On the Night Plain by J. Robert Lennon
A Novel

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A brave, beautifully written story about a man who reluctantly accepts his birthright in a hard-luck Montana sheep-ranching family, from the critically acclaimed author of The Light of Falling Stars.

Hoping to make a new life for himself after World War II and to escape the guilt he feels over the death of a brother who fought and died in his stead, Grant Person abandons his family's ranch in Montana for a fishing boat on the Atlantic. But the death of his mother three years later draws him back to the nearly deserted ranch. His father has mysteriously disappeared, and his only remaining brother, Max, a lifelong rival, takes off the day Grant returns, leaving Grant with a couple of hired hands, a sickly flock, and a pile of debt. Max comes home a year later, bringing with him a young woman named Sophia. As Grant falls in love with Sophia, he contemplates the possibility of a less isolated future. But Sophia is only happiness enough for one brother.

With unflinching honesty, J. Robert Lennon tackles the complications of love, loss, and work; loyalty to family, the land, and one's own desires; and the nature of solitude. Showing us the beauty of a bleak place, he redefines the notion of a life worth living.

About J. Robert Lennon

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J. Robert Lennon is the author of The Light of Falling Stars and The Funnies. He lives with his wife and children in Ithaca, New York.
Published January 1, 2001 by Henry Holt & Co.. 246 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On the Night Plain

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Grant Person leaves home shortly after WWII, hoping to escape the guilt he feels about the dead brother who went to war in his place.

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Entertainment Weekly

This is no tale of redemption -- rather, it is the story of a family who, as Lennon writes, ''live a few scant miles from the heart of life, on its chill periphery'' -- and the author's exquisitely controlled, removed tone makes the brutality of Person's life all the more haunting.

Aug 10 2001 | Read Full Review of On the Night Plain: A Novel

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