Then Came the Evening
US Bloomsbury Publishing (December 2009, 262 pages)
UK Bloomsbury Publishing
A riveting, psychologically rich family drama set in the American West, from a writer who has been compared to Cormac McCarthy.
Bandy Dorner, home from Vietnam, awakes with his car mired in a canal, his cabin reduced to ashes, and his pregnant wife preparing to leave town with her lover. Within moments, a cop lies bleeding on the road.
Eighteen years later, Bandy is released from prison. His parents are gone, but on the derelict family ranch, Bandy faces a different reunion. Tracy, his now teenaged son, has come to claim the father he’s never known. Iona, Bandy’s ex-wife, has returned on the heels of her son. All three are damaged, hardened, haunted. But warily, desperately, they move in a slow dance around each other, trying to piece back together a family that never was; trying to discover if they belong together at all.
With unflinching honesty and restrained beauty, Brian Hart explores the possibilities and limitations of his characters as they struggle toward a shared future. Like a traditional Greek tragedy, suffused with the mud, ice, and rock of the raw Idaho landscape, Then Came the Evening is tautly plotted and emotionally complex—a stunning debut.