> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from Edelweiss for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for one of my best loved books of the year!

A Sudden Light cover


When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.


I could not get through this saga quick enough-by that I mean I could NOT stop turning pages to see what would happen to ALL the characters. Like his previous work, The Art of Racing in the Rain, the characters grab you from page one and you don't want to leave them. Garth does a great job in taking the reader back and forth in time, weaving a haunting ghost story of what ifs, shoulda beens, and coulda beens. Like the house in the story, the reader will heave a sigh near the end, as Garth ties the story up very nicely, and in a natural way. It is a moving tale of guilt, forgiveness and redemption,and one that is perfect for reading with a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire, long into the night!.

About the Author:

Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, published in thirty-five languages, and two previous novels, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets andRaven Stole the Moon. He is the cofounder of Seattle7Writers, a non-profit collective of Northwest authors working to foster a passion for the written word. He lives in Seattle with his family. Visit him online at GarthStein.com.

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