“One of the best literary thrillers you’ll read this year."
“The emotional reactions of Gault’s winning cast of characters lend her ghost story—with its family secrets and unexpected violence—a rare psychological depth."
“Quietly chilling…A suspenseful meditation on the many ways in which the past, consciously or not, shapes the present, the novel flirts with fantasy but ultimately stays grounded in the elemental realities of wind, tides, and the eroding foundations of memory.”
"Somewhere the ghosts of Shirley Jackson and the Henry James of The Turn of the Screw are smiling, because a wildly talented young writer has joined their lineage. What a taut, keenly intelligent, and provocative debut Goodnight Stranger is. Deeply compelling and enjoyable, suffused with a genuinely thrilling new mode of literary energy."
—George Saunders, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo
"Miciah Bay Gault is one of the most naturally talented writers I've ever read, and Goodnight Stranger is a testament to the capacious scope of her talent. This book has the exceptionally rare quality of being at once lyrical and a page-turner, finely-wrought and hot with speed. I'd say it reminds me of Karen Russell, Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn and Marilynne Robinson all once, but all it really reminds me of its own remarkable self. This is a monster debut."
— Daniel Torday, acclaimed author of The Last Flight of Poxl West and Boomer1
"I couldn't put this book down. Miciah Bay Gault casts a spell with every sentence she writes, and in Goodnight Stranger, that vivid, mysterious and haunting spell just keeps unfurling. Lydia, her brother, and the island itself pulled me into their web—a land of saltwater, secrets, isolation and desire—and didn't let go, not until long after I'd turned the last page."
— Robin MacArthur, author of Heart Spring Mountain and Half Wild
"Miciah Gault has written a perfect novel. It has a story as propulsive as a thriller, characters rich and vivid enough that I will be haunted by them for years, and prose so immaculate that every sentence gleams. Goodnight Stranger captivated me from its first page to its last. Here is a debut that instantly places its author in the realm of Donna Tartt and Celeste Ng—books you can't put down that are true works of art."
— Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me
"Goodnight Stranger is an uncanny, propulsive novel in which even the most stable-seeming ground moves and shifts like water does. I read with my heart in my throat."
– Clare Beams, author of We Show What We Have Learned
"Stunning debut...deft and sly."
—Julianna Baggott, author of Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders
"Goodnight Stranger unfolds close to the bone, deep in the gut, right on the edge of every nerve. It seeps into you, takes you over with its dark suspense and its oh so relatable concerns. Bravo to Miciah Bay Gault on a brilliant look at loss, at family, at identity, and at all the many loves we feel."
— Robin Black, author of Life Drawing
A compulsive debut of literary suspense, Goodnight Stranger, tells the story of Lydia Moore, a young woman caught between her desire for the future and the tragedy of her past, and the love she has for her brother and the stranger that drives them apart.
Lydia and Lucas Moore are in their late twenties when the stranger enters their small world on Wolf Island. Lydia is the responsible sister, taking care of the pathologically shy Lucas ever since their mom passed a decade before. They live together in the large family house by the sea and are both comforted and confined by their insular lives, heavily shadowed by events from their childhood and the loss of their baby brother, Colin, who was their triplet.
When Lydia sees the stranger step off the ferry, she feels an immediate connection with him. Later, when Lucas meets him, Lucas is convinced this man is the reincarnate of Colin. How else could he be so familiar with their mannerisms, their habits, the topography of the island? Even his name, Cole, is eerily like Colin’s. Lydia is suspicious, yet she can’t deny his magnetism, his energy and warmth. Who is this Cole Anthony, and what is he after? To find out, Lydia must uncover sinister truths about her family, and finally face her anxiety about leaving the island and her fear of losing her closeness with her brother. Goodnight Stranger is a spellbinding read that explores both the beautiful and transcendent ways it means to be family.