The Light Pirate

Grand Central. Dec. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781538708279. $28. F
In this latest from Brooks-Dalton (Good Morning, Midnight), a massive hurricane bears down on a Florida town nestled south of Lake Okeechobee. For nine-months-pregnant Frida, the sounds and smells of the approaching storm trigger memories of her mother’s death in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. Husband Kirby, a county lineman, promises that the shutters and sandbags will provide protection while he’s working, but she knows better. The contractions, too soon, too strong, immobilize Frida. When Kirby arrives, Frida is dead, and the baby, still attached to her mother’s pulsing cord, whimpers on the kitchen floor. Inauspiciously named for the conflagration that upended her family, Wanda grows in the vortex of her father’s guilt and sorrow. Waters rise, infrastructure fails, residents who doubted global warming abandon their homes, but retired biology professor Phyllis saves Wanda from loneliness.
VERDICT Writing as if she too had lived alone in Florida’s mangrove swamps, fishing by night, sleeping through the heat of the day, Brooks-Dalton turns a devastating dystopian vision on its head in this redemptive tale by asking whether life is sustainable without human connection. This exquisite novel will appeal to a diverse group of readers, from fans of environmental writers Alan Weisman and Elizabeth Kolbert to admirers of Lydia Millet’s A Children’s Bible and Delia Owens’s hero Kya Clark.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing