This was a stunning and compelling novel that transports you into a completely different way of life. Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick is a remarkable immersive coming-of-age story.
Ilya Alexandrovich is a fifteen-year-old teenager who is living in an extremely poor town in Russia. He lives with his mother and his older brother, Vladimir. Ilya is highly intelligent and begins to learn English by watching American bootleg movies. As part of an exchange program, Ilya is chosen to go to America. Before he leaves, Ilya’s life in Russia begins to crumble all around him. His brother, Vladimir, has stopped going to school, becomes a drug addict and no longer comes home. With a broken heart, Ilya leaves for America.
When Ilya arrives in Effie, Louisiana, he finds out that his brother has confessed to killing three young women and is now sitting in prison. It’s now up to Ilya to gather proof of his brother’s innocence so he can get him out of jail. But thousands of miles away, Ilya questions whether his brother is being framed or can he really be guilty of murder?
This book was amazing and beautiful, yet sad and immersive. I felt I had really discovered something I’ve never read and seen before. The two differing places really showcased the fringing of both characters. From the remote and desolate town in Russia, to a small poverty stricken town in Louisiana — the mirroring of these settling’s struggles and difficulties were eye opening.
What really drew me into the book were the characters, they were captivating and heartbreakingly sad. The connection Ilya and Vladimir have is beyond beautiful but desperately somber. I couldn’t praise Lydia Fitzpatrick’s work more. She certainly out did herself with this unbelievably poignant and memorising novel!
Simply put, Lights All Night Long by Lydia Fitzpatrick is a thought-provoking, intense and gorgeously written book that was difficult to put down and left my heart breaking. If you’re looking for a compelling and lyrical novel that will stay with you days later, look no further than Lights All Night Long. This novel is literary fiction at its best!
Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Press and Lydia Fitzpatrick for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.