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A Slant of Light

A Slant of Light The powerful new work from one of our greatest historical novelists A Slant of Light deals with profoundly seminal American moments the end of the Civil War the religious freedom that was manifested

  • Title: A Slant of Light
  • Author: Jeffrey Lent
  • ISBN: 9781620404966
  • Page: 438
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The powerful new work from one of our greatest historical novelists, A Slant of Light deals with profoundly seminal American moments the end of the Civil War, the religious freedom that was manifested in the Second Great Awakening, the last gasps of the Jeffersonian ideal of American yeomanry, the shadow on the horizon of the Industrial Revolution.At the heart of the noveThe powerful new work from one of our greatest historical novelists, A Slant of Light deals with profoundly seminal American moments the end of the Civil War, the religious freedom that was manifested in the Second Great Awakening, the last gasps of the Jeffersonian ideal of American yeomanry, the shadow on the horizon of the Industrial Revolution.At the heart of the novel are two men one who has committed a horrific act, but is slowly revealed to be a man of honor and integrity the other, a seemingly righteous man of great spiritual dedication, whose lust for power within his community will eventually blind him to his own actions These two men are surrounded by a varied host of others, many damaged but stronger for it a veteran profoundly changed by war, a father tormented by the loss of his daughter, a Seneca man powerful than others realize, a boy forced too early to become a man And in this male world, women, too, are assuming new strength through the roles they take on, and the loves they allow themselves.A Slant of Light is a novel of lust and love, of loss and war, of prophets and followers, of theft and revenge, in an American moment where a seemingly golden age has been shattered It is a novel about how people make sense of such things, and how they remake their lives.

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      Published :2019-01-03T08:03:14+00:00

    1 thought on “A Slant of Light

    1. Jeffrey Lent is an extraordinary writer. Sometimes his sentences are long and I find I have to reread them . At some point, the writing just flows but I stop and reread not because the sentence is a little long to grasp but because I choose to - the descriptions are perfection . I just have to include a couple of the them here so you know what I mean about his gorgeous language."The corn was high, pressing toward the roadsides, the oats nearly ripe, the slender stalks with their fragile seed cas [...]

    2. When Malcolm Hopeton returns to his farm in upstate New York, after fighting in the Civil War, he find most of his possessions and his wife gone. This novel opens with a act of violence and as a reader I thought I knew what was going to happen, a bad man would be caught and hanged. Wrong, the lines are not so clear. There is so much more to the story despite presumptions to the contrary and that is the genius of this novel and this author. Through a young man who had worked on his farm for many [...]

    3. This book was amazing. Jeffrey Lent is amazing. How have I not read any of his books before? It took me 4 days to read this novel, and I feel as though I've lived with these characters for years. I've worked in their fields during harvest time, eaten at their table, trudged dusty miles on foot to get where I needed to go. Handled what life gave me in between chores and milking cows and taking care of livestock, because even in times of tragedy, these things had to be done.There are evil men here [...]

    4. I truly dislike rating books so low, but alas, I could barely trudge through this one. I felt like it could have been written so much better and pulled so much harder to accomplish what the author set out to do. In reality, I felt the author struggled with focus and I ended up forcing myself to finish this one.Some chapters were 1 page, others were 30 pages. This is a reading pet peeve for me. I abhor long chapters, but especially when chapters are inconsistent. Writing was way too wordy for my [...]

    5. Some great novels are painterly, and we sink into them like a warm bath, lost in a wholly different time and place. Others are hair-on-fire page-turners that leave us unable to do one single thing until the book is done. Lent has managed to combine both kinds into one brilliant work, creating tangible characters and a setting that is nearly palpable as well. My thanks to Bloomsbury Publishers and Net Galley for the DRC. The book will be released in early April 2015.The novel opens with a scene o [...]

    6. When I finished A Slant of Light, I felt like I do when I have walked in the high peaks of New Hampshire, above the trees where the landscape is mystical and brings thoughts of eternity. For days afterward the clouds and crags jump unbidden to mind. As I write this review, I know the incantatory language in A Slant of Light will resonate inside me for a good while. It cast a spell over me from the first page to the last. I know of only one other writer who has created this kind of language, a la [...]

    7. The beginning was fantastic. I was immediately transfixed by the vivid scenes and felt my heart beating several times to such an extent where I thought this would be a 5 star book. But somewhere about the middle the plot took a detour and I started losing my focus and just never got back on track. By the end I was skimming paragraphs and looking forward to be finished. It felt like a quick slide down the rating scale.Aspects that bothered me:1) There was not a clear distinction between "present- [...]

    8. Oh Jeffrey Lent, I think this is where we part ways. Ever since I read Lent's first book, over 10 years ago, I've looked forward to reading new works from him. His second book, Lost Nation, blew my mind. But ever since then, I've struggled to connect with his writing, to the point where I couldn't even finish his last book.Still, when I saw this one on Netgalley, I hit that request button immediately, because he earned so much good will from me for those first two, wonderful books. But unfortuna [...]

    9. I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.One of my favorite places to visit is The Finger Lakes region in New York so I was thrilled to find an historical fiction novel that is set in this beautiful place. Malcolm Hopeton moves from New Hampshire with his elderly grandfather and buys a plot of land to farm near Seneca Lake. Malcolm toils from dawn to dusk for years in order to yield a fertile bounty from his land and he is very successful. He hires a young boy named Amos Wheeler as [...]

    10. With a poetic wisdom, “The Slant of Light” shares the lives of 3 men caught in a tragic tragedy. Each man seeking to do the “right thing” and that a justice will be served. The setting done after the civil war, in a Friend community, you are brought back to a different time and place. Where work was hard and the will of a man was challenged. The 3 women protagonists were just as impressive in the challenges that they faced with their male counterparts. The prose is one that each reader w [...]

    11. Lent at his bestAlmost anyone can write a story but not everyone can tell a story.Jeffrey Lent can Tell a story. He can tell a story as if you were around a campfire and you leaned forward so as not miss a word, a description or a weaving of characters. He takes a character and builds he/she from the ground up so you know that person, who he/she is, where they came from, what they think and why. Then when the characters are built he weaves them together slowly and with such an amazing wealth of [...]

    12. This was impressive. The beginning was a total knock-down. More than any prose of recent memory this seems to hit a style that superbly fits the era and context. It's intensely physical. But moreover, IMHO, it is at core a man's book with a man's strong identity and "honor" sense. A warrior book. It's war's legacy at a raw and vibrantly alive emotional level. The forgetting? Not so much.Jeffrey Lent is a talent. These people were so real, and so quickly. That's an immense writing skill, and so c [...]

    13. I am always sorry to close a Jeffrey Lent book. I enjoy reading the words slow and letting them work their magic. You can smell the farm smells, feel the air, see the tree leaves move gracefully.His prose envelops you. It is from another era and I lone to be back there. It is not the Tale, but the telling of the Tale, the journey in words it takes you on. I immerse myself in Lent's prose. Nothing to do know but go back to In The Fall. . .

    14. The story of some tragic murders and their effect on the people left behind, set in mid 19th century upstate New York. Much of the verbiage is an almost erotic paean to farm fecundity with detailed and rich descriptions of livestock, the harvest, old farm equipment,manymeals, and occasional D.H.Lawrence-like sexual discovery. It seems at times to be a battle between Rabelaisian naturalism and the plot's dour elements – human self-interest and its pal, religion. Strangely, the murders themselve [...]

    15. Jeffrey Lent’s A Slant of Light features the life and death issues so closely associated with his work, and in this case an oblique approach to resolving the central conflict. These aspects of Mr. Lent’s latest novel don’t necessarily separate it from previous brilliant efforts like In the Fall and Lost Nation, not at all - but they reinforce and add depth to his already stunning body of work. A Slant of Light uses a device not often found in previous Lent novels: he uses a focused image t [...]

    16. I absolutely loved this book and now have all of the previous books by Jeffrey Lent on my must-be-read list. This one is not a light read and it’s not a fast read but it is definitely an absorbing read. The author has a deep understanding of the human heart and knows how to portray that understanding with words. He’s created a literary work of art with this book.Malcolm Hopeton is a soldier in the Civil War who spends four years fighting what he perceives to be the evil that has pervaded the [...]

    17. I’ve now read two Jeffrey Lent books, (After You’ve Gone) and I can confidently say he is a fantastic writer. His books are luscious with full, painterly, impressionistic descriptions and his stories are spare and stark. The contrast is masterful. I imagine A Slant of Light might frustrate some readers because the story really focuses on events leading up to a trial for a man’s life, yet we never do get a full resolve. That didn’t matter to me because Lent has given us enough information [...]

    18. From the harsh opening scene, the reader might not realize that A Slant of Light offers beautifully detailed descriptions of the natural world and thoughtful characters striving to be true and moral. The richness of the prose and the attention to everything "Outside" reminded me of Cold Mountain. When I discovered another character, besides the Outside, in the honor and ritual of Labor, I was really hooked. The tasks in the field, the dairy, or the kitchen all offer a focus and value, when littl [...]

    19. This book is of a literary nature, set in upstate New York (where I grew up)after the Civil War. The story starts off quickly with a violent act and then moves slowly, with abundant character examination and descriptive passages. It's a study of morality and an examination of what's the right thing to do in a complex situation. I liked the setting, with references to landmarks that were familiar to me. The descriptions of the mundane details and endless labors of farm life were achingly similar [...]

    20. I have all of Mr. Lent's books and what makes A Slant of Light,like some of his other novels so special is that he is able through his descriptive prose make me feel like I am actually in Western NY and living in the post Civil War era. His character development is so detailed that by the end of the book you know each person intimately and have a vested interest in their lives. Finally, I like that he leaves certain parts of the story unresolved so you as a reader can form your own opinion. His [...]

    21. There was quiet a bit to like about this book. It's a rather old-fashioned story, both in the 19th century farmland setting, and the general tale of small town murder/love/secrets. The writing was fascinating, the story was good enough to keep me engaged, and I really enjoyed most of the characters. The story is still modern in that not all of the plot strands were tied off, but I thought it was a great story overall.

    22. Would rate some of this book five stars, but the author lost me at some points with his dialog and wordiness.

    23. His writing is beautiful, but the story dragged on a bit for me. But I would still read anything he wrote.

    24. Jeffrey Lent's novel is a wonderful combination of finely crafted writing, a great story line and a captivating historical setting.Set in the Finger Lakes of western New York just after the Civil War, we get to see glimpses of farm life amid the region's many radical religious movements.We see the struggles of returning veterans, the rapidly changing times and the onset of the mechanical age.The inter-personal relationships, the relationships with the land and the changes in both are brilliant. [...]

    25. Lent gives us three male protagonists, Malcolm, Harlan, and August, all good men, each of whom gives a narrow view of the villain, Amos. Often Lent begins a new chapter with the simple pronoun "he," teasing the reader for just a moment until the character's identity becomes clear and the story continues to unwind as each man struggles to know and do what is right. Set in an area formerly led by a religious leader of uncommon influence, the novel investigates the meaning of such influence on beli [...]

    26. Jeffrey Lent's writing style is incredibly beautiful. His use of language in this book must more closely resemble the language of the time period in which the book is set than it does today's language. And his description of the place is so vivid that one can almost feel oneself in the pages and yet make the story move slowly. That slowness is necessary for the way he tells the tale but frustrating none the less.The story is set in the year immediately following the Civil War but the many flashb [...]

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