A Gripping And Deftly Plotted Narrative Of Family And Belonging, Lights All Night Long Is A Dazzling Debut Novel From An Acclaimed Young Writer Lights All Night Long Is Utterly Brilliant And Completely Captivating One Of The Most Propulsive, Un Put Downable Literary Novels I Ve Read In Ages Anthony Marra, Author Of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena 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 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 PrisonWith 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 Two brothers who couldn t be any different The younger one, Ilya is 15 and smart, serious about his education, an exceptional student Vladimir, at 17 is definitely not interested in school, drifts into a seedy, dangerous world of drugs As different as they are, they love each other and this for me is the heart of the story, one that is about family, about brothers who would sacrifice for each other It s also about a teenage girl in another family trying to find her place and come to terms with her past There is no shying away from the ravages of drug addiction in this novel The narrative moves back and forth from Ilya s present in Louisiana as an exchange student to the time back home in the small refinery town of Berlizhniki, Russia just before he arrived in the US Ilya has a difficult time making the most of his good fortune at this opportunity He was worried for Vladimir, worried when Vladimir was not home in the afternoons, worried even when Vladimir was home and now in America, he is still worrying about his brother who is in prison after confessing to the murder of three girls Ilya becomes intent on finding the murderer, because he is sure that Vladimir didn t do it Ilya loves his brother unconditionally and even jeopardizes his chance of going to America Why The answer was simple he wanted Vladimir back Vladimir loves Ilya and the depth of that brotherly love is revealed as the story progresses Ilya is alone trying to solve the mystery from afar until he connects with Sadie, the eldest teenage daughter in the family he is living with He shares his story and Sadie in turn shares her own secret and their connection impacts them in ways that I didn t expect This is a terrific debut novel I don t as a rule read mysteries and there is a mystery here, but this was so much In spite of having to spend time than I wanted looking up Russian words, I definitely recommend this heartbreaking yet hopeful novel I will definitely watch for what Lydia Fitzpatrick will write in the future.I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin Press through Edelweiss. Brooding yet hopeful, Lydia Fitzpatrick s debut novel, Lights All Night Long , is a gripping story about family, envy, and being caught between loyalty and the desire to make a better life for yourself It is tremendously atmospheric, which is no mean feat considering the book really takes place in two completely separate places Russia and Louisiana.Ilya is 15 years old and lives in a small town in Russia with his mother, grandmother, and his older brother, Vladimir, whom he idolizes Vladimir is a bit of a ne er do well, content to chase girls and commit petty crimes than go to school, but he knows Ilya is the smart one The two dream of one day leaving their bleak surroundings for America, a country they only know through pirated VCR movies from the 1990s.When an exchange program between the refinery in Ilya s town and an energy company in a small Louisiana town is created, Ilya s teacher knows there is only one student deserving of a chance to go to America, and it is him Ilya is excited to finally go to America but is sad about leaving his brother behind, and Vladimir is torn between jealousy and wanting the best for Ilya But the America that greets Ilya is very different than he imagined, and he s not quite sure what to make of his cheerful, religious host family, although they want him to feel comfortable.Ilya tries to settle in and make the most of this new opportunity, but he can t stop worrying about Vladimir, who was arrested just before Ilya left for America, after he confessed to the brutal murder of three young women Ilya knows there s no way that his brother could be a murderer, although he did fall prey to a powerful and dangerous new drug that started holding many in their town in its thrall His mother wants him to forget about Vladimir and concentrate on building a better life, but he can t give up on a brother who taught him so much good and bad and with whom he dreamed of coming to America.When Sadie, the oldest daughter of his host family, begins taking an interest in him, Ilya shares his worries about his brother and his suspicions that somehow Vladimir is taking the fall for someone else The two of them begin to dig deeper into the facts and the innuendo surrounding the murders and the events leading up to Vladimir s confession, while at the same time, Sadie shares with Ilya some powerful secrets of her own Lights All Night Long shifts between Ilya s life in Louisiana and the year leading up to when he went to America You see how Vladimir changed once Ilya was tapped to be the exchange student, how Vladimir wanted the chance for himself despite never having made the effort, yet he also was proud of his brother Ilya s desperation to find the truth leads to painful discoveries, but ultimately, hope that he can save his brother from the things that might do him harm.While I felt like the book took a while to really get moving, in the end I really enjoyed this story It was definitely of a mystery than I had anticipated, which is fine, and I thought the story would concentrate on Ilya s life in Louisiana than recounting the past, but it all worked for me, mainly because Fitzpatrick is a terrific storyteller As I mentioned earlier, she was able to vividly capture both the chill of Ilya s Russian town and the heat of the Louisiana bayou, and she deftly captured Ilya s experience adjusting to life in America.It s often hard to realize how lucky we are when we re confronted with a crisis at the same time Lights All Night Long is a moving story of the sacrifices we make for those we love, sacrifices which go unnoticed until it might be too late With this book, Fitzpatrick proves that she s definitely an author to follow in the future to see what she does next.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at 4.25 Stars rounded down Brilliant, intense, thought provoking When Ilya got the opportunity to go to America from his hometown of Berlozhniki in Russia, he always imagined that his older brother, Vladimir would be going with him Never in a million years did Ilya think that Vlad would be in prison, charged with murdering three young women while he was on his way to Louisiana as part of an exchange program Now, every day and night at the Masons, is spent thinking about Vlad, trying to figure out how to prove his innocence, because he simply has to be innocent. right Told in both past and present timelines, Lights All Night Long is an extremely powerful and poignant story of family, friendship, love, loyalty and strength It is a story of triumphs and tribulations and most of all forgiveness Though this novel started out a little slow, it quickly got my attention The prose is gorgeous and the characters made my heart ache fiercely Vladimir s overprotectiveness of his brother, Ilya s determination to prove his brother s innocence, call it love, or call whatever you want Their love for each other will make you smile and it will bring tears to your eyes than once A huge thank you to NetGalley, The Penguin Group Penguin Press and Lydia Fitzpatrick for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 2.26.19 Will be published on and Twitter on 4.2.19. A coming of age story of two devoted Russian brothers Vladimir the oldest is quite a cad. into thievery, drugs, sex,.etc and Ilya the younger brother, a good kid with a great mind They come from a very poor family and Ilya has the opportunity of coming to America as an exchange student.This story goes back and forth from their story while together in Russia and the time Ilya is here in Louisiana with his host family and attending high school.I enjoyed this story very much. it contains a mystery, along with some grit..but really is mostly about the bond of brotherhood even from afar.Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Press for the ARC T was a junkie girl in my world And everything began to twirl And it spun so that I couldn t even stand She had many charms, I heard alarms She stuck needles in my arm And I guess that s when the trouble began Days and nights, city lights Empty bags and broken pipes Slowly things got completely out of hand Oh my god how far Did we fall to get to where we are In the dark, it s not always easy to see the light Was it just because It was love on drugs I don t know how we made it out alive Lyrics excerpt from Butterfly by Michael McDermottThis is a story unlike any other I have read It started slowly for me I felt no connection with any character until at least half of the way through, and then I began to relate to the beauty of the imagery that the author so skillfully designed Her words are gorgeous, and I found myself highlighting beautiful passages that hit with stunning force, and the mesmerizing story she tells unfolded for me.Ilya and his older brother Vladimir live in Berlozhniki, Russia Ilya, the younger, looks up to his big brother with love and awe, and would do almost anything for him Vladimir loves his younger brother, as well, but doesn t have the interest in studies or the aptitude for learning that Ilya has He is wilder, lives on the edge, and his choices are terrible and terrifying When Ilya has the chance to travel to America for a year as an exchange student, Vladimir becomes even reckless than usual and his poor choices lead to a horrifying addiction, which in turn leads to his arrest for murder Ilya, convinced of his brother s innocence and now living with his host family in a small town in Louisiana in the US, does what he can from afar to dig into the truth of what really happened.The outcome of this story is breathtaking, heartbreaking and extraordinary I was absorbed in the author s lovely images, even as I consistently had to look up the English translation for so many Russian words that were sprinkled throughout This book started as a 3 star for me because it took a while to grip me I felt removed from the characters and the storyline, but what a testament to the author s writing skills that I never wanted to quit and that she pulled me in so completely that I can give this story nothing less than 5 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Press for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. 4.5 Stars, rounded up to 5 Ilya and Vladimir, two brothers born and raised in Russia, make life choices that will lead them into two different worlds Forced by their decisions and opportunities presented to them, they are torn apart from each other, but their strong brotherly bond keeps them connected no matter the circumstances they find themselves in Close to perfect debut novel from Lydia Fitzpatrick, is a beautifully written story filled with emotions of brotherly love, devotion, family sacrifices, and addiction Well written, character driven novel with a mystery in the background Heart breaking and affecting story that kept me captivated till the end I loved everything about this book and the characters will stay with me for a long while Thank you Edelweiss, Penguin Press, and the author, Lydia Fitzpatrick for giving me an opportunity to read this wonderful novel in exchange for my honest opinion. Every time I am finished reading a book that packs a literary punch I feel completely inadequate to review it.Ilya s dream of going to America has come true, the land of plenty, of super stores with no queues, the land of Hollywood movies and where people leave lights on all night long This exchange year is everything he has worked for yet the shadow of his brother in prison stretches all the way from Berlozhniki in rural Russia to sunny Louisiana Even the host family s pretty daughter can t distract Ilya from the fact that his brother has been arrested for multiple murders.I have never read a book that shows the devastation of the drug Krokodil and I urge you NEVER to google it, ever But it s not just a book about a failing mining town in Russia where the young people fall under the spell of a dirty drug, it s about the fierce bond between brothers, the tenacity never to give up and how the bonds of family is elastic and unbreakable.I really loved the way that Ilya and Vladimir s relationship was portrayed, and it saddened me that Vladimir, who clearly has potential, and could be quite a cad, wasted away on drugs but isn t that always the case There was as much meaning in what was said than what was left unspoken.I also loved how life in Berlozhniki was described This is a forgotten town with forgotten people that shows just how laughable the Russian system can be I also appreciated how the side characters added richness to the story.This was not always easy to read and is most definitely not sentimental, yet I could not get enough This is a strong literary debut and it s no wonder Anthony Marra praised it so much.Definitely recommended It s not lost on me that I consumed most of this book in the lonely clutches of insomnia, my internal lights on deep into the night Sometimes I think I embrace this torture, for it offers the opportunity to do the thing I most love in life besides writing reading And this was one worth having insomnia for One of the year s most moving trembling, shaking reads for me I gasp in wonder and humbleness that Lights All Night Long is Lydia Fitzpatrick s debut The lights of Fitzpatrick s novel refer to the harsh and constant glare of the massive oil refineries that light the frozen plains of the small northwestern Russian town where Ilya Alexandrovich Morosov grew up and the steaming bayous of Leffie, Louisiana where he is spending the year as an exchange student The two landscapes and cultures couldn t be different and the story opens as Ilya arrives at the airport in Baton Rouge, walking deliberately past the smiling, plump, eager host family that awaits him, holding high the sign with his name He walks past the Masons not once, but several times, only meeting them at last at the car rental kiosk where they have him paged Fitzpatrick captures the moment they register Ilya s face as one they had seen walk by, ignoring them, so perfectly a moment s mixture of embarrassment, hurt, confusion, and then kindness No one mentions the gaffe and Ilya is welcomed into the Mason family Papa Cam, Mama Jamie, two young daughters, and the misplaced, reclusive teenager, Sadie, who becomes his guide to American high school and eases his cultural transition Ilya packed very little for his year abroad, but he comes laden with a terrible secret His beloved older brother, Vladimir, is in prison, having confessed to the murders of three women shortly before Ilya left for America Vlad is a drug addict, a petty thief, a high school dropout But a murderer Ilya knows his brother, knows his optimistic, fun loving heart He may have mired his life in terrible choices, but Vlad is not a killer The chapters alternate between America and Russia, between the present and the immediate past, the year leading up to Ilya s departure, when things were going so right in his life, and so terribly wrong in his brother s Fitzpatrick crafts a murder mystery with a slowly tightening circle around the truth as Ilya sets puzzle pieces in place each night in his basement room at the Mason s, surfing the net after he completes his daily homework He reveals his secret to Sadie and together they work to prove Vladimir s innocence Lights All Night Long is beautifully written, with characters cast in tenderness and compassion, landscapes that crackle with ice and throb with humidity, and an intricate, carefully woven plot that will leave you gasping at the end But it is the relationship between the brothers Ilya and Vlad that will burrow into your heart, and break it, over and over One of the year s best Now, let s all get some sleep. Ilya and Vladimir, two brothers joined in familial loyalty, regardless of cost A highly personal look at addiction and the devastation it spreads all around This is what happens when one brother takes responsibility for fixing the other brother s problems It s been said like seeks like and once two kindred souls find each other, under most circumstances, they stick together Enter Sadie, the American girl, who is a kindred soul A debut novel where the writer is clearly at home with the hopes and sorrows of life s addictions and afflictions. Ilya Alexandrovich Ekhlakov arrives in Effie, Louisiana as an exchange student from Berlozhniki, Russia with a heavy suitcase of guilt His brother, Vladimir, has confessed to killing three young women and is sitting in prison Two years older than Ilya, Vladimir is a user of the devastating new drug krokodil but Ilya just can t believe that he is also a murderer What can he do to help when he is thousands of miles away Fitzpatrick focuses on the love we have for family, even when they do things we don t approve of Both Ilya and Vladimir make sacrifices for each other Fortunately, Ilya s host family provides compassionate support for their anguished young exchange student.
- 368 pages
- Lights All Night Long
- Lydia Fitzpatrick
- 21 November 2019 Lydia Fitzpatrick