- Paperback: 288 pages
- Published: 7/5/16
- IBSN: 9781617754432
- e-IBSN: 9781617754661
- IBSN: 9781617754715
- Genre: Fiction
The much-anticipated sequel to Barbara J. Taylor’s best-selling debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night.
“Powerful . . . Every page is saturated with the 1930s milieu as the sisters navigate the adversities of their reality on a sea rough with the unrealistic expectations of well-intended idealists both religious and secular. As if to highlight those expectations, Taylor periodically interrupts her third-person narrative with Greek chorus-type commentary from the Scranton-based Isabelle Lumley Bible Class, including excerpts from a 1929 sex manual for women. The overall result is a thought-provoking book club discussion cornucopia.”
—Booklist, Starred review
“Set in the 1930s, Taylor’s suspenseful and intricate follow-up to Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night tells the story of sisters Violet and Lily Morgan . . . Taylor delivers startling plot twists and incisive commentary on the social unrest of a coal-mining town during the Great Depression. Covering a six-year span, the novel reveals the consequences of arduous labor and widespread sterilizations that came with the eugenics movement. Among the prostitutes, mobsters, and miners is a web of interconnected lives that come together for a breathtaking ending in Taylor’s fine sequel.”
“A good selection for book clubs, All Waiting Is Long is set in Pennsylvania coal country in the 1930s, a time of tumultuous change and social unrest, including the rise of the eugenics movement. Barbara Taylor’s characters—a cast of nuns and prostitutes, mobsters and miners, social activists and church busybodies—reflect the varying pressures and expectations of small-town life with rich, insightful prose and dialogue that rings true to each character’s voice. Will the web of lies the two sisters weave around themselves survive? You’ll have to read it yourself to find out. Recommended.”
—Historical Novels Review
“Barbara J. Taylor has created another suspenseful page-turner . . . revealing shocking details of enlightened thinking in the 1930s against the backdrop of political corruption, unions, rampant prostitution, coal mine strikes, and judgmental Christians. But it’s Taylor’s finely honed characters and plot twists that make All Waiting Is Long an unforgettable novel.”
—BookMark on WPSU
“In this richly populated community, old ties are either torn or tightened, and the characters left behind when the sisters went off are nicely fleshed out . . . Ms. Taylor writes with total mastery of her craft. Her similes and metaphors are born of a highly developed abstractive sensitivity, and her dialogues are unerringly true to their respective speakers.”
“Taylor deftly weaves a tale that quickly pulls you in wondering what will become of [Lily and Violet Morgan] and the lies they’ve propped up around themselves to make it all work. Will their relationship survive? And if the truth were to come out, what would their husbands, family and the townsfolk think? . . . You won’t be disappointed with Taylor’s newest novel.”
—A New Day
“Taylor explores complicated issues with excellent prose and compelling characters. Her excavation of the religious and political context in this place and time is fascinating. She achieves depth and breadth, and tells a great story, too.”
“A story of love that rises from the depths to create happiness in an unforgiving world . . . A good read.”
—Journey of a Bookseller
“A page turner . . . Taylor very skillfully blends all the many forces determining life in the 1930s into a novel of tremendous strength and compulsive readability.”
“In All Waiting is Long, Taylor once again performs the magic trick of making us fall in love with characters who live in her finely drawn, unforgiving past, and who grapple with the indelible consequences of honor and dishonor, hope and disappointment, and the mystifying nature of tragedy and love. I read this book in two sittings, flying through the pages, seduced.”
—Robin Oliveira, author of I Always Loved You
Praise for Barbara J. Taylor:
“A profound story of how one unforeseen event may tear a family apart, but another can just as unexpectedly bring them back together again.”
—Publishers Weekly on Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night (Best Summer Book for 2014)
The latest novel in Akashic’s Kaylie Jones Books imprint.
All Waiting Is Long tells the stories of the Morgan sisters, a study in contrasts. In 1930, twenty-five-year-old Violet travels with her sixteen-year-old sister Lily from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to the Good Shepherd Infant Asylum in Philadelphia, so Lily can deliver her illegitimate child in secret. In doing so, Violet jeopardizes her engagement to her longtime sweetheart, Stanley Adamski. Meanwhile, Mother Mary Joseph, who runs the Good Shepherd, has no idea the asylum’s physician, Dr. Peters, is involved in eugenics and experimenting on the girls with various sterilization techniques.
Five years later, Lily and Violet are back home in Scranton, one married, one about to be, each finding her own way in a place where a woman’s worth is tied to her virtue. Against the backdrop of the sweeping eugenics movement and rogue coal mine strikes, the Morgan sisters must choose between duty and desire. Either way, they risk losing their marriages and each other.
The novel picks up sixteen years after the close of Barbara J. Taylor’s debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night—a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book of 2014—and continues her Dickensian exploration of the Morgan sisters and other characters of Scranton in the early twentieth century.
Kaylie Jones is the award-winning author of five novels and a memoir. She teaches writing at two MFA programs and lives in New York City.
Rean an interview with Barbara J. Taylor at The Mountain XPress.
Listen to an interview with Barbara J. Taylor and Kaylie Jones at Art Scene with Erika Funke (WVIA, Scranton NPR affiliate):
BARBARA J. TAYLOR lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania, home of the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country. She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University and teaches English in the Pocono Mountain School District. She is the author of Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night and All Waiting Is Long.