We Shall Not All Sleep by Estep Nagy

We Shall Not All Sleep

"An utterly compelling novel from a brilliant new voice." --M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between OceansFor generations they've shared the small Maine island of Seven, but the Hillsingers and the Quicks have always kept apart, even since before Jim Hillsinger and Billy Quick married sisters. When Jim is ousted from the CIA under suspicion of treason, he begins to suspect that he has been betrayed--by his brother-in-law, Billy, and also by his...

Details We Shall Not All Sleep

TitleWe Shall Not All Sleep
Release DateJun 19th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction

Reviews We Shall Not All Sleep

  • Elyse
    The ocean salt-air smells of Maine are worth remembering.....John was coming to Seven Island from New York after receiving an invitation by Billy Quick, his old friend from Princeton, whom he had not seen for fifteen years when they were trying to repair their damaged friendship. Billy offered John a trip to Seven with the intention of spiritual reconciliation of sorts. After his flight, John met at the boat dock, where the Island manager, Cyrus,...
  • Taryn
    When the Heron landed on the Seven dock and the lines were down, he stepped carefully out of the boat. Majestic cliffs rose up behind him. Birds called. A flock of sheep tumbled down the hill, and the smell of cut grass and smoke ran alongside the ethereal salt. The sun was hot and the wind cool. He had never, in all his life, been anywhere so beautiful. 1964: Seven Island has been inhabited by the Hillsinger and Quick families for centuries. Eac...
  • Karen
    Well, this just wasn't a book for me. I liked the setting on the Seven Islands, but there were too many story lines going on in the book. There were some parts that I really liked, but then the old history of these folks got thrown in and to me, it took away from the story. Too much detail.I would however like to thank Netgalleyand Bloomsbury USA for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.
  • Marie
    I thought this book was quite brilliant, very literary, and highly intriguing. It takes place over a few days, however, there are flashbacks to earlier times such that the reader gets a much longer and larger view into the lives of the characters.The setting is July 1964 during the era of McCarthyism on Seven Island in northern Maine. Seven is a fictional island home to two very wealthy families whose history is interconnected dating back to the ...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This book seems to be two disparate stories with hints of a third, and my main complaint is that they just don't really seem to fit together. I was interested in all of them individually but felt I had the same experience as a reader that I do when I simultaneously read multiple books. One story is that of Russian spies and the witchhunt that went on in the 1950s and 1960s. One of the characters, Hannah, is accused of Communist ties and ends up t...
  • Michael X. Palmer
    We Shall Not All Sleep is the story of two tangled, often-competitive families who share Seven Island off the coast of Maine. The setting, 1964 New England, evokes something akin the Kennedy family. These are two families struggling with the burden of expectation that comes from privilege. Those pressures manifest themselves in any number of ways, from infidelity to how you raise your children. Catta Hillsinger, the son of Jim and Lila, is forced...
  • Pamela
    I tried, but I just could not connect to these people or this story. Too many plot lines added I think, to the dissatisfaction of this. I liked moments in the story, but there were not enough of them to make me give this a better review. I do not think I'll be reading any more by this author.**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
  • Bandit
    This novel looked promising, but looks can be deceiving. It's certainly ambitious, but the best way I can describe it is that it concentrated so much on being literary, it forgot to be good. The writing in itself is strong, but the narrative doesn't work. The layers aren't crafted precisely, so it meanders, obfuscates itself, confuses. Some of the 1960s flashbacks are quite good, but the story is all over the place, so much so that it's impossibl...
  • FJain
    I recently read an arc of WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP, and I was blown away. It is the kind of book I am always looking for, but never find: lovely sentences, expertly crafted small moments, excellent interior dialogue, a compelling setting, impressively researched historical details, and a tight dramatic tension throughout the piece. Lately it seems that all books that are recommended to me have gut-wrenching details that compel the recommendation. I...
  • Nancy
    In 1965 two families, the Quicks and the Hillsingers, gather on an idyllic Maine island. They are preparing for Migration Day when the sheep are gathered and transported to the rich clover fields of a neighboring island, a time of feasting and celebration.Seven Island and its archipelago of islands have belonged to the families for seven generations; their ancestors had made their fortunes as privateers. The Blackwell sisters Lila and Hannah marr...
  • Roman Clodia
    Their house was not a place of safety, as she had thought. It was a coliseum.This is a hard one to rate and my final decision of 3-stars doesn't really do justice to all the good stuff in this book - Nagy's lyrical writing, the sense that these characters have full and hidden lives to which we are not given access - but by the end I was left feeling at a loss as to how the various strands are supposed to coalesce and for me (possibly my fault) th...
  • Hafjell
    An astonishing first novel from Nagy. This has all the hallmarks of a classic: controlled, beautiful language; bubbling pacing; and a narrative that pulls the reader from page to page. The climactic scenes were so gripping that I lost the normal reader's emotional distance from the work--I felt like a consumed movie-goer inadvertently shouting warnings to the characters on the screen. A lovely story perfectly told. Bravo.
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com..."While sharing nothing else, lila thought, this man and her husband both spoke from a very hot core of certainty." In We Shall Not All Sleep, there are two houses on the Seven Island- one for the Hillsingers one for the Quicks' and the two are rooted in each other. Despite sharing the island and marrying wealthy sisters, Billy Quick and Jim Hillsinger keep the families apart. It is the anniversa...
  • Rhonda Lomazow
    A beautifully written novel.A tale of two entangled families a book that drew me in from the first pages.This is the authors lyrically written first novel an author to follow,
  • MsArdychan
    Please Note: I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.Set in 1964, We All Shall Not Sleep, by Estep Nagy, brings forth both nostalgia and a sober reminder that our childhoods weren't as idyllic as we might remember. The setting for this novel is a private island in Maine where two families spend their summers. For the adults, it i...
  • Andy Weston
    Recommended from the Not The Booker Longlist this is a very different novel, literary I guess, that has the wonderful setting of an island off Maine. It tells of two families who live on the island and the quirky life they lead that is partly due to what they have gone through in earlier life. By far the strongest parts of the book are the scenes with 12 year old Catta, the children are treated in a special and almost old-fashioned way on the isl...
  • Kathleen Gray
    This is a complex closed room family tale. What's at issue here is not the outside pressures of the world on these islands in Maine in 1964 but the internal relationships between the Hillsingers and the Quicks and within each of those orbits, This reminded me in some ways of Lord of the Flies- thank goodness this take place over only three days. None of these people, with the exception of Catta, is especially sympathetic and it is his story that ...
  • Jenny
    It took me a few chapters to get into this but then I read it very quickly. The dynamics between family members and neighbours parallel an historical CIA intrigue that is offered in flashbacks - everyone knows something but the whole evades everyone. You never really get a sense of any particular character in depth (except perhaps Catta). Nevertheless, the place and group are evoked very well. And, I was left wanting more.
  • Alex Kennedy
    I found myself engaging in quite a bit of self-introspection as I read this book and after I finished it - which, for me, is the mark of a good novel. At its core, this book is about identifying and living up to the expectations set for us by society, by our families, and by ourselves - with the attendant relief of meeting those expectations, as well as the costs of falling short of those expectations. Set on a remote island in Maine during the p...
  • Care
    Jim Hillsinger and Billy Quick share Seven Islamd, as their families have for generations and are technically in-laws through their wives. During one summer, the loss of Hannah Quick will draw Lila Hillsinger - her sister - towards Billy; Jim will leave their youngest son Catta on the wild and unsettled Baffin Island for twenty-four hours; and the sadistic James Hillsinger will lead the other children in terrible games, all to the backdrop of the...
  • Kilian Metcalf
    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book, while written with excellent mastery of language, was so confusing it was impossible to follow the story. The constant interruptions of the narrative to flash back to the McCarthy witch-hunt era, seemed to have no connection to the other story of a young boy deliberately stranded overnight by this father o...
  • Linda Marie Marsh
    This book immediately brought me back to my roots, and stirred up a lot of memories. The coast of Maine in the 1960's, two families - the Quicks and the Hillsingers inter-married and share the social power. The personalities the smells of the ocean air the pecking order the kids......all of it was 'sense inspiring' if you know what i mean. A good book for sure, a GREAT book if one is a New Englander!
  • Kathleen Seaton
    Picked up this book because it was the story of two families who shared an island in Maine. While the two families had kept their distance, two sisters married the two brothers and, suddenly, the families were twined together. Set in 1964 in the heat of the Cold War, family themes compete with the work of the FBI and CIA to identify and prosecute Communist supporters. The children are charming and live a charmed life. The descriptions of the isla...
  • Reading Fool
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.This is a mesmerizing story filled with complex characters in a not-so-simple plot that goes back and forth in time. Set in 1964, this is the story of the Hillsingers and the Quicks: two families that dominate Seven Island in Maine. Jim Hillsinger and Billy Quick married sisters Lila and Hannah Blackwell. It is a story of power, envy, trust, and so much more. I was quite impressed by this deb...
  • Karen
    Though the name of the island has been changed, I read this while on the actual Maine island that inspired to novel. It, the island, is a character all of itself, and Negy has aptly and lyrically captured the essence of the place, so much so that I felt the sense of loss described by Billy upon arrival to the island. As he arrived he thought that someday he would have to leave (paraphrasing, as I don't have the book in front of me), and the ache ...
  • Mandy
    This ambitious and complex debut novel is a powerful and compelling tale of two wealthy families who have lived on the same small Maine island for generations but who rarely mix, and although their lives are intermeshed in many ways, they maintain an uneasy, even hostile distance. The story is set over three tense summer days, but with many changes of voice and perspective and with many flashbacks. The reader certainly has to concentrate to keep ...
  • Cindy H.
    Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.Estep Nagy has a beautiful way with words. There were several passages I highlighted and reread because of their eloquence and vividness. My problem was the structure and story. Shifting between the 1940's and 1960's the story revolves around two society sisters, their husbands and offspring. Sisters, Hannah and Lia share a small island in Main...
  • Sue
    A tale of two WASPs’ nests.In Estep Nagy’s debut novel, the author takes a cool, calm look at the dynamics of two wealthy New York families, the Hillsingers and the Quicks, and gives us a glimpse of the inner workings of America’s East Coast establishment from the vantage point of their summer residences on a small Maine island which the families jointly own.When one of the Hillsinger sons is made to spend the night on the least hospitable ...
  • Maria Whelan
    This book is wonderfully powerful. A cast of dynamic characters, WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP is a family drama with insight into the fear and terror during the Cold War. The Hillsingers and the Quicks have lived on Seven Island in Maine for many generations. Each summer they gather in two separate homes and spend weeks in the rural beauty of Seven and its surrounding islands. The slow unraveling of family drama occurs as time moves between the past an...