The Dying of the Light: A Novel (Hardcover)
From the author of the bestselling A Reliable Wife comes a dramatic, passionate tale of a glamorous Southern debutante who marries for money and ultimately suffers for love—a southern gothic as written by Dominick Dunne.
It begins with a house and ends in ashes . . .
Diana Cooke was "born with the century" and came of age just after World War I. The daughter of Virginia gentry, she knew early that her parents had only one asset, besides her famous beauty: their stately house, Saratoga, the largest in the commonwealth, which has hosted the crème of society and Hollywood royalty. Though they are land-rich, the Cookes do not have the means to sustain the estate. Without a wealthy husband, Diana will lose the mansion that has been the heart and soul of her family for five generations.
The mysterious Captain Copperton is an outsider with no bloodline but plenty of cash. Seeing the ravishing nineteen-year-old Diana for the first time, he’s determined to have her. Diana knows that marrying him would make the Cookes solvent and ensure that Saratoga will always be theirs. Yet Copperton is cruel as well as vulgar; while she admires his money, she cannot abide him. Carrying the weight of Saratoga and generations of Cookes on her shoulders, she ultimately succumbs to duty, sacrificing everything, including love.
Luckily for Diana, fate intervenes. Her union with Copperton is brief and gives her a son she adores. But when her handsome, charming Ashton, now grown, returns to Saratoga with his college roommate, the real scandal and tragedy begins.
Reveling in the secrets, mores, and society of twentieth-century genteel Southern life, The Dying of the Light is a romance, a melodrama, and a cautionary tale told with the grandeur and sweep of an epic Hollywood classic.
About the Author
Robert Goolrick is the author of the bestselling novels A Reliable Wife, Heading Out to Wonderful, and The Fall of Princes, and the acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. He lives and works in Baltimore.
“Goolrick’s best book yet. A brilliant mashup of all the old greats, Faulkner and Fitzgerald and DH Lawrence, The Dying of the Light reads like Absolom, Absolom! meets The Great Gatsby meets Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”
— Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son.
“Passion, loneliness, decadence, and sexuality are all powerfully portrayed in this beautifully written novel.”
— Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
“The unique intense richness of The Dying of The Light makes this novel a fevered dream of sacrifice, sex, luxury, manners, honor, violence, submission, tragedy, destiny, secrets, beauty and melancholy that holds you in an embrace that tightens through the novel, leaving you spent and transformed.”
— Joan Juliet Buck, former editor of Vogue Paris and author of The Price of Illusion
“Robert Goolrick has created a mesmerizing, evocative novel brimming with passion and tragedy. His portrait of a depleted Southern family, hoping to reinvigorate itself and its magnificently neglected estate, is at once thrilling and devastating.”
— Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain