By Nightfall, tells the story of Peter and Rebecca Harris, a middle-age Manhattan couple, married twenty-one years, living a comfortable life in an upscale SoHo loft. The couple has a strained relationship with their only child, a daughter, who has dropped out of college, and works as a bartender. Early on the reader knows that an unexpected guest,who is coming for a visit is going to cause chaos for the Harris family. In this case, it is Rebecca's much younger brother Ethan Taylor, known as Mizzy for "mistake", who will be staying for a while at the couple's home. In fact, the first two sentences of this book give you the head's up -- trouble is coming "The Mistake is coming to stay for a while. Are you mad about Mizzy? Rebecca says."
Mizzy is some twenty years younger than Rebecca, and has lost his way in life. He's smart, yet he left Yale without a degree, he has been to drug rehab, traveled to Japan and spent time meditating with monks while he was there, and now he is hoping to get involved in the arts. He's good looking, has had numerous flings with both males and females, and now he just needs to feel the right connection to find some meaning in his somewhat empty life.
The story itself is more about Peter, a successful NYC art gallery owner. Peter is a man who knows what he wants, at least in art, and goes after it. He is also a man who is in the midst of a mid-life crisis. In many ways the free-spirited Mizzy reminds Peter of the things he loved most about his wife when they first met. Peter is also surprised that Mizzy has stirred feelings of a sexual nature in him, and for the remainder of the story Peter becomes somewhat infatuated with his uninhibited brother-in-law Mizzy.
Cunningham has created an intricate and addictive story that has the reader anxiously wanting to find out more. The story is told in the third person, as Peter sees things. It's one man's look at life: where he's been, what he's done, and what is left. The audio book was enjoyable and was read by Hugh Dancy. Although this story is a bit different from some of Cunningham's earlier books: The Hours; A Home at the End of the World; and Specimen Days, I think fans of this author will be happy they took the time to read this one. RECOMMENDED
RATING - 4/5 stars