Friday, December 11, 2015

A Sudden Light: Book Review

I've been reading a lot lately, like a lot a lot (it's made me so good with words, as you can see). I've read so many books in the past 3 weeks that there's no way I'll get to reviewing them all. The reason I've read so much is going to seem really lame though. I've been in a show rut. Yep, that's what it takes for me to get more reading done, have no shows to watch. I feel like I've seen all the good shows out there; there are no shows worth watching left. I'm just waiting for new episodes of current shows I like, but they're all on winter break or something. I did find one show on Netflix to watch though, The Red Road, I had never heard of it, but it's pretty good. Man, that guy's wife is nutso.

Anywho, one of the books I've read is Garth Stein's A Sudden Light. It's a story of ghosts, without being a fantasy or supernatural, or even overly spiritual. These are real ghosts people. Okay, it's fiction, but still. It almost made me feel about ghosts the way The Historian made me feel about vampires. Okay, maybe not quite that far, but kind of. Work with me here, I'm writing this on very little sleep.

A Sudden Light takes place in the 1990s, mainly on an estate near Seattle, belonging to the descendants of a once very well-off timber baron. The story is narrated by the youngest (at the time) descendant, 14 year-old Trevor Riddle. Trevor is visiting the property for the first time, along with his father, Jones Riddle, who hasn't been back home for over 20 years. On the surface is appears that Jones has come to help his sister Serena, encourage their dementia suffering father to sign over rights to the property. As the story, and the history of the house unfolds, it becomes apparent that there is much more going on than that.

The reader begins to learn that everything is not as it seems and ulterior motives are hiding in every corner, and in some of those corners there's a ghost or two hiding with them. Which ghosts are real though? And which are just part of a bigger scheme? You have to read the book to find out, I'm not going to give too much away.

Young Trevor becomes quite the detective in this mystery, but at the same time he's making enemies of those you'd think he'd be closest too. At the same time, he's forming strong bonds with the aging grandfather he's only just met, who often doesn't make sense (or does he?) and the great-great uncle who died long before he was born. Maybe grandpa's dementia symptoms are just part of the bigger puzzle, or Riddle of Riddle house.

A Sudden Light is a well-written, engaging mystery that tells a story of family secrets, deceptions, and promises that are stronger than death. This is the third Garth Stein novel that I've read and it might be my favorite. If you like mysteries or ghost stories (it's not scary) it's worth picking up. I was able to find it at my local library. Who shouldn't read this? There are a few instances of foul language, and references to homosexuality (nothing graphic at all), I'd give it a 13+ on the age scale.

Have you read any good books lately? How about any good shows?


  1. Lost Stars...It's this awesome Star Wars novel. Very good read before the new movie comes out.

    1. If the stars are lost how did they have a war? :P


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