And Then Put Out the Light explores identity, individuality, freedom; the ties of home, family, and expectation; and what it means to be a woman.
Emily Moon-Bourne defines herself by the alienated people who ought to be part of her life. She is the daughter of a Swedish, alcoholic mother and a Native American father who disappeared frequently and for long periods throughout her childhood. She’s the ex-wife of a successful attorney who cheated on her with a woman almost half his age. She’s a woman who not only listens to but also names the vituperative voice in her head. She’s a sculptor who only creates representations of things that fly, and wonders about the anonymous buyer of one of her most disturbing pieces, a malevolent wasp.
After her divorce, Emily decides to travel. From her starting point in the U.S. and on through England, France, and Italy, she meets women who are also on a journey of discovery, each pointing to new directions, new insights, and each helping her to uncover the secrets she has hidden from herself.
At the same time, everywhere she goes she catches glimpses of a man who seems to be waiting for her. His name is Martin, and he is a secret, one she is determined to know as well as she is coming to know herself.