Family connections and buried secrets come to life in Vermont writer's new work

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MANCHESTER — Vermont writer Miciah Bay Gault, author of "Goodnight Stranger," will present her new novel of literary suspense, Saturday, August 10, at 6 p.m., at Northshire Bookstore.

The story follows a brother and sister in their late 20s, still living together in the home where they grew up on Wolf Island and the magnetic stranger who comes to town and infiltrates their lives, leading them to uncover buried secrets that make them rethink how well they knew their late parents.

A compulsive debut of literary suspense, "Goodnight Stranger" follows one young woman held captive by her past and the stranger whose arrival unearths long-buried family secrets.

Lydia and Lucas Moore's small world on Wolf Island is shaken up when a stranger enters it. Lydia, the responsible sister, has cared for her pathologically shy brother, Lucas, ever since their mom's death a decade before.

They live together, comfortable yet confined, in their family house by the sea, shadowed by events from their childhood.

When Lydia sees the stranger step off the ferry, she feels an immediate connection to him.

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Lucas is convinced the man, Cole Anthony, is the reincarnation of their baby brother, who died when they were young.

Cole knows their mannerisms and their home, as well as the topography of the island.

Though Lydia is doubtful, she can't deny she is drawn to his magnetism, his energy, and his warmth. To discover the truth about Cole, Lydia must finally face her anxiety about leaving the island and summon the strength to challenge Cole's grip on her family's past and her brother. "Goodnight Stranger," is a story of choices and regrets, courage and loneliness, and the ways we hold on to those we love.

Gault grew up on Sanibel Island, Cape Cod. A graduate of the Syracuse Master's in Fine Arts program, she teaches in the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the coordinator of the Vermont Book Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in "Tin House," "The Sun," "The Southern Review," "The Literary Review," and the anthology, "Contemporary Vermont Fiction." She is also the recipient of a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant.

Gault was the editor of the literary journal, "Hunger Mountain," for nine years.

Before that, she was a high school English teacher, a swing dance instructor, a barista and a nanny. Gault lives in Montpelier, with her husband and three children.


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