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Waiting for the Night Song

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A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface? An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry research A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface? An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry researcher, back to her childhood home. There, Cadie and Daniela are forced to face a dark secret that ended both their idyllic childhood bond and the magical summer that takes up more space in Cadie's memory then all her other years combined. Now grown up, bound by long-held oaths, and faced with truths she does not wish to see, Cadie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, as drought, foreclosures, and wildfire spark tensions between displaced migrant farm workers and locals. Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise.


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A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface? An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry research A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface? An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry researcher, back to her childhood home. There, Cadie and Daniela are forced to face a dark secret that ended both their idyllic childhood bond and the magical summer that takes up more space in Cadie's memory then all her other years combined. Now grown up, bound by long-held oaths, and faced with truths she does not wish to see, Cadie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, as drought, foreclosures, and wildfire spark tensions between displaced migrant farm workers and locals. Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise.

30 review for Waiting for the Night Song

  1. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    DNF :- 60% It's not a good sign when you feel - 250 pages in and I don't care. This book is trying to address so many situations that none of them are done well. I am having a hard time concentrating and believing whatever is happening - ecology, murder,romance,entomology, friendship, immigration. It's not boring or bad. It's just repetitive which is something I hate especially in mystery books. So it was a huge disappointment. DNF :- 60% It's not a good sign when you feel - 250 pages in and I don't care. This book is trying to address so many situations that none of them are done well. I am having a hard time concentrating and believing whatever is happening - ecology, murder,romance,entomology, friendship, immigration. It's not boring or bad. It's just repetitive which is something I hate especially in mystery books. So it was a huge disappointment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Told in two time lines, this novel tells of an event that happened to two young girls enjoying their summer in the New Hampshire woods and the ripples it caused down the years for those involved. Eleven year old Cadie is the girl at the heart of the book. An unusual girl without many friends, she loves nature and the roaming the woods so her summer friendship with Danielle spent exploring the creek in a boat and picking blueberries to sell is idyllic. On their excursions, they meet a boy they ca Told in two time lines, this novel tells of an event that happened to two young girls enjoying their summer in the New Hampshire woods and the ripples it caused down the years for those involved. Eleven year old Cadie is the girl at the heart of the book. An unusual girl without many friends, she loves nature and the roaming the woods so her summer friendship with Danielle spent exploring the creek in a boat and picking blueberries to sell is idyllic. On their excursions, they meet a boy they call the Summer Boy staying with his uncle, and secretly start leaving books on his pier for him to read. That is until something happens which ends their summer and haunts them all for years. Twenty six years later, Cadie receives an urgent call from Danielle to return to the town where she used to live to help her. Cadie is now an ecologist, studying the connection between insects that infest trees and their connection to wildfires as the climate changes and more and more species are threatened. On top of the drought and farm foreclosures in Cadie's old hometown, tempers are also running hot over the influx of illegal immigrants working as cheap labour. Like the tinder box dry forest, Cadie and Danielle's secret, Cadie's career and the town's resentment are set to explode. This is an enjoyable mystery embedded in a background of climate change and illegal immigration. Cadie's childhood running free in the woods is one that few experience these days but will remind readers of endless, lazy summer days spent with friends outdoors enjoying the simple pleasures of nature. The writing is rich in the sounds and smells of the forest and of the special bond between childhood friends. A very assured debut novel. With many thanks to Forge Books and Netgalley for a copy to read

  3. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    This is an interesting book in that it’s a literary novel with some suspenseful sections. It’s a story about immigrants and anti-immigrant sentiment and about folks who care about the environment and those who benefit by pretending no climate change is happening. Cadie Kessler is an entomologist trying to get her research showing that a beetle is wreaking havoc on the forests of New England, causing the trees to dry up and die and thus become perfect fuel for devastating forest fires. When her c This is an interesting book in that it’s a literary novel with some suspenseful sections. It’s a story about immigrants and anti-immigrant sentiment and about folks who care about the environment and those who benefit by pretending no climate change is happening. Cadie Kessler is an entomologist trying to get her research showing that a beetle is wreaking havoc on the forests of New England, causing the trees to dry up and die and thus become perfect fuel for devastating forest fires. When her childhood friend Daniela calls her up saying she has to come home because their long-held childhood secrets are threatening to surface with severe consequences for several people at risk. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    MimiMaybeMiriam

    @juliecdalton has written a winner folks! She has captured the youthful belief in the possible that comes with our first friendships and mixed it with the woodsy, sweet, metallic scent of New England's secret lakes to create a mystery fueled by today's most pressing issues. The careful weaving of budding emotions with the natural tapestry of the changing New Hampshire environment is skillful and I must say, enveloping. The way Dalton portrays the land and its richness is a gift to the reader who @juliecdalton has written a winner folks! She has captured the youthful belief in the possible that comes with our first friendships and mixed it with the woodsy, sweet, metallic scent of New England's secret lakes to create a mystery fueled by today's most pressing issues. The careful weaving of budding emotions with the natural tapestry of the changing New Hampshire environment is skillful and I must say, enveloping. The way Dalton portrays the land and its richness is a gift to the reader who wants to feel immersed in a setting. Readers will find themselves nostalgic for the same endless summer days before things changed that main character Cadie wishes for as she revisits familiar coves and trails in fire kissed Maple Crest, New Hampshire. With an obvious passion for the environment, immigration rights and the people who make our small towns special, Dalton has written a dynamic story with a unique voice I hope to hear more from in the future. I'm so honored to have gotten to read this early copy and to have watched Julie Carrick Dalton on part of her journey. 2021 is too long to wait to share this blueberry laden book with the public!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie (JuJu)

    With such a beautiful cover and enticing description, I had high hopes for this one. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but it wasn’t the unputdownable read I craved. It did have a very satisfying ending, and some interesting portions. But it drug on in too many spots. And there was too much repetitive information. I struggled with rating this book. Some portions were a solid 4, but I considered not finishing it during the slower parts. I usually read thrillers, so I don’t think there was enough ex With such a beautiful cover and enticing description, I had high hopes for this one. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but it wasn’t the unputdownable read I craved. It did have a very satisfying ending, and some interesting portions. But it drug on in too many spots. And there was too much repetitive information. I struggled with rating this book. Some portions were a solid 4, but I considered not finishing it during the slower parts. I usually read thrillers, so I don’t think there was enough excitement to keep me engaged. But anyone who enjoys women’s fiction should find it entertaining. Cadie is an entomologist and her talk of pine beetles and Colorado were the main items that kept me reading. The story is told in past and present, with the past being far more interesting. Thank you to Edelweiss, Julie Carrick Dalton and Forge Books, for this free digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion! My Rating: 3 ⭐️’s (not enough excitement for me) Published: January 12, 2021 by Forge Books Pages: 336 Recommend: Yes, for anyone who enjoys Women’s Fiction @ForgeReads @edelweiss_squad #NoRulesJustThrills #InExchangeForReview #WaitingForTheNightSong #BookReview #WomensFiction #DebutNovel

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Loring

    A bucolic summer, a close friendship, escapades picking blueberries on a New Hampshire lake: life seems so simple, but beetles are quietly undermining the health of the forest, and the ugly machinations of racism are becoming more and more apparent. Waiting for the Night Song uncovers the impact of long-term social injustice, racism and climate change on a family, a friendship, and a future, illustrating how everyday decisions can impact our world, and the importance of finding a path that offer A bucolic summer, a close friendship, escapades picking blueberries on a New Hampshire lake: life seems so simple, but beetles are quietly undermining the health of the forest, and the ugly machinations of racism are becoming more and more apparent. Waiting for the Night Song uncovers the impact of long-term social injustice, racism and climate change on a family, a friendship, and a future, illustrating how everyday decisions can impact our world, and the importance of finding a path that offers hope for change.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    This was another one of those books that I found difficult to fit neatly into a single genre. While the timeline was a bit ambiguous (the chapters alternated between “that summer” and “present day”), there was a strong contemporary fiction vibe with many of the issues explored in the “present day” narrative -- climate change, illegal immigration, racism, politics vs science, etc. – mirroring so closely with so many “hot-button” issues that we as a society are dealing with currently (and have bee This was another one of those books that I found difficult to fit neatly into a single genre. While the timeline was a bit ambiguous (the chapters alternated between “that summer” and “present day”), there was a strong contemporary fiction vibe with many of the issues explored in the “present day” narrative -- climate change, illegal immigration, racism, politics vs science, etc. – mirroring so closely with so many “hot-button” issues that we as a society are dealing with currently (and have been at the forefront of discussions the past few years). Having said that, there was also a mystery / thriller component to the story that overlapped both timelines, with “the truth” about the defining event that occurred in the past eventually being revealed in the present. From a genre perspective, I felt that the contemporary piece was quite solid overall, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising given the author Julie Carrick Dalton’s background as a journalist. This was definitely apparent in the extensive detail with which Dalton was able to present the events around the climate crisis as well as the complexities of the immigration discussion. In all honesty, I personally have not paid much attention to the climate change discussion, I’m not a “science-y” person and a lot of the explanations out there about the topic seem to go over my head — but the way Dalton presented the topic, through the fictional story of Cadie (who later grows up to be an entomologist) and her best friend Daniela, the childhood adventures they have in the forests surrounding their properties, the challenges that arise nearly 30 years later, etc., helped provide some clarity about the climate crisis that I had a struggled to understand reading about the topic via other means. Of course, there’s a lot I still don’t understand about the topic (and probably never will), but the fact that I was able to comprehend as much as I did speaks to the power of fictional story-telling in helping us understand real-life events and situations. With all that said, what didn’t work as well was the mystery / thriller aspect of the story. I felt that the attempt to craft a compelling thriller was a bit weak, as the plot points were predictable and too easy to figure out. In fact, I actually was able to guess “the truth” quite early on, so when it came time for the big reveal, the surprise element was no longer there. Also, some of the events meant to “explain” the mystery felt a bit forced — as I was reading, it became obvious to me that the strongest parts of the story were those not having to do with the “mystery” thread. Overall, this was a good story with well-drawn characters. I especially appreciated how the author explored modern day issues in a way that was both respectful and approachable. Of course, no story is perfect and as much as I liked the approach the author took, I also felt that, at times, the various “big topics” covered here were competing with each other for space — especially in the “present day” timeline, the writing was a bit uneven in that there would be large sections about the climate issue, about science and politics, but those parts felt randomly inserted and separate from the other threads. This did affect the flow a little in my opinion, but not to the point of negatively impacting the story. I’m glad I read this one, as the story was a timely one and I learned things I wasn’t expecting. As this was Dalton’s debut, I look forward to seeing what she brings to the table next. Received print ARC from Forge Books

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Teel

    Part thriller, part ecological warning, Waiting for the Night Song is a beautiful story of friendship, racism, and the natural world...impossible to put down, it will stay with you. I can't wait to read Julie Carrick Dalton's next books! Part thriller, part ecological warning, Waiting for the Night Song is a beautiful story of friendship, racism, and the natural world...impossible to put down, it will stay with you. I can't wait to read Julie Carrick Dalton's next books!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Waiting for the Night Song, the debut novel of Julie Carrick Dalton, is a story of childhood best friends, the sweetness of long summer days of freedom and exploration, but also of ugly secrets and the kind of trauma that shapes a child’s personality forever. This author knows how to wield her pen; her words are beautiful and compelling. The story of going home to make amends turns into a fight for social injustice as well as a battle to save the magnificent forests of New Hampshire. A lot was g Waiting for the Night Song, the debut novel of Julie Carrick Dalton, is a story of childhood best friends, the sweetness of long summer days of freedom and exploration, but also of ugly secrets and the kind of trauma that shapes a child’s personality forever. This author knows how to wield her pen; her words are beautiful and compelling. The story of going home to make amends turns into a fight for social injustice as well as a battle to save the magnificent forests of New Hampshire. A lot was going on, and at times I had trouble keeping up. I wavered for a while about how I felt about the book, but the author won me over about halfway through. Her lovely descriptions of lazy summers and sweet friendships reminded me of so many sentimental childhood summers of my own. The book is well worth reading, and I thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read it. I gave it three and ½ stars, rounded up to four.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I enjoyed this amazing read that is delivered in dual time lines of “Present Day” and “That Summer”. This is a book that has a lot of themes within this beautiful story; a coming-of-age tale about childhood friendships, love of books, the love of nature and the environment, a murder mystery thriller, and issues of undocumented immigrants - beautifully written in the book. Cadence Kessler is an entomologist studying the connection of beetles and the infection of pine trees resulting in forest fir I enjoyed this amazing read that is delivered in dual time lines of “Present Day” and “That Summer”. This is a book that has a lot of themes within this beautiful story; a coming-of-age tale about childhood friendships, love of books, the love of nature and the environment, a murder mystery thriller, and issues of undocumented immigrants - beautifully written in the book. Cadence Kessler is an entomologist studying the connection of beetles and the infection of pine trees resulting in forest fires. This love of nature stemmed from her idyllic childhood spent outdoors in a boat on a lake picking berries with her best friend Daniela whose parents are immigrants from El Salvador. Caddie and Daniela meet a young orphan boy whom they have made friends with and shared their love of books and reading. An unfortunate incident left Caddie with a secret she must keep buried and silent even from her best friend. A phone call in the present day, and police investigation brings Caddie back home to deal about that unfortunate day many years ago. This was an immersive and timely read about childhood lost, first loves, secrets we keep to protect those we love, fighting for what we believe in for the love of nature and the environment, understanding of immigrants and their struggles for a better future in a poignant and powerful story. Beautifully paced and well written, Dalton delivered a stunning debut. I was mesmerized and related to the characters and their sacrifices. Very well done!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    I really enjoyed this book and the main characters Cadie and Daniela. The author does a great job writing dialogue which sounded authentic, and the perfect amount of description so you felt like you were in the New England/New Hampshire. I love how Ms. Dalton wrote a beautiful testament to the love of nature, as well as human behavior. I was enraptured by the writing, the words and the almost poetic language on the pages. This is a captivating story presenting the best of modern Ame I really enjoyed this book and the main characters Cadie and Daniela. The author does a great job writing dialogue which sounded authentic, and the perfect amount of description so you felt like you were in the New England/New Hampshire. I love how Ms. Dalton wrote a beautiful testament to the love of nature, as well as human behavior. I was enraptured by the writing, the words and the almost poetic language on the pages. This is a captivating story presenting the best of modern American literature. This story is heartbreaking and awe inspiring at the same time. A truly poetic telling, a mystery, a tragedy, a friendship and secrets...beautifully written and it is without question worth the read. I can't write this review without mentioning how much I adore the cover of this book! It fits the magic inside. Disclousure: Thank you NetGalley, Julie Carrick Dalton and Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #NetGalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A killer debut that tackles love, racism and even climate change. Waiting for the Night Song will leave you breathless and wanting more. Congratulations, Julie!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    DNF So this is not a permanent DNF, but rather (I hope), temporary. I am having a great deal of trouble concentrating on this book since the events of last Wednesday, 01/06/21. All I want to do is doomscroll and watch endless hours of news. So I want to caution anyone who reads this, that it may not be the fault of the book that this is going in the DNF pile. However, I do want to add that I'm past page 100 and I find myself skim reading. This usually isn't a good sign. So, I'm going to set it as DNF So this is not a permanent DNF, but rather (I hope), temporary. I am having a great deal of trouble concentrating on this book since the events of last Wednesday, 01/06/21. All I want to do is doomscroll and watch endless hours of news. So I want to caution anyone who reads this, that it may not be the fault of the book that this is going in the DNF pile. However, I do want to add that I'm past page 100 and I find myself skim reading. This usually isn't a good sign. So, I'm going to set it aside for a while and see if I can get back to it when my brain has calmed down a little and give the book another shot. "Review Date": 01/11/2021 Publication Date: 01/12/2021

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Dardzinski

    When I was reading this book, I thought how much it reminded me of the writing in Where the Crawdads Sing, which I also loved. The writing is so beautiful and descriptive, you feel like you are there seeing the scenery before you. Lots of great discussion topics for a book club for sure. I can't wait for my two book clubs to read this book! When I was reading this book, I thought how much it reminded me of the writing in Where the Crawdads Sing, which I also loved. The writing is so beautiful and descriptive, you feel like you are there seeing the scenery before you. Lots of great discussion topics for a book club for sure. I can't wait for my two book clubs to read this book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    This book attempted too much - ecology, entomology, coming of age romance, immigration and murder. I found it both jumbled and boring. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Barrie Kreinik who read everything with an annoying urgency in her voice.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy McFarlane

    If you only read one book this year, this should be the one. It really puts many current issues such as climate change, immigration, and racism into a perspective you can feel personally by immersing yourself into the story and identifying with the characters in the book. Waiting for the Night Song is a lyrical and amazing story about nature and what will happened to it if we continue to ignore climate change. It is the story of wonderful, productive and caring people who live in fear because of If you only read one book this year, this should be the one. It really puts many current issues such as climate change, immigration, and racism into a perspective you can feel personally by immersing yourself into the story and identifying with the characters in the book. Waiting for the Night Song is a lyrical and amazing story about nature and what will happened to it if we continue to ignore climate change. It is the story of wonderful, productive and caring people who live in fear because of immigration laws, it is a story about childhood trauma and the effect it has on the three children involved, it is a story about determination and doing what you believe is right regardless of the consequences, and above all else it is a heartfelt story about family and friendship and just how far and how many lies one will tell, or how many secrets one will keep to protect them. Everyone who loved Where the Crawdads Sing should put this at the top of their list. My favorite quote from the book: "When someone says you're overreacting, but you know you're right, keep reacting until it's over."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This took me a little while to get into but once I reached about 30% read, I couldn’t put it down! Really well written addressing illegals status in the US and climate change with plenty of personal drama to keep the reader hooked. Really enjoyed reading it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mj

    With so many positive comments to make, it’s hard to know where to start. Julie Dalton puts words together in such a way it’s easy to visualize both setting and characters. The reader is transported to the forests of New Hampshire and feels a oneness with young Cadie and Daniela as they canoe the waters and explore the woods around their homes. One feels their dread and fear when tragic events occur. I could quote many passages from the book that I particularly liked, but I’ll start with this o With so many positive comments to make, it’s hard to know where to start. Julie Dalton puts words together in such a way it’s easy to visualize both setting and characters. The reader is transported to the forests of New Hampshire and feels a oneness with young Cadie and Daniela as they canoe the waters and explore the woods around their homes. One feels their dread and fear when tragic events occur. I could quote many passages from the book that I particularly liked, but I’ll start with this one: “ A muggy breeze poured through the oaks and maples and pines, carrying the iridescent taste of fear across the shallows of the cove, beyond the vastness of the lake, and up into the mountains where the broken fragments of Cadie’s childhood took refuge in the fissures- and waited.” The book goes back and forth between the friendship of Cadie and Daniela as young teens where a tragedy occurs causing a rift in their friendship to twenty-five years later when a body is found and the tragedy is revisited, causing Cadie to return to her hometown. In the intervening years, Cadie has become an entomologist, linking bark beetle infestation to forest fires and also tackling issues of climate change with its effect on birds in particular. This gives author Dalton an avenue to include climate change as one of the areas for discussion in the book. Other themes in the book include immigration laws, race, and prejudice since character Daniela and her family are illegal immigrants from El Salvador. The author ties this all in well with friendship, family, and maturing being other themes. Even though at times I wanted to race through parts of the book wondering what lay ahead for Cadie, Daniela, and others, this is a book to be read slowly appreciating the author’s use of language to create a picture. The portion below is from the last chapter in the book. “All the other creatures had fled. The mice, spiders, crickets, squirrels. The silence they left behind hurt. The owl sat on a charred branch. Its home had been in these woods. Its mottled brown and amber stood out in stark contrast to the black and gray backdrop. Exposed without camouflage, the great bird blinked at Cadie and pulled its square head lower into its shoulders. Its whole body shuddered. As if shaking off a bad memory. The owl launched itself into the air. Time to start over. The only sounds in the entire forest were the slow flap of wild wings and the pounding of Cadie’s heart.” I think many people would enjoy WAITING for the NIGHT SONG. I appreciate receiving my copy from BookishFirst and author Julie Carrick Dalton.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    There is no pausing while reading this story about two childhood friends with a dark shared secret and the impact that it makes on their adult lives.  I could not put this down once I started.  It is a slow build with Cadie who is a nature fanatic as a child and she developed into a career.  Now she is an entomologist and tracking a pine beetle that is destroying trees in Colorado and takes her back home to the forests of New Hampshire.  As she directs a clear cut to a forest near her hometown t There is no pausing while reading this story about two childhood friends with a dark shared secret and the impact that it makes on their adult lives.  I could not put this down once I started.  It is a slow build with Cadie who is a nature fanatic as a child and she developed into a career.  Now she is an entomologist and tracking a pine beetle that is destroying trees in Colorado and takes her back home to the forests of New Hampshire.  As she directs a clear cut to a forest near her hometown to prevent fire, she gets a text from her former BFF, Daniela.   The story is told in flashbacks to their childhood and what happened in that forest that will now come to light in devastating ways as they try to solve the mystery surrounding it.  I know, vague, but I really don't want to give away anything since it is so beautifully written.  Everything just flows perfectly and I really enjoyed this one.  It is well-paced and there are unnecessary words. 

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Netgalley ♥️ Cadie is getting samples for research but could get arrested for trespassing. The forest is at risk of a fire. There are studies of how a beetle is effecting a rare bird and causing fires. I liked cadies research . Daniela messages Cadie and a long forgotten night from childhood might come back to haunt her. I was hooked from the beginning. I liked reading about Cadies childhood with Daniela . Cadie wants to tell the truth about what happened with Daniela but it could cost her caree Netgalley ♥️ Cadie is getting samples for research but could get arrested for trespassing. The forest is at risk of a fire. There are studies of how a beetle is effecting a rare bird and causing fires. I liked cadies research . Daniela messages Cadie and a long forgotten night from childhood might come back to haunt her. I was hooked from the beginning. I liked reading about Cadies childhood with Daniela . Cadie wants to tell the truth about what happened with Daniela but it could cost her career. I liked the story of Garrett the young boy Daniela and Cadie met long ago. I liked how Garrett reappeared and tied to trauma of what happened. I loved the characters especially Cadie. I really like Sal.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer C. Rappole

    Do not miss this opportunity to be swept away by the engrossing story of Cadie. “Waiting for the Night Song” carries a true appreciation and respect for our environment and the people who carry it with them. If you are feeling a little more settled these days, and hunkering down at home more as the seasons change, YOU MUST ADD THIS BOOK TO YOUR LIST! I was fortunate to get an early copy and read the book in a day!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kasey LeBlanc

    After reading the preview for Julie Carrick Dalton's Waiting for the Night Song, I was so pleased I had won a copy because I needed to know what happened next! I've really struggled to focus on books these past 8 months or so, and so I was so pleased to find that this was a book that not only held my attention, but compelled me to keep reading. In a year that began with the wildfires in Australia and continued with the fires on the west coast of the US, (plus a sprinkle of murder hornets in the m After reading the preview for Julie Carrick Dalton's Waiting for the Night Song, I was so pleased I had won a copy because I needed to know what happened next! I've really struggled to focus on books these past 8 months or so, and so I was so pleased to find that this was a book that not only held my attention, but compelled me to keep reading. In a year that began with the wildfires in Australia and continued with the fires on the west coast of the US, (plus a sprinkle of murder hornets in the middle for good measure!), and in a November where it snows one weekend in New England and is 77 degrees the next, Julie's cli-fi book is a too timely reminder of what is at stake for our world if we don't take our changing environment seriously. But lest you think this book is only about the climate, there's truly so much more. Julie has created a wonderful cast of characters whose connections to one another, to their town and their woods and their waters, to their communities, and to the traumas they carry will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. So many times I wanted to stop and linger over a particularly gorgeous sentence or phrase, only to find myself pulled away by a plot that compelled me to keep reading. I especially loved the way that Julie captured the magic and wonder of childhood--best friends and secret pacts, long summer days exploring in the woods, the way that the books you read as a kid are some of the most formative tales you'll ever experience. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up when it is released in January 2021!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Mans McKenny

    A forester with a secret from her childhood— which can’t help but catch up with her. Cadie spend her youth running around in the woods with her friend Daniela, but after witnessing something terrible, everything in their lives changed. I loved the environmental themes in this book and the last fifty pages begged me to read straight through. An interesting debut!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

    QUICK TAKE: I saw a lot of comparisons of this book to WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, but ultimately this one fell a little flat for me. I had trouble investing in the central mystery and the relationship dynamics between the characters just wasn't strong enough to keep me motivated to turn pages. The author also tries to include some social justice issues (climate control) that also fell flat for me and ended up taking me out of the story. QUICK TAKE: I saw a lot of comparisons of this book to WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, but ultimately this one fell a little flat for me. I had trouble investing in the central mystery and the relationship dynamics between the characters just wasn't strong enough to keep me motivated to turn pages. The author also tries to include some social justice issues (climate control) that also fell flat for me and ended up taking me out of the story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    Dalton’s poignant and beautiful debut captivated me from the start. Alternating between the past and the present, Waiting for the Night Song follows Cadie Kessler, an entomologist and forestry researcher focused on studying the pine bark beetle in New Hampshire. Her goal is to prove that the beetle is present in the state and destroying pines similar to the devastation it wrought in California and Colorado. As the book opens, Cadie is drawn home to help a childhood friend confront the long-held Dalton’s poignant and beautiful debut captivated me from the start. Alternating between the past and the present, Waiting for the Night Song follows Cadie Kessler, an entomologist and forestry researcher focused on studying the pine bark beetle in New Hampshire. Her goal is to prove that the beetle is present in the state and destroying pines similar to the devastation it wrought in California and Colorado. As the book opens, Cadie is drawn home to help a childhood friend confront the long-held secret that the duo covered up several decades ago. Dalton creates a magnificent sense of place bringing the New Hampshire forest to life while tackling tough and highly relevant issues such as the pine bark beetle, climate change and racism. Waiting for the Night Song is a fabulous addition to the growing genre of climate-focused fiction. Want to hear more from Julie about this book? Listen to my podcast interview here: https://www.thoughtsfromapage.com/62. For more book reviews and book conversation, check out my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thoughtsfro....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Addison Armstrong

    I read this book in a single day. I was too enthralled to put it down! The author manages to create both an intriguing, fast-paced mystery and also a compelling call to action for environmental and social justice. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eve (Between The Bookends)

    I enjoyed this one a lot. It's been compared to Where the Crawdads Sing, a book that I thought was amazing, and I can see why people feel that way. It had the same atmospheric, lush richness that Crawdads had. However, this book fell just a little short of greatness for me. It tackles some very relevant and heavy topics (climate change, illegal immigration, racism), and I felt it got a little "preachy" at times. I also had a few issues with Daniela and her mother. They just rubbed me the wrong w I enjoyed this one a lot. It's been compared to Where the Crawdads Sing, a book that I thought was amazing, and I can see why people feel that way. It had the same atmospheric, lush richness that Crawdads had. However, this book fell just a little short of greatness for me. It tackles some very relevant and heavy topics (climate change, illegal immigration, racism), and I felt it got a little "preachy" at times. I also had a few issues with Daniela and her mother. They just rubbed me the wrong way, so it was hard for me to care 100% about their situation. That said, overall this was a fantastic read. Definitely worth your time and gets two strong thumbs up from yours truly. 👍👍

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Zapata

    Waiting for the Night Song is a singular, riveting portrait of persistence and friendship at the end of empire. Through tender prose and a thrilling story, Julie Carrick Dalton tracks the inescapable connectedness between inequity and the body politic, humankind and ecology, and hidden truths and memory. Dalton writes masterfully of an uncertain world that has already arrived.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Polly

    "That Summer" and "Present Day". Two threads of narrative timeline that we the reader follow as the dark events of That Summer threaten to expose themselves, with potentially devastating consequences for two estranged childhood friends, Cadie and Daniela. A dark secret from childhood emerging is a trope that I've read several times and was curious to see how uniquely it would play out in Waiting For The Night Song. The story also plays on the classic trope of a small community where tensions are "That Summer" and "Present Day". Two threads of narrative timeline that we the reader follow as the dark events of That Summer threaten to expose themselves, with potentially devastating consequences for two estranged childhood friends, Cadie and Daniela. A dark secret from childhood emerging is a trope that I've read several times and was curious to see how uniquely it would play out in Waiting For The Night Song. The story also plays on the classic trope of a small community where tensions are running high; in this case due to rising unemployment and racism. Alongside this is a strong b-plot about environmental science, and how the battle between science vs politics can play out. Parts of this felt a little forced and took me away slightly from the momentum of the overall plot, however the story told within felt important and poignant. These plots come together in a fairly predictable way, but still made for an interesting read. I loved the first half of the book. The "That Summer" chapters captured the element of childish whimsy perfectly, and the early twists were surprising and well-written. The descriptive writing about the forest settings in particular were beautiful, and showed Cadie's affinity with the woodlands perfectly. Unfortunately the second half fell slightly flat for me. The major reveal was very predictable, and as mentioned before, as was the way that the b-plot came into play in the story. The tensions between characters that were established throughout the story were also mostly all resolved in what felt like too neat of a fashion towards the end. A point I did note down too was that the friendship between Cadie and Daniela was written in a way with such chemistry and intimacy that the male romantic interest fell incredibly flat comparatively, for me. It was an engaging read though, and certain aspects of the writing are likely to remain a part of me. Just a bit of a shame that the second half of the book didn't quite live up to the potential of the first half. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lainey Cameron

    If you’re a nature fan, or just enjoy fabulous lyrical writing with scenery descriptions so vivid you can feel yourself right there in the forest, you don’t want to miss this one! Cadie Kesller, the main character, works as a forestry researcher, and her (and the author’s) passion for mother nature lights up the page. Cadie has spent decades trying to leave behind a traumatic incident from her childhood , subsequently shrouded in secrets, but at the start of the book, that secret is about to be e If you’re a nature fan, or just enjoy fabulous lyrical writing with scenery descriptions so vivid you can feel yourself right there in the forest, you don’t want to miss this one! Cadie Kesller, the main character, works as a forestry researcher, and her (and the author’s) passion for mother nature lights up the page. Cadie has spent decades trying to leave behind a traumatic incident from her childhood , subsequently shrouded in secrets, but at the start of the book, that secret is about to be exposed - and it’s colliding with a crucial career moment where she needs to fight for the future of her beloved forest. What can I say? This is an example where the book is even better than the (gorgeous) cover. I savored every page because I was in awe of the skilled writing. Add a dose of mystery, along with climate intrigue and I loved every page. The descriptions of the New Hampshire forests are startlingly good. You can feel the earth between your fingertips, the hard granite, the decay inside a tree. And pine for the forests and nature we are losing due to climate change. I’m normally a fast reader, but this was a novel I read slowly, because I relished it so much. Not surprising that this book is on so many 2021 best of lists- it's well deserved!

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