“Jeffrey Lent’s A Slant of Light is a brilliant novel with a powerful narrative. Lent is a premier stylist in the current American novel.”
“Jeffrey Lent has done for Western New York what Faulkner did for North Mississippi: render a time and landscape with such fidelity that story and place are inextricably bound. A Slant of Light is a marvelous book by one of America’s very best novelists.”
--Ron Rash, author of Serena
Kirkus [starred review]
Another keening, moving novel steeped in American history and the rhythms of country life from Lent. Questions of faith, justice and forgiveness are palpable and pressing for... the trio whose consciousnesses dominate the narrative, although Lent gently sketches... women restless with their allotted roles. His prose is as magnificent as ever, capturing the light in a summer sky or the pain in a bereaved heart with equal clarity and beauty. The novel isn't so much resolved as halted by a closing scene that makes it clear none... has reached the ends of their journeys. More fine work from a writer who stirs both the head and the heart with powerful grace.
Library Journal (starred review)
After four years of bloodshed, Civil War veteran Malcolm Hopeton returns home to upstate New York where he discovers that his farm has been abandoned and looted. His wife has run off with the hired man, but when they return to confront him, in minutes they're dead. From then on, the story is about Malcolm's impending trial. However, the latest from Lent (After You've Gone) is...a thoughtful, even pensive exploration of why the killings happened. The narrative is told slowly, laid out against the textures of a world that no longer exists: fields, crops, farm animals, hard work in an unchanging cycle as the year moves along its path. Many of Malcolm's neighbors are followers of a charismatic preacher, now deceased: the fervent religiosity of the Second Great Awakening of the mid-19th century undergirds much of the discussion of Malcolm's crime. It's a virtue of this lovely book that its pace is unhurried. Lent pays special attention to the matters most important to that particular time and place. For lovers of historical fiction or simply those who appreciate strong writing.
Photo Credit: Esther Haynes Lent