A Sudden Light
|February 4, 2015||Posted by admin under Drama, Fiction, Mystery|
Everything about this book intrigued me – the family dynamics, the physical surroundings, the ghostly presence, the narration, the plot. To begin, readers are introduced to Trevor Riddell, a then 14-year-old boy on a journey with this dad, Jones Riddell. A much older Trevor takes you back to the year 1990 when his parents were on a trial separation and he is spending the summer with his dad who returns to his childhood home fittingly called Riddell House. This is no ordinary house though. It is a massive sprawling mansion nearly a century old that is in a dilapidated state but has lots of character and acres of land … plus it has a ghost and secrets too. Big secrets. Trevor knows very little about his father’s upbringing and nothing about this mansion where his father grew up. In fact, Trevor has never met his father’s family until now. You see, Jones left home when he was 16 and only returned home at 39 on a mission to help his sister take care of their father, sell the house and property, and live happily ever after off the profit. But things don’t always go as planned. Trevor notices almost immediately that Jones has an estranged relationship with his aging father (Samuel, who now has Alzheimer’s Disease) and a weird relationship with his rather eccentric sister (Serena). He learns too that his grandmother died many years ago – when his father was 16. A budding writer, Trevor is introduced to the mansion’s library where many valuable, prized, and unread books have lived for many decades. Trevor is intrigued by his family’s plight and begins to explore his ancestry. He uncovers some dark secrets and unanswered promises long hidden in the mysterious rooms, hallways and books of Riddell House. And as he gets closer to piecing things together, readers will be introduced to an explosive end and to the future of Riddell House.
A Sudden Light really is a remarkable book. It is broken down into 46 chapters (which are just long enough to keep you interested but give you the chance to take a break if necessary) and includes a prologue and an epilogue (to give you just enough of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ to satisfy your thirst for more information). The book has a riveting storyline and some pretty interesting characters – some you will be drawn to immediately; others you will find a little bizarre. You will learn about the beginnings of Riddell House, about a once rich family that fell from grace, and about a long deceased man who believed passionately in conservation. Along the way you will likely feel all kinds of mixed emotions as you turn the pages and delve deeper into the mysteriousness of Trevor’s family — emotions like empathy, bewilderment, sadness, surprise, and amusement. Stein is a magician with his words and sentences. The pages flow so well and the story unfolds so effortlessly that you will find it hard to put the book down. It had me at page 1.
To learn more about this book or to get your very own copy, visit the publisher’s website here.