Summary: Two stories intertwine as Pierre, an ancient vampire, retraces his journey across the ocean to come home at last and a teenage girl named Tiffany from his old community finds herself at odds with her family and herself. When Pierre rents a room at Tiffany’s father’s house, he becomes involved in her life and helps to give her some direction when things in her life go downhill. The connection between the two, though brief, is enough to set Tiffany straight and helps Pierre bring a satisfying close to a long and lonely life.
Number of Pages: 215
Age Range: 17-18
Review: What I loved about this book was that even though I was reading about a centuries old vampire and a teenager, I felt like they were both teenagers. Like somehow Pierre’s true self had been caught and frozen in the moment he became a vampire, causing him to be a homesick teenager for the rest of his existence. And from that place, Pierre is able to connect with Tiffany across the centuries to impart his wisdom to her.
He shocks her into realizing she doesn’t have things that bad. He helps Tiffany understand that she has people who love her, and in helping her clarify the fact that she does indeed want to live, Pierre finds closure for himself. It’s a complete story of character growth, and Taylor is the master storyteller.
The best part though was that even though Tiffany was a self-obsessed, whinny teenager at times, I still cared about her. I wanted her to realize what she had, and when she did it was that much sweeter. I couldn’t write her off because Taylor wrote a character I was invested in from the start. The Night Wanderer is a great, philosophical story, and I’m glad I got the chance to read it.
“But like an uncomfortable recollection, he held it in place. It was like a scar – you noticed it, were aware of it, it held memories, but you could ignore it anytime you wanted.” – from The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, page 4
“‘That, my little granddaughter, is what God is about. Don’t let anybody tell you God is a man, or a person, or lives somewhere high above. God is a feeling. God is the world around you. God is life. I don’t know much, but that I do know.'” – Granny Ruth from The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, page 110
“On the positive side, it could be a rabid bear. Or a hungry pack of wolves. Or maybe it was a pizza delivery man who psychically knew she desperately needed a mushroom, onion, and pepperoni pizza. Hopefully with some garlic bread and a diet Coke.” – from The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, page 176
“This girl knew nothing about anything, and he was prepared to tell her so.
‘You know nothing. You are a young, self-obsessed girl who does not care about those around her. There are a hundred million more terrible and horrible things happening in this world than are happening to you. Circumstances and creatures out there that make your problems so insignificant, it’s not worth the calories to speak of them.’ He practically spit the words out.
Silence followed. Tiffany, severely depressed only moments ago, was now seething. ‘Then just go back to the basement. Go back to Europe. Just go away. My life is my life and it ain’t no concern of yours. For some stupid reason, when God decided to create this stinking world, he made it in such an undependable and insane way that it screws us all up.’
‘Such a petulant little child you are. I have not seen my family in longer than could imagine. I left them all behind so long ago, and I would give anything to see their faces one more time. So don’t whine to me. The world is far more complex than in your small, pathetic imagination. I have no time for it.'” – Conversation between Pierre and Tiffany from The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, pages 184-185
“Even though he had seen more death and pain than a thousand doctors, he was stunned at the sheer volumes. What little humanity was left in him cried out. Such waster. Such evil. Such stupidity. However, one solider was still alive. He was missing his leg below the knee and couldn’t last much longer. Pierre could see the blood slowly trickling out the open would and soaking the already saturated ground. The solider couldn’t have been much older than nineteen. He cried out to Pierre, in French. Appalled at the devastation, but still curious, Pierre knelt down beside the solider.
Barely able to speak, the boy was asking for a priest. He knew he was going to die but wanted absolution – the last rites. He asked the man, who was dressed in black, if he was a priest. Not knowing what to say, Pierre merely nodded. Then the boy confessed his sins and the man marvelled at the pettiness of what mortals called sins. Afterward, spiritually satisfied, the boy complained of the pain and how he wished it would go away.
So Pierre took the boy’s pain away. What was one more death in a field of death?” – from The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, pages 194-195