The gloaming is the hour when dawn or dusk works its spell, making all the world as purple as the Scottish highlands on a summer night. In Alice Elliott Dark's heart-catching title story, a loving mother shares this favorite time of day with her dying son, all the while realizing that for him it is already dark. "In the Gloaming" is populated by characters yearning for twilight moments, existing as they do in indeterminate emotional states not easily defined. Their hearts twist, making our own rush toward them. In "The Secret Spot," Helen dodges the knife of confession during a chance encounter with an old rival. In "Maniacs," two sisters unexpectedly see a man they have both loved. In "Dreadful Language," Frannie follows in her mother's footsteps by marrying for security rather than love.
In austerely beautiful prose, Dark lays bare the emotional core of her subjects with almost surgical precision. As they go about the business of living -- caring for ailing family members, spending a lonely, sleepless night in a hotel far from home, or reminiscing in an airport coffee shop -- they reveal the ache of adoration and devotion that so poignantly marks our inner lives.
This is a used copy in good condition with some minor general wear throughout including some light tears to the dust jacket.
By Alice Elliott Dark. Hardcover, 288 pages. Published by Simon & Schuster, 2000.