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Check It Out: Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. 

Today I would like to recommend the 2021 debut literary novel Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton. Cadie Kessler is an entomologist whose research shows that a beetle is wreaking havoc on the forests of New England, causing the trees to dry up and die and thus become perfect fuel for devastating forest fires. She is utterly consumed by her work and tries desperately to get her findings in front of government officials. Her single-minded endeavor is immediately sidelined when out of the blue, her childhood friend Daniela calls her up telling her “they found him.” Cadie is forced to return home because long-held childhood secrets are threatening to surface with severe consequences. 

Told in two-time lines, this novel tells of past events of young oddball Cadie and popular Daniela enjoying their summer in the New Hampshire woods in the mid 1990s. They spend their days picking blueberries, telling tales, sharing books, and discovering young love with a foster kid they simply call “the summer boy”.  One day their entire lives irreparably change when the girls are witnesses to a murder. Having kept it a secret all this time, adult Cadie and Daniela have to finally face what happened all those years ago as well as the oncoming forest fires that threaten to demolish the New Hampshire woods that they love. 

With an obvious passion for the environment, immigration rights and the people who make our small towns special, Dalton has written a dynamic story with a unique voice. 

Contact us at the Sioux City Public Library to see how you can get a copy of Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton, or ask us for more contemporary literary novels with strong female leads. 

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.