Laura is a nurse in a pediatric unit. On long, quiet shifts, she and her colleagues, clad in their different shades of blue, care for sick babies, handling their exquisitely fragile bodies and carefully calibrating the mysterious machines that keep them alive.
Laura may be burnt out. Her hands have been raw from washing as long as she can remember. When she sleeps, she dreams of water; when she wakes, she finds herself lying next to a man who doesn't love her anymore. And there is a strange figure dancing in the corner of her vision, always just beyond her reach.
Dark yet luminous, sensual yet chilling, written with a visceral rhythm and laced with dread, Rest and Be Thankful is an unforgettable novel that confirms Emma Glass as a visionary new voice.
"Glass’s Rest and Be Thankful powerfully describes what it means to be a health-care worker . . . [the novel] functions as a powerful document, a testament to the silent class of first responders who risk their safety in exchange for scattered 7 p.m. applause during a pandemic. Glass’s short book ably meets the ponderous inquiries of caregiving in a tribute to both fragility and forbearance."—The Washington Post
“Glass maintains [a] fragile balance with poetic yet direct language, in a text anchored by epigrammatic chapter headings that makes this hallucinatory (yet all too graphically real) book click. It reads almost like a thriller as Laura's mind slips. During our own time of heightened crisis, this bracing, even brutal, novel dresses you in the uncomfortable scrubs and clogs of one who has witnessed horror but then washed up to begin work again.”—The Boston Globe
“Dynamo . . . a pungent piece of writing, tactile and sensory to the extreme . . . a lived-in portrait of a hardworking woman pushed to the fringes of her mind, where she keeps finding new reserves of strength, and a reminder that literary heroism takes many different forms."—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A haunting, intimate portrayal of the nurses who sacrifice their physical and psychological well-being for the sake of others . . . a visceral, disturbing, and sometimes oh-so-tragic reminder that as a community we need to do more for our care-givers globally—that a round of applause is simply not enough.”—Locus Magazine
“Atmospheric and eerie, Rest and Be Thankful is full of Glass's poetic observations, and will leave you thoroughly haunted and entranced.”—Refinery29
“A visceral and dreamlike literary portrait of a burned-out pediatric nurse working night shifts in a neonatal ward.”—USA Today
“In Glass's trademark, lyrical style, it follows a woman on the edge—a night-shift nurse in a pediatric unit who may or may not be seeing things.”—LitHub
“Gorgeously written . . . It's heartbreaking but beautiful, and perfect for escaping into.”—Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine
“Glass wants readers inside Laura's body, tasting seawater in her nightmares of drowning, feeling her limb-heaviness as she falls asleep at a friend's kitchen table. Such richness makes all of Glass' writing stand out, but this glimpse into the world of nursing feels like a true literary rarity . . . A heart-wrenching and poetic look at a profession that deserves more literary attention.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This second novel from Glass, a writer and nurse, explores trauma as poetically, inventively, and incisively as her debut, Peach, this time from the perspective of pediatric nurse Laura . . . Across her emotionally tender, titled chapters, Glass grants readers access to the many-dimensional Laura, so strong but struggling to care for herself as unreservedly as she cares for others.”—Booklist
“A slim, dreamy sophomore novel . . . Glass's prose perfectly elicits the restless waking torment that drapes over Laura. The novel is visceral, and readers will keep turning the pages in fascinated dread.”—Publishers Weekly