I started reading this book in the middle of December, breaking with a tradition that I only read Christmas books during this month. I had naturally heard of William Styron, but I really didn’t know much about him. A book I thought would take me a few days to read took me over a week. “Lie Down in Darkness,” is what I call HIGH Literature. It is very descriptive, sadly poetic, perfectly structured with amazing characters. It is the type of writing that I was raised on, and until this very day my favorite type of writing. Almost all my favorite writers, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Tolstoy, Conrad, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Baldwin, and Toni Morrison are all similar type writers.
To say that this is a depressing novel would be an understatement. It is a real downer, and I wouldn’t recommend reading it during the Christmas holidays. But, what is also so undeniable is how very brilliant it is. It describes a middle class dysfunctional family living in Virginia during the thirties and forties with such poignancy that the characters and story will be with me for a very long time.