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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review - Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak

Title: Wait Until Twilight

Author: Sang Pak

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Buy Wait Until Twilight Here!

Reviewed by: Brynna Curry

Rating: You Gotta Read

A hauntingly strange and powerfully affecting debut novel that heralds the arrival of a unique and captivating literary voice, Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex darkness infecting a damaged psyche in a small Southern town.

Not long after his own mother's death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies—whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing brother is a constant threat—take control of Samuel's every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children. But to do so, he must rein in his darkest impulses as he undergoes a profound transformation from motherless boy to self-defined man—because sometimes the most terrible monsters are those that live inside us all.-- courtesy of Harper Collins

One year after his mother's death, Samuel Polk, a sixteen year old Georgian teenager, seeks an unusual subject for his art class video project. What he finds will rock him and all he knows to the core. A monstrously deformed set of triplets seem to seep into his mind and everyday life until he feels compelled to return to the shack where they are kept in hiding, thus setting in motion a chain of events that will unravel the secret of the "monster babies" and their existence. Sometimes, the worst demons of all are the ones inside ourselves.

After I finished reading this dark coming of age book, I wasn't sure what I would say. I felt sorry for Samuel at first because of his loss, but as he continued to tell his story I found myself feeling a bevy of mixed emotions. Pity, fear, disgust and admiration for the young man's triumph.

Wait Until Twilight touches on so many controversial and disturbing subjects, youth violence, premarital sex, drugs, alchohol use. Instead of ignoring these topics the author deftly acknowledges them in the darkest light, preferring to let Samuel experience and deal with the consequences of his actions.

Mr. Pak's background in pyschology is evident throughout the book yet subtle. He has an unusual voice that commands attention. Set in a small Georgia town, the imagery hit a little too close to home. As a mother to a fifteen year old son this book made me think on all sorts of levels and I wondered why he chose to strike back on his own, instead of seek his father or his brother's aide and advice when both seemed so supportive. Wait Until Twilight is a powerful debut novel everyone should read at least once.

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