Sleep Before Evening
Publisher : Bewrite Books
Description
Marianne is teetering at the edge of reason. A death in the family sends her brilliant academic career and promising future spiraling out of control until resentment towards those who shaped her past leads her on a wild and desperate search for the truth about herself. On the seedy side of New York, she meets Miles, a hip musician busking the streets and playing low-rent venues in a muddled bid to make his own dreams come true. In her new life, she finds anarchic squalor, home grown music and poetry, booze, drugs, sex, violence, love, loss, and, above all, exhilarating freedom on her troubled journey from sleep to awakening. This gritty, relentless story unfolds with the same cool detachment that motivates the central character to peel back the layers of her life and expose the painful scalding within.




Praise and Reviews

"...the drug scenes are written with an intensity that I have rarely experienced in literature, or any other medium for that matter. The words and sentences beautifully drift through this melancholy, but never hopeless, foggy reality of drug abuse and self-searching and beauty and longing. The change and growth the protagonist goes through from the beginning to the end is nothing short of extraordinary, rendered almost impeccably, and the dialogue throughout feels as real as those dark shadows that hang out on that whiskey corner just down the street from my place, street-talking their way to the next hit, the next kiss, the next anything...kudos to Magdalena ball , "Sleep Before Evening" is a beautiful book. quite the accomplishment..." Tony Nesca, author of "The Do-Nothing Boys" and "About A Girl"

***

"I thought it was wonderful, a fascinating and moving story and not only beautifully written but beautifully crafted in every way, especially in structure and imagery. Marianne is a striking character, so organically conceived and so synthetically presented that I felt I knew her immediately, understood her disintegration, and her really heroic recovery, knew her and liked her, cared about her, and wanted her to live and share her wonderful spirit and intelligence." Felicia Bonaparte, Professor of English at the City University of New York

***

"The writing is deep and memorable making the novel a true page-turner. The words are chosen masterly; the narrative and the imagery are excellent. The book sounds like the music Marianne wants to compose."   Maressa Zahra, Moondance

***

"This is a beautifully written novel. While the subject matter is dark and unflinching (namely grief, depression and drug addiction) Magdalena Ball's prose is always smooth and lyrical. Her characters are well drawn and memorable, set against a series of contrasting backdrops - suburban America; high school; the wild freedom of the coast and the seedy underside of New York life lurking just beneath the cosmopolitan coffee-bar surface. A joy to read." J Moore, Writelink

***

"what we have here is a full-on rush of ambitious literary fiction. That it largely succeeds as such is no consolation to horny but bookish males hoping for a bit of fluff or a few chuckles while killing time in the airport departure lounge...Oh, it’s an artful whipsawing, in that the narrative respects the rhythms of the reader’s expectations." Gerald Everett Jones, Boychiklit

***

"Sleep Before Evening is the story of a brilliant young woman who, after experiencing a death in the family, abandons the promise of her academic career for a desperate search within herself. Her new life is immersed in the dark side of New York, in all its squalor, booze, drugs, sex, violence, poetry, and original music. Despite the dangers, she braves morass for its stimulating freedom, and the opportunity to burrow underneath the layers of her life and uncover the inner pain that hurts so badly. A haunting and absorbing narrative of trying self-discovery."  Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review

***

"What a brilliant novel.  I started it on Saturday evening and have just finished it.  This is a novel I won't forget for a long time.  It is both a complex novel theme wise and a page turner.  The characters come alive better than those in many a novel from high grossing authors."  Jan Mitchell, Fellowship of Australian Writers

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"The author’s control of the story is masterly; her insight combining with her exceptional narrative skills to write a story that presents the case of millions of young drug addicts, right here amidst us."   Ernest Dempsey, Book Pleasures

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"Magdalena Ball’s writing, insightful and deep, engages the reader from page one. Her characters linger long after the story resolves to its perfect conclusion. Highly recommended for a glimpse into the motivations behind heroin abuse, as well as thoroughly alluring family drama, Sleep Before Evening is powerfully addictive in its own right."  Aaron Paul Lazar, http://aaronlazar.blogspot.com/

***

"Magdalena Ball demonstrates her mastery of the musicality of language and many scenes are imbued with striking imagery...As the drama coils tighter and tighter, it is this quality of writing that keeps the reader utterly glued. As Marianne struggles with her demons and we almost hold our breath as she nears her eighteenth birthday, Magdalena Ball's Sleep Before Evening shows us that in order to find yourself, you sometimes have to lose yourself first." Cathy Biribauer, The Rose & Thorn

***

"Once you start reading Marianne's tragic story you will not be able to finish. I read this book for 4 straight hours. It was like the story took me over. The book connects to you the way Thirteen did. It is moving and harsh and every word seemed true. I thought it was a great read." Bria Phillips, Book Diva

***

“This is a well written, absorbing and fast moving coming of age story involving the ugliness and beauty of life. Marianne at 17 is a very clever girl but also a bit of a loner. When her much loved grandfather and friend dies she becomes more isolated and confused with her parents and school. In a year we clearly see the disasters of the downward spiraling path she follows, and it is a wonder that she survives. Her sense of self and loss are deeply felt by the reader.  Near the end of the novel she makes the decision to reclaim life and with the help of love and music matures with wisdom, insight, and conscious understanding of herself.” Margaret Broughton, Literary Fiction Reader

***

"The dialogue is solid and believable, and the characters live and breathe and scratch themselves. The drug scenes and the horrors of dependence are especially well-rendered, but the story is ultimately uplifting and optimistic. It is a triumph of the soul. Read this book." Chad Hautmann, author of Billie's Ghost

***

“The writing is exquisite, without ever calling attention to itself, which is a real feat. It is a pleasure to read. The pitch is perfect, and the characters are so beautifully developed and very intriguing." Joan Schweighardt, author of Virtual Silence, Island, Homebodies and Gudrun’s Tapestry

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“Sleep Before Evening is music.  Magdalena Ball weaves the sounds of poetry with an important story, compassionately ‘sung.’  Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This is the Place and Tracings, http://carolynhoward-johnson.com/

***

"This is a good story that makes the reader feel the highs and lows of Marianne as if they are their own. It reminds me of the style adopted by the Russian writer Dostoyevsky. He had the ability to get the reader to feel exactly what his characters felt; a gift Magdalena ball has too. Sleep Before Evening is a well written insight into human suffering. The author shows an in-depth knowledge of how to hold readers attention, and make them eager to know more. This is a debut novel that shows the author has many more novels inside her, which will provoke strong emotions in readers of her work." Warren Thurston, Owner of Pentales, www.pentales.com

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There is so much beautiful writing here, soaring passages.” Ruhama Veltfort, author of The Promised Land

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"I tend to read novels in one of two ways. If I don't like it, I stop after about 30 minutes and don't touch it again. If I like it, I can't stop until I've finished. Sleep Before Evening falls into the latter category for me. It is a moving, gripping and gritty story of many different kinds of love, loss and addiction. The sordid world of heroin addiction is set against a background of chess, poetry, music and art to create a strong storyline. But the use of language and imagery in this novel are also fantastic."
Sarah James, http://www.writelink.co.uk/blogs/sarah james

***

"Magdalena Ball's first novel, Sleep Before Evening, is required reading for aficionados of the school of confessional writing. While the book is empowered by its conspicuously female perspective, it somehow manages to transcend the boundaries of gender and force-feeds the reader with doses of a reality much harsher than the beatific title suggests. Ball employs the rare literary voice capable of juxtaposing harrowing experience and work-a-day home life. She accomplishes this rare feat by traversing twin avenues of approach, 1) a deceptively mundane accounting of family events and, 2) a deliberate fracturing of sensibilities unique to, well . . . a David Lynch film. This reviewer recommends that you procure yourself a copy of this minor masterpiece while it is still available as a first edition."     Dr Harry E. Hughes

***

"Sleep Before Evening is a riveting and fast moving coming of age story dealing both with the attractive as well as the revolting aspects of anguish suffered by many who have fragile inner strength to guide them in their search for discovering who they truly are.  Marianne at 17 is intelligent although she has learned to withdraw into herself as protection against the craziness of her family peopled with a childish, bemused pretty self centered mother, absentee father, patient but fed up stepfather, loss of the grandparents who had provided a steadying rock to which Mari might cling.  Ball presents plausible dialogue which become at times gritty and tart, well-fleshed characters who very well may be people we all have known; smiles, pleasantries, warts, foibles and all. The horrors of dependence and torpidity of drug scenes are portrayed in stark realism." Molly Martin, Book Pleasures

***

"This could be a true story and one many people may readily face in an intimate family situation and is a touch poignant at times. But it has a message for us all and an indication of the author’s ability to weave an intriguing story around the fragility of a character unable to communicate her own needs when confronted with life’s pressing issues." Lyne Marshall, author of Gleaner or Gladiator: the struggle to create

***

"This is a beautiful, engrossing novel filled with haunting images and lyrical passages. Ball has done an excellent job creating her characters' tumultuous lives...Sleep Before Evening is a riveting coming-of-age novel, one I highly recommend to the serious reader."  Mayra Calvani, Blog Critics Books


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Magdalena Ball
Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. She is the author of the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book T More...