Vigil Harbor author Julia Glass Credit: Photo of Julia Glass / Sally Gall for Civitella Ranieri

Wilton Library has chosen Vigil Harbor as the book selection for Wilton Reads 2023, the library’s annual community-wide reading program. Vigil Harbor by National Book Award-winner Julia Glass is a contemporary novel, set 10 years in the future in a small coastal community in Massachusetts, where residents are struggling with changes and difficulties including climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals. The library will again collaborate with Wilton Public Schools to facilitate discussions and conversations throughout the community on all levels.

Caroline Mandler, Executive Director of Wilton Library, credited Lauren McLaughlin, Associate Director of Wilton Library, for the selection.

“Building upon last year’s Wilton Reads discussion of Wilton, Connecticut by Robert H. Russell, Vigil Harbor by Julia Glass also addresses what it means to be part of a community while navigating the instability of our ever-changing world and tackling issues like climate change and mental health. We think this selection is perfect for book groups, and that they will find a lot to discuss after reading this novel,” Mandler said of the choice.

Glass is the author of six previous books of fiction, including the best-selling Three Junes, winner of the National Book Award, and I See You Everywhere, winner of the Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She lives with her family north of Boston. This will be Glass’ second appearance at the library, having spoken about I See You Everywhere in 2009.

“We believe that the library’s selection for Wilton Reads 2023 highlights important and timely topics — climate change and the environment — that provide a special learning opportunity for the entire Wilton community. For our students, we will be able to engage them with many educational programs and discussions, including observing Earth Day on April 22,” Dr. Kevin Smith, Superintendent of Wilton Public Schools, said.

“We are looking forward to working with Wilton Library again for Wilton Reads. As with our previous collaborations, the school district will choose age-appropriate reading selections and create supplemental activities for the various schools,” Fran Kompar, Wilton Schools’ Director of Digital Learning, said. Kompar leads the Wilton Reads initiative for Wilton Public Schools.

The Wilton Reads program will culminate with an author talk by Glass on Tuesday, May 9 at Wilton Library. During her talk, the author will be recognized with the Grodin Family Fine Writers award.

The library plans to offer free copies of Vigil Harbor this spring, courtesy of Fairfield County Bank. Books are currently available via the library’s online catalog; eBooks and eAudiobooks are available to download to mobile devices on the Libby by OverDrive app. Email or call the Reference Desk at 203.762.6350 for help with obtaining a copy of the book.

For Wilton Reads 2023, a full slate of programs is being planned for this spring. The library will also provide educational resources for further exploration. Further details of the library’s Wilton Reads programming will be posted this spring on the library’s website. Wilton Public Schools’ programming details may be found by visiting the school district’s website.

This is the 17th season of Wilton Reads. The program originated in 2005 with a reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. A list of past Wilton Reads selections can be found online.

GOOD Morning Wilton is the media sponsor for the Wilton Reads program.

Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in the heart of Wilton Center. For more information, visit the Wilton Library website, or email or call the library’s reference librarians at 203.762.6350.