It’s difficult to sum up this 600+ page novel in a paragraph, but Our Share of Night is about a weird cult called The Order, who participate in grotesque rituals in the pursuit of eternal life. Tied into that is Juan, a kind of decaying demi-god, and his son Gaspar. The Order hopes that when Juan dies, Gaspar will inherit his terrifying gifts, and Juan does everything he can to prevent that from happening. Gaspar is the main protagonist throughout most of this book, and his journey from child to man is incredible. 

I was initially intimidated by this book for several reasons. For one, this book is a tome! But Enriquez’s prose, beautifully translated by Megan McDowell, is a pleasure to read. Enriquez is a succinct writer; not a word is wasted. The plot zips along, sometimes stopping the reader in their tracks with a short, incredibly unnerving sentence. The attentive reader is heavily rewarded, as along the way, things link up in a very satisfying way. 

Enriquez’s writing often contains aspects of the supernatural and the political; the latter of which sometimes eludes me. This is absolutely the case in Our Share of Night, which features real-life political incidents from Argentinian history. However, these are not integral to the plot, nor did they dampen my enjoyment of the novel. Enriquez focuses on how politics affect citizens, not the internal squabbling of out-of-touch political figures.  

Fans of Mariana Enriquez’s short fiction will be thrilled with this book. No spoilers, but my favorite Enriquez story is Adela’s House, and I damn near lost my mind with happiness about halfway through the book. Yay for the Enriquez universe!

There is absolutely no doubt this is a horror novel; there are some truly nightmare-inducing moments. But the story is so rich, and unravels so beautifully, I’d hate to think that readers wrongly dismiss this novel because of the “horror” tag. Our Share of Night is a fantastic piece of literature, regardless of genre. 

Our Share of Night is out now, everywhere! Thanks to Random House for the ARC, and apologies it sat unread for way too long!

One thought on “Review: Our Share of Night, by Mariana Enriquez (tr. Megan McDowell) (Random House)

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