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19 years old from the UK, I have always loved a good book and a cup of tea, and am often asked to recommend books I have loved, thus created this blog in order to share my thoughts with whoever is interested. Please share recommendations if you wish!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Sudden Light - Garth Stein

As I have mentioned many a time on this blog I ADORE a mystery; I just can’t put them down! I have to say I was very surprised when this review request dropped into my inbox as Stein’s previous book ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ is one of my all-time favourite books and the description of this book was so far from ‘The Art of’. I couldn’t resist saying yes.

I was not left at all disappointed; in fact I was astounded at how well Steins style changes in this book compared to ‘The Art of’- equally good, but very different; a artful skill for a writer to achieve in itself. This is a scary book; genuinely I was very frightened when reading ‘A Sudden Light’- something that is so rare to find in a book and something that I love to discover.

The characters are fantastic- Grandpa Samuel is a particular favourite of mine, and his story line is brilliant. I loved the principal character Trevor; he was portrayed in a really realistic and genuine way- which is a theme that runs through the whole book. The characters actions and thoughts were all realistic and surprising; little twists and turns really added interesting depth to the story. In addition; the backstory and history, which is all intertwined brilliantly into the main story, is unique and totally engaging. Traditionally with stories like this (ones that are split into past and present) I tend to favour one side and find it a chore to read the other, however with ‘A Sudden Light’ I was very much interested in both sides. The history of this family, the Riddell family which the story is based around, is fascinating and its clear from the reading this book that Stein really did his research when it comes to the real life history of this area of the world- adding further to its realistic feel.

I love the ideas and themes portrayed in this book; ranging from the taboo to the thought provoking. So much is going on but it is all wound together beautifully. A small, but important, point is that of how the added ‘fear/scare’ elements heighten your imagination which helps to bring the story to life even more- you can hear the music; smell the trees- and it is balanced perfectly.

My only real criticism is that some elements of the story are left still, a little, unravelled at the end. I can get past this however as it allows you to work out your own answers; although that being said there are a couple of questions I still have swimming in my mind. I may have to read it again in the future to see if I can shed some light on them.

I have to admit this is a very adult book, not for kids or YA but I really enjoyed it. A mystery in the best sense, but with elements of the supernatural which added real character to the story, this is a lovely read. I got a real warm fuzzy feeling whilst reading it, possibly because it reminded me of what I used to love reading when I was a little younger and in love with the idea of period history, possibly because I remembered how much I love this authors writing.  

Note: This book was sent to me to review. This is no way alters or affects my opinion of the book and I only review books sent to me that I genuinely would have considered
purchasing for myself.

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