The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
A Novel

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Banner herself, trained in the art of narrative, demonstrates how powerful storytelling can be. In her hands such an art needs no advocacy.
-National Post arts


A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy—combining the romance of Beautiful Ruins with the magical tapestry of works by Isabel Allende.
Castellamare is an island far enough away from the mainland to be forgotten, but not far enough to escape from the world’s troubles. At the center of the island’s life is a café draped with bougainvillea called the House at the Edge of Night, where the community gathers to gossip and talk. Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, finds his destiny on the island with his beautiful wife, Pina, whose fierce intelligence, grace, and unwavering love guide her every move. An indiscretion tests their marriage, and their children—three sons and an inquisitive daughter—grow up and struggle with both humanity’s cruelty and its capacity for love and mercy.
Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare: a cruel count and his bewitching wife, a priest who loves scandal, a prisoner of war turned poet, an outcast girl who becomes a pillar of strength, a wounded English soldier who emerges from the sea. The people of Castellamare are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and their deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness.
Catherine Banner has written an enthralling, character-rich novel, epic in scope but intimate in feeling. At times, the island itself seems alive, a mythical place where the earth heaves with stories—and this magical novel takes you there.

Praise for The House at the Edge of Night
“A perfect summer read, made for those balmy evenings on your porch with a glass of wine. . . . The story brims with heart, dreamy folk tales and beautifully written passages about the people who call the island home. . . . Just don’t be surprised if you keep turning the pages long into the night, spellbound by its magic.”—The Denver Post

“A gorgeous, sweeping story set over four generations . . . The novel calls to mind Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Beautiful Ruins. It is not just the protagonists and their struggles that make Banner’s narrative incredible, but also the smaller, secondary characters that add color and detail, and the intricately described island of Castellamare itself.”—Interview

“Banner’s four-generation saga is set on an island near Sicily, where myths of saints get served up with limoncello as the Esposito family’s bar. As the captivating characters are challenged by war, financial crisis and heartbreak, their bonds hold them together. The island is fictional, but consider this dreamy summer read your passport.”—People

“Catherine Banner’s latest is a masterful piece of storytelling, infused with the miraculous (both in stories and in everyday life) while maintaining the difficult balance between the explainable versus the inexplicable. Through the life of a single man—a man not noteworthy in the eyes of the world—and his family, Banner touches on such broad themes as community and the way global events play out in individual lives and larger society. And just as the broader themes affect the more personal ones, Banner’s style echoes the book’s content: The House at the Edge of Night is captivating and beautifully rendered.”—Sara Gruen, author of At the Water’s Edge

From the Hardcover edition.

About Catherine Banner

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Catherine Banner began writing The Eyes of a King when she was 14 years old. And now, at age 18, she’s busy at work on the next two books in the trilogy. She lives in England.From the Hardcover edition.
Published July 12, 2016 by Random House. 432 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The House at the Edge of Night
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0


on Mar 30 2016

This knockout adult debut by young British author Banner (she started writing teen novels at age 14) is guaranteed to draw comparisons to Beautiful Ruins, Cutting for Stone, and The House of the Spirits, whisking us away to a world grounded in both reality and myth, filled with marvelously peculiar characters, plotted on a grand scale.

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Publishers Weekly

on Aug 13 2016

Her story has a touch of magical realism that filters down from the island’s many legends, collected in a book within the book by Amedeo. Banner deftly touches on weightier themes while weaving an enchanting narrative, the events of which extend to the present.

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Above average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Jul 20 2016

Banner animates the familiar: Like pictures of a childhood summer, or a half-forgotten smell, this book is sweet and heady with nostalgia; not radical, maybe, but comforting as a quilt.

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National Post arts

Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Jul 13 2016

Banner herself, trained in the art of narrative, demonstrates how powerful storytelling can be. In her hands such an art needs no advocacy.

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