How To Find Your Way In The Dark (A Sheldon Horowitz Novel #1) (Hardcover)
I’ve read Derek Miller’s four novels and have loved them all; he is truly one of my favorite writers. This novel, a prequel to Miller’s remarkable debut novel, Norwegian by Night is set just prior to and during WWII, and provides the backstory of Sheldon Horowitz, the intriguing, endearing aged hero of Miller’s first book. Here, Sheldon, the son of Jewish immigrants to the U.S. (the undercurrent of discrimination runs throughout this book), at age 12, loses his mother in a movie theater fire, and his father in a car crash. Sheldon’s obsession with avenging his father’s death which he’s convinced wasn’t an accident is the focus of one of the best sections of the book. We then witness a gradual transformation from one focused on the past and revenge to one focused on the future and love—and can begin to see the man he is in that first novel. Miller’s characters are memorable (Sheldon is magnificent), the plots intricate and exciting, and the prose rich with detail that can be humorous, but also heartbreaking. I encourage you to read all of Miller’s novels.— From Jeanne's Picks
FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD
WINNER OF THE JEWISH FICTION AWARD FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES
"[Miller’s] character portraits are indelible, often heartbreaking. At times this novel moved me to tears, the highest possible compliment.”
—New York Times Book Review
With the wit and scope of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Derek B. Miller tackles his most ambitious epic yet. At its heart is the return of Sheldon Horowitz, the protagonist from Miller’s award-winning first novel, Norwegian by Night, who was lauded by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Russo as “one of the most memorable characters . . . that I’ve encountered in years.”
MEET SHELDON IN THE MORNING OF HIS LIFE
Twelve-year old Sheldon Horowitz is still recovering from the tragic loss of his mother only a year ago when a suspicious traffic accident steals the life of his father near their home in rural Massachusetts. It is 1938, and Sheldon, who was in the truck, emerges from the crash an orphan hell-bent on revenge. He takes that fire with him to Hartford, where he embarks on a new life under the roof of his buttoned-up Uncle Nate. Sheldon, his teenage cousins Abe and Mirabelle, and his best friend, Lenny, will contend with tradition and orthodoxy, appeasement and patriotism, mafia hitmen and angry accordion players, all while World War II takes center stage alongside a hurricane in New England and comedians in the Catskills. With his eye always on vengeance for his father’s murder, Sheldon stakes out his place in a world he now understands is comprised largely of crimes: right and wrong, big and small.
“For me—as I’m certain it will be for every reader of the wonderful Norwegian By Night—Derek B. Miller’s new novel is a genuine literary event (Sheldon Horowitz is back!). Miller has long deserved to be a household name. How to Find Your Way in the Dark should finally make him one."
—Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls and Chances Are...
Derek B. Miller is an American novelist, who worked in international affairs before turning to writing full-time. He is the author of five previous novels, all highly acclaimed: Norwegian by Night, The Girl in Green, American by Day, Radio Life and Quiet Time (an Audible Original). His work has been shortlisted for many awards, with Norwegian by Night winning the CWA John Creasey Dagger Award for best first crime novel, an eDunnit Award and the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award. How to Find Your Way in the Dark was a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a New York Times best mystery of 2021.
Derek B. Miller is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (BA), Georgetown (MA) and he earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude in international relations from The Graduate Institute in Geneva with post-graduate work at Oxford. He is currently connected to numerous peace and security research and policy centers in North America, Europe and Africa, and he worked with the United Nations for over a decade. He has lived abroad for over twenty-five years in Israel, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Switzerland, Norway and Spain.
"[Miller’s] character portraits are indelible, often heartbreaking. At times this novel moved me to tears, the highest possible compliment.” — New York Times Book Review
“A rollicking novel that . . . follows its characters through a decade of fascinating history. Miller has crafted a wide-ranging, years-spanning yet tightly structured plot, and he excels at placing memorable characters in unusual circumstances. An underlying seriousness lies at the heart of all of this intrigue, hilarity and fun . . . The ending of How to Find Your Way in the Dark is nothing short of brilliant.” — Bookpage, *starred review*
“[A] terrific coming-of-age story . . . Readers will root for Sheldon, a memorable survivor, every step of the way.” — Publishers Weekly, *starred* review
"Compelling and deeply satisfying." — Booklist
“The Old Testament is the first hardboiled detective story (spoiler: God's the killer); Derek B. Miller's sly, moving, fable-like HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THE DARK is Chandler by way of The Chosen, Marlowe with a touch of Talmud, ‘Judeo-Noir’ at its finest.” — —Shalom Auslander, nationally best-selling author of Hope: A Tragedy and Mother for Dinner
“For me—as I’m certain it will be for every reader of the wonderful Norwegian By Night—Derek B. Miller’s new novel is a genuine literary event (Sheldon Horowitz is back!). Miller has long deserved to be a household name. HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THE DARK should finally make him one." — —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and Chances Are...
“In a novel that manages to be both searing and funny, Derek Miller’s characters slalom through the underside of pre-war city life, through breathtaking U-boat battles, and into the Borscht Belt at its most fraught hour, when the Jewish world teeters on the abyss. With Miller's signature blend of humor and questions that make you sit up straight and reconsider, HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THE DARK puts a finger on the paradox of Jewish comedy.” — —Rachel Kadish, National Jewish Book Award-winning author of The Weight of Ink