Set ten years in the future, Julia Glass’s Vigil Harbor is a gripping mystery and drama set against the quaint backdrop of a coastal New England village. When two strangers arrive in a town already reeling from the tumult of a slew of divorces and relentless natural disasters, it’s clear that something much bigger than a storm is brewing over Vigil Harbor. Glass seamlessly blends voices and plotlines into a compelling novel that confronts the realities of climate change while painting an intimate portrait of domestic unrest.
Glass, author of award-winning novels Three Junes and I See You Everywhere, joined author and Hogarth Books Editor in Chief David Ebershoff for an intriguing conversation on climate, personal upheaval, and mystery.
By Julia Glass
Published by Penguin Random House
When two unexpected visitors arrive in an insular coastal village, they threaten the equilibrium of a community already confronting climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals—a cast of unforgettable characters from the rich imagination of the National Book Award–winning, best-selling author of Three Junes.
A decade from now, in the historic town of Vigil Harbor, there is a rash of divorces among the yacht-club set, a marine biologist despairs at the state of the world, a spurned wife is bent on revenge, and the renowned architect Austin Kepner pursues a passion for building homes designed to withstand the escalating fury of relentless storms. Austin’s stepson, Brecht, has dropped out of college in New York and returned home after narrowly escaping one of the terrorist acts that, like hurricanes, have become increasingly common.
Then two strangers arrive: a stranded traveler with subversive charms and a widow seeking clues about a past lover with ties to Austin—a woman who may have been more than merely human. These strangers and their hidden motives come together unexpectedly in an incident that endangers lives—including Brecht’s—with dramatic repercussions for the entire town.
Vigil Harbor reveals Julia Glass in all her virtuosity, braiding multiple voices and dazzling strands of plot into a story where mortal longings and fears intersect with immortal mysteries of the deep as well as of the heart.
Julia Glass is the author of six previous books of fiction, including the best-selling Three Junes, winner of the National Book Award, and I See You Everywhere, winner of Binghamton University’s John Gardner Fiction Book Award. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass is a Senior Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She lives with her family north of Boston.
Photo Credit: Sally Gall