to men. She puts them on pedestals, and then subverts them in ways they’d never guess.

I’ll confess something else: Anne and i had probably been the closest sisters on earth, but we have never been completely, one-hundred-percent easy with each other. i don’t believe Anne can be that way with anyone.

Customer Reviews

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Little Night: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
A well told story with many layers I recently finished reading Luanne Rice's newest offering, Little Night: A Novel. This books takes a compelling look at the effects of spousal abuse on family dynamics. An author can go several ways with this type of a story, and I thought this one did a good job of telling a harrowing tale without making the book overly dark. Anne and Clare grew up with an overbearing father and as that often does, it brought them close together. Until Anne made the mistake that many women growing up in those circumstances do. She married a controlling and abusive man. Unlike many books on this subject, this book does not tell the tale from the perspective of the abused wife, but rather from the perspective of other affected family members and friends. It focuses its energy on the feelings and effects that the abuse has on Anne's daughter, Grit, and Anne's sister, Clare. It is through their eyes that we catch a glimpse of the widening circle of affect that such abuse has. I felt that the characters in this book were well developed and true to the roles that they portrayed. In addition, the layers created by the author's inclusion of other stories, like Clare's search for the elusive laughing owl, or Grits need to wear her story on her body, as well as the inclusion of some Norse mythology made this an altogether enjoyable read with both depth and feeling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as her past books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Luanne Rice.I have read all of her books.Coming from Rhode Island,I can relate with the areas her stories take place. I liked this book,but was a little disappointed with the ending.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
How far would you go to protect your sister? What if you do protect you sister and she tells lies that don't backup your story? That's exactly what happened to Clare Burke. She tried to help Anne leave the husband that was abusing her and ended up being charged with assault. The verdict largely hinged on her sister's defense of her spouse. She stuck with her abusive husband and her testimony was all lies. Clare ended up in prison. Even after she was released the sisters remained estranged. Her sister has moved to Denmark where her husband was born and raised. Clare is living in Manhattan, writing her blog about the birds of Central Park. A very quiet life compared to her life before. Her relationship with fellow birder Paul has been sorely tested over the years and they have not been able to reconcile. They have tried to remain friends. Almost twenty years after the incident that sent her to jail Clare is surprised when her niece, Grit, shows up on her doorstep. Grit has always wanted a relationship with her aunt. She knew the kind of man her father was and she remembered how Clare tried to help. As they work hard to develop that relationship they must face the wounds inflicted upon them by Anne as she stayed by her husband's side. Healing is difficult for both of them but together they hope they can get by the physical and emotional scars left from the pain they have both suffered. They still hold out hope that Anne will her leave husband and return to her family and friends who really love her. Dollycas's Thoughts Written in true Luanne Rice style we are taken inside a very complex family situation that has us reeling. The physical and emotion abuse that splits Anne off from her own family is tragic and when it continues on to her own son and daughter is even more disturbing. Tempered by her wonderful descriptions of nature, the birds and the bogs we are given a bit of a rest from the extreme family drama. Rice is an expert of creating the ebbs and flows necessary for a story as powerful as this one. I have never been to Central Park but after reading this book I almost feel like I have. We received a sneak peek at these characters in How We Started that was released for Kindle on May 1. The story of how Clare and Paul met was perfect before delving into this story that was so heartbreaking. In a split second Clare and Paul's lives changed forever. She pushes him away when she is in prison and tells him to get on with his life. Even when released her heart is so closed off she is afraid to let anyone in. The arrival of Grit helps her start the healing process and her niece tries to move forward as well. This is the 30th novel from Luanne Rice. It is fresh and original and just plain outstanding. Another one for the keeper shelf because you will definitely want to read it more than once.
Pat.Egan.Fordyce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just finished this novel, and have so many emotions wrapped up in it, I don't know what to say! Read it in two days!It's hard to say I enjoyed it, but I couldn't put it down . It's about a family torn apart by lies, estrangement, and violence. But it also is a story of nature, fascinating birds, and I'm so glad I read it!Thank you Ms. Rice for this extraordinary story of unconditional love, and families.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have loved many of Luanne Rice's books but this one is not one of my favorites. Did like the character of Gris and could relate somewhat to Clare, even liked the birding in Central Park but the book just didn't connect with me. Just think I cannot relate to the character of Anne and everyone else just giving her a pass. Also cannot really understand how she could do what she did based on the information available about the type of person she had been in the past. Did understand that their own family's pretentiousness to keep up appearances and pretend had quite a bit to do with what happens but I just cannot conceive or relate to the whole scenario. This was just an okay read for me. ARC from NetGalley.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
LITTLE NIGHT is a great read! LITTLE NIGHT was an entertaining read with excellent character development that draws readers using effortless plotting from the first page of this well-crafted novel. It keeps you galvanized throughout the story, wanting more and more until the very end. It is a heartbreaking, beautiful story of unconditional love, hope, courage, deception, loss, resiliency, and survival. We confirm that family and friend’s support us through everything that life throws at us, and family gives us the inner strength to move forward throughout our lives. The abrupt ending left too many unanswered questions; the characters just left dangling there, without any resolution to their situations. I would have preferred a further wrap-up of their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book hit home to many thing in spousel abuse , love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the start this book had me. Once again Miss Rice spins a story of family, nature, and nurture that kept me coming back for more. This novel was so compelling it stayed with me. I wanted to start over again as soon as I finished.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Author: Luanne Rice Published By: Pamela Dorman Books Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTA Rating: 5 Review: "Little Night" by Luanne Rice was a intriguing family drama read in that it was a little different from my normal reads that this read simply blow me away. It was not a easy read in that it will bring to light."violence, family abuse, narcissistic disorders, prison time, death and murder." "Little Night" plot will bring to you many twist and turns as this story will go back and forth from the past to present...Clare and Grit's point of view with Anne's journals and website. The story picks up with Annie trying to protect her sister from a very abusive husband (Fredrick) who was a abuser, and Clare hit him on the head with a poker and was sent to jail for several years due to the fact that her 'own sister...Anne lied on the stand for her husband...Now Anne was out of jail.. only to get a visit from Anne's daughter Grit for a visit to New York... and this will be the part where I will say you must pick up "Little Night" to see once again how Clare's life will change and especially whether Clare will be able to ever forgive her sister Anne and what about Clare's feelings for Paul? The characters were all very well developed with such emotions that really made this a very realistic story and "Little Night" will give you a very sensitive heartbreaking read. I think this author did a wonderful job as "she weaves, pain, death, sorrow, betrayal, abandonment, forgiveness and love all in a well written story" that has been well delivered to the reader and yes, I would definitely recommend "Little Night" as a excellent read.
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jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Little Night by Luanne Rice ISBN: 9780670023561 Book starts out with Clare attacking her sisters husband because of what he's done to them all. She ends up in prison and her sister Anne and the kids, gilly and grit are still left behind to endure his torture. While in prison she's had a lot of time to herself and thinks about the past and ends things with her Central Park ranger boyfriend, Paul. She is depressed and comes to life once again after a visitor has left with the promise of a job, with conditions. After Clare gets out she does seek out Paul again and they resume their bird watches and rescues in the hopes of seeing an extinct laughing owl. Grit comes to live with Clare and the truth comes out as to why she is there. The symbolism of the bog, the accident and how it brings them closer makes all that's happened come together as one. Just when you think you've learned all you can about a topic: snowy owls, Central Park, variety of birds, rather than shoving it down your throats like other authors might do, Luanne knows exactly when to move onto other things. It's just a super blend, seamless. Like that Grit knows how to cook elegantly from scratch and can do wonders with barely anything. What happened at the bog landed Grit in the hospital. While there she knows her mother stood over her bed. She's seen other signs of her mother being in town, and so has Clare. Love the mystery as to why Anne couldn't contact them in the city. I like a book that takes me places and learn new things. I am really into this book: the ferry to the statue of liberty-never knew about the rooms at the bottom; the glassblowing; all the birds and facts; the scenery, different named areas, and atmosphere of ny central park, very detailed architecture and the cooking. Countries overseas have an appeal all their own. Like how when the book has stated a Danish remark the translation is the next line-won't leave you guessing or have to look it up on the pc. Love the idea of the special picnic and how the book got its title from it and opened the web page. Learned so much in this book, as I do follow our local snowy owl and have seen one in Oregon at a refuge for birds. Clare compares her life with some of the extinct owls. Love the ending and how things have gone full circle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story ending was terrible is there gonna be another book leaves u guessing what happens to ann and grit? What happens with clair and paul and what happens with clair and anne to many unanswered questions
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much! *she pads to the new camp*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I founded and was leader of breezeclan but it fell apart but the old camp is at mojo all reaults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where r u? ~ Flamepelt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I shalt b sorry to tresspass but i am outside of ur territory but one of ur kits, Bellakit took aome of our wanted herbs that we found on our territory. Wut r u guys gonna do about it. I am from fireclan. We dont want a war but u should scold her and giv us back our herbs. Thank u!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So i cant watch the kits.. i dont wanna be a med cat... i wanna be a queen and protect kits