Night Wherever We Go

Tracey Rose Peyton

Quick Synopsis

A gripping, radically intimate debut novel about a group of enslaved women staging a covert rebellion against their owners.

Publisher’s Synopsis

On a struggling Texas plantation, six enslaved women slip from their sleeping quarters and gather in the woods under the cover of night. The Lucys—as they call the plantation owners, after Lucifer himself—have decided to turn around the farm’s bleak financial prospects by making the women bear children. They have hired a “stockman” to impregnate them. But the women are determined to protect themselves.

Now each of the six faces a choice. Nan, the doctoring woman, has brought a sack of cotton root clippings that can stave off children when chewed daily. If they all take part, the Lucys may give up and send the stockman away. But a pregnancy for any of them will only encourage the Lucys further. And should their plan be discovered, the consequences will be severe.

Visceral and arresting, Night Wherever We Go illuminates each woman’s individual trials and desires while painting a subversive portrait of collective defiance. Unflinching in her portrayal of America’s gravest injustices, while also deeply attentive to the transcendence, love, and solidarity of women whose interior lives have been underexplored, Tracey Rose Peyton creates a story of unforgettable power.

Book Review

Now that the Harper Collins strike is over, I am circling back to read ARCs by HC imprints that I skipped over. Night Wherever We Go is a debut novel published by Ecco Books in January.

I was really looking forward to reading Night Wherever We Go. It has been a bit since I have read any historical fiction, although I love it. From reading the synopsis, I was looking forward to a historical novel about strong Black women rebelling (and hopefully winning) against their enslaver.

Night Wherever We Go is the story of six women enslaved on a struggling Texas farm. Desperate to prop up the farm, their owner decides to hire a “stockman” to impregnate them as the women try to retain agency over their bodies and wombs.

I found the premise of Night Wherever We Go to be a compelling angle for a book of a time period often explored. I have read several historical fiction novels about American slavery, but I have not deeply explored women’s reproductive rights, or lack their of, during enslavement. A story about this intrigued me both for the fact it was something I did not know much about and the parallel to women’s current struggles to retain reproductive rights.

While the idea and inspiration behind the novel were solid, Night Wherever We Go failed in execution. As far as the story’s writing, the best way I can explain it is that Peyton threw narrative spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck. The narration shifted from first person to third person to letters written in someone’s mind and back. At times, it was completely unclear who was narrating the story. This unfocused, messy narration made the story feel choppy and disconnected.

In addition, I thought that the story frequently lacked sufficient details and descriptions. I am not a fan of verbose writing or purple prose, and typically, never complain about writing that is straight-forward. But as I was reading I was unable to form a clear picture of both the setting and actions taken.

Night Wherever We Go also failed to be very compelling. The rebellion promised in the synopsis is a quiet one. I would characterize it as more of on ongoing struggle, rather than a rebellion. I kept waiting for something to happen after the event mentioned in the synopsis. Alas, there was little that actually occurred outside the women’s daily struggles. I think I would have been fine with this had the synopsis not set up expectations of excitement and conflict.

Night Wherever We Go never dragged per se; however, it did feel slow. I think this is partially because of the aforementioned and partially due to the lack of character development. Although so much time was spent with the women, who were the main focus, they felt opaque. Their inner feelings and motivations were not explored nor their backgrounds. At times, I would forget who was who because they were not fleshed out enough to be distinct people. It was clear that the characters experienced pain and joy throughout the story, but it never permeated the pages.

The ending of Night Wherever We Go was the most interesting and climatic portion of the book. Yet, it was rushed and abrupt. The last few paragraphs served as what felt like an epilogue. However, readers were left without a clear idea how the character reached that point. It was maddening. In fact, detailing how the character arrived at those last few paragraphs would have been a much more interesting story than what was told.

Overall, I felt that Night Wherever We Go was a missed opportunity. I hate to tear apart a debut novel, but I feel like it was a disservice by the publisher to not further edit this novel as well as a waste of an intriguing premise. It is clear that Peyton has promise as a writer; however, Night Wherever We Go felt unfinished and failed to examine the important questions that the subject matter demanded. I would only recommend this book to individuals who love character-driven books without much plot.


Overall Rating

Rating: 2 out of 5.


Rating: 2.5 out of 5.


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Night Wherever We Go


Literary Fiction;
Historical Fiction

Publication Date
January 3, 2023


Storygraph Rating
4.14 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.99 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from its publisher, Ecco Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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