The World to Come by Dara Horn
The World to Come – A novel by Dara Horn. Copyright (c) 2006 by Dara Horn. Published by W.W. Horton & Company, New York, NY and London, U.K. 310 pp. – Fiction Award for best young American novelist. Here’s an excerpt:
“There is a moment that ahs happened over and over again, in every place children have ever slept, on every dark night for the past ten thousand years, that almost everyone who was once a child will forever remember. It happens when you are being tucked into bed, on a dark and frightening night when the sounds of the nighttime outside are being drowned out only by the far more frightening sounds in your head. You have already gone to bed, have tried to go to bed, but because of whatever sounds you hear in your head you have failed to go to bed, and someone much older than you, someone so old that you cannot even imagine yourself ever becoming that old, has come to sit beside you and make sure you fall asleep. But the moment that everyone who was once a child will remember is not the story the unfathomable old person tells you, or the lullaby he sings for you, but the moment right after the story or song has ended. You are lying there with your eyes closed, not sleeping just yet, but noticing that the sounds inside your head seem to have vanished, and you know, through closed eyes, that the person beside you thinks you are asleep and is simply watching you. In that fraction of an instant between when that persaon stops singing and when that person decides to rise from the bed and disappear — a tiny rehearsal, though you do not yet know it, of what will eventually happen for good — time holds still, and you can feel, through your closed eyes, how that person, watching your still, small face in the darkness, has suddenly realized that you are the reason his life matters.” p. 118.