– An exciting novel.
-Fantastic and supernatural Lovecraftian and so much more..
-A fascinating portrait of Argentina.
-A hymn to life and freedom.
– Intense and striking characters.
-A family fresco filled with symbolism and power.
You are serious?!
Monumental, Mariana Enriquez’s latest novel is a monster-book, hence this inevitable chronicle! Born in 1973 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mariana Enriquez is a writer and journalist. She publishes her first novel at 22, her collection of short stories What we lost in the fire is also available.
Our night share begins in 1981 on the roads of Argentina. Juan Petterson, a powerful medium, and his son Gaspar wander the roads in order to escape the influence and hold of a terrible secret society, the Order. Appeared in the 19th century, the latter uses the power of powerful mediums who come into contact with a voracious entity called Darkness, the latter grants power and influence during sacrificial ceremonies, and devours prisoners and suicidal followers, giving in parallel instructions which looks like a quest for immortality. In the midst of a dictatorship, the Order knew how to act discreetly, and cover an incalculable number of kidnappings and assassinations of victims grouped together in invisible mass graves.
Juan is a medium with extraordinary power, his gift is potentially hereditary. His gift to this dark God has a cost, that of shortening his life expectancy. Since childhood, Juan has suffered from serious heart problems, so this is the story of a father trapped by time, obsessed with breaking this infernal circle. But the order is sprawling and his wife, Rosario, dies in a strange accident in London. This novel tells this journey until the end of the night.
An Argentina between darkness and light
Mariana Enriquez builds a colossal family fresco in six parts. She breathes a poetic aura into this passionate, ultra-referenced and darkly aesthetic novel, the main action of which takes place from the 1960s to 1997. The author alternates the points of view of the many protagonists (flashback) with leaps in time and place: from London to Nigeria, from the devil’s chapel to places forbidden to the living, the novel has a dizzying depth.
It is also an epic in fantasy and horror, worthy of Lovecraft. Juan has been conditioned from an early age to serve the odre, he is marked by the darkness which grants him occult knowledge, and the sacrificial ceremonies are pure moments of ritual murder.
Then the darkness sliced off his fingers, then his hands, and finally engulfed him entirely, with a greedy, satisfied sound/../ Two women followed, holding hands. One young, one older. Mother and daughter. Darkness swallowed the older one’s head, and for a moment her decapitated body continued to move forward.
The book is full of references to witchcraft, rituals of all kinds, references to local folklore (Guarani) with San la Muerte. The symbols have force in the text, the references to the tarot are legion (the hanged man). And just as a medium perceives the invisible, there are secret paths that lead to the Other Place: a kind of Lovecraftian hell where terrible events will take place… You who enter, leave all hope behind.
On the trees there were strange decorations of intertwined phalanges and femurs
What also amazed me is the ability to add to a novel an effect of controlled disorientation to an already complex novel, the house on Villareal Street echoes Danielewski’s Navidson Record through the exploration of a house of impossible dimensions , with this endless corridor..
The children, on the other hand, spoke of huge rooms, corridors and several bedrooms. It is however in this house that they penetrated, not in another. But they said it was much bigger inside than outside, which is impossible.
The novel celebrates art in all its forms, immortality fascinates to the point of madness. Nevertheless, AIDS and the disease remind us that life and death are inevitably linked.
The Dead travel fast
Our Part of Night is above all the story between Juan, Gaspar and his mother Rosario Bradford but whose story within the Order is told to us. In this story, the Bradford is a family of English settlers who will get their hands on the first great Medium, then towards darkness. Immortality is at stake, the notion of inheritance within the Order and the survival of the spirit are intertwined.
I believe we lose immortality because resistance to death has not evolved; we insist on the first, rudimentary idea, which is to keep the whole body alive. It would suffice to seek only what interests the conscience
Lhe father and son will be tested beyond the possible, even when torn by doubt against each other. Juan swore to himself that Gaspar would never fall into the hands of this abomination so as not to suffer the same fate as him, because his health is declining, his interventions within the Order have done terrible damage..
Gaspar, as a child, sees his father as his protector and the latter guides him to channel his power as a medium which must be hidden from the eyes of the Order. Over time, things will get complicated.
The antagonists are fierce, Mercedes the matriarch is a sort of bloodthirsty and power-hungry Mary-Love (BlackWater), her mafia clan has agents everywhere. Her ally, Florence, speaks two languages simultaneously.
There is an incredible gallery of characters that run through this novel, strong, intense, vibrant and tragic characters, tool characters that this novel sacrifices. Whether it’s Vicky, Pablo, Julian, Luis, Eddie, or Encarnacion to name just a handful, all are involved in the mystery.
Our part of the night stands out as an absolute masterpiece in the fantastic and literary register. We will find the scale of the great family sagas as the mayfair witches saga of Anne Rice or the novel Beautiful flower by Joyce Carol Oates. For fans of horror, it is immediately associated with The Charles Dexter Ward Affair of Lovecraft (for the witchcraft aspect, the descent, the impious cults) and the darkness present in the novel has the darkness of littleheaven by Nick Cutter. Mariana Enriquez offers herself the insolent luxury of paying homage to the Frankenstein of Mary Shelley, of Dracula by Bram Stocker and The House of Leaves by Danielewsky, making the story more harrowing and disturbing. The descriptions of the other-place and the swamps are so reminiscent of scenes from Dante’s Inferno, it’s just sepulchral and chilling! Stephen King enthusiasts will also dive into a tribute novel to Shining. The fans of 6th Sense of Mr. Night Shyamalan or supernatural will be in known and hidden lands.
Mariana Enriquez brings a masterpiece to life, a declaration of love for her country and her youth in a passionate whirlwind of darkness. It’s poetic, disenchanted with a glimmer of hope. Definitely a literary summit. No more no less.
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Review – Our Part of Night (Mariana Enriquez): A dizzying dive into the darkness..
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