An unforgettable memoir on the experience of isolation and the miraculous power of human connection.
As a baby, Gabriel’s first words and affinity for sign language enthralled his adoring parents. When these words fell away, and his medical diagnoses multiplied, Maria Mutch committed herself entirely to her son’s care. Then, for about two years, Gabe slept very little, drawing mother and son into a nocturnal existence of almost constant wakefulness.
In breathtaking prose, Maria shares the intensely personal challenges and revelations brought about by this period. As Gabe’s sleeping hours dwindled, care took place within an isolated, often frightening world, in which Maria’s desire for connection and meaning expanded. She became fascinated with stories of Antarctic exploration, and found a companion in Admiral Richard E. Byrd, an explorer who lived by himself in the polar darkness for months in 1934 and later wrote about his struggle for survival in a book called Alone. Reimagining Byrd’s story and interweaving it with her own, Maria illuminates a search for love, understanding and comfort against the terrors of the unknown that will resonate with anyone who has lain awake in the dark, or longed to protect a loved one. Know the Night is a powerful journey into the mysteries of nighttime and the human mind, and a testament to the extraordinary bond between mother and child.