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Book Review: All Other Nights by Dara Horn

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Dara Horn writes like a spider capturing an unsuspecting victim. She cleverly sucks the reader into her increasingly complex plot of secrecy and intrigue. Captured from the beginning as her web of deception unfolds you are powerless to put All Other Nights down.

The personalities of her cast are so refreshingly unique and a bit quirky at times. Jacob Rappaport is the Union soldier ordered to kill his own uncle on Passover in 1862. His mission is to stop the assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln.

After this incident he is given orders to break up a spy ring composed of the four beautiful Levy sisters. His intention is to marry Eugenia Levy to gain the family trust whereby he can investigate their covert operations for the Confederate cause.

Horn’s characters are nicely developed with attention to details, each memorably unique. Rose, the youngest sister, has a penchant for palindromes and is just peculiar enough for a future screenplay version. Jacob has a tough time discerning her quirky language that makes no sense to him. After their first meeting he is bewildered by her behavior and quite unsure what to make of her.

Jacob finds much more than he had anticipated at the Levy home as he waits and watches for any spy activities. When he is forced to leave their home he must decide between loyalty to his cause and loyalty to family. Throughout the novel Jacob the Union soldier continues to face difficult choices that produce conflict with his conscience. It is a story of a man with misplaced loyalty, or loyalty to a cause at all cost versus devotion to his family.

Dara Horn produces a quality romantic novel of the Civil War period with page flipping tension. However, more than that, her novel produces questions that prompt rumination and personal reflection with her timeless moral message. All Other Nights is an impressive favorite of 2009.

All Other Nights
by Dara Horn
W.W. Norton & Co.
April 2009

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About Wisteria Leigh

  • Pinky

    I agree that the plot is well developed as are most of the characters. But some of the descriptions — see p. 149 — are pure purple prose.