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August 11, 2019

Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"He is struck with the thought of how long it takes the light to reach him.  How much has changed in the universe since that light left its star and traveled through the darkness, illuminating everything. It saddens him to think that some of those stars, perhaps many of them, no longer exist but their light goes on shining as if nothing at all has happened, as if nothing is wrong." (p 214)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

July 2019; Revell; 978-0800736231
audio, ebook, print (402 pages); Christian fiction
After I read the first 10 pages of this novel, I decided that it wasn't my kind of book and I wouldn't finish it.  I decided to read a little more and gradually got caught up in the life of the main character and the way the story was told and didn't put the book down again until I was finished with it.  I found this haunting story to be mesmerizing and unforgettable.  The writing is beautiful and parts of the story are heartbreaking but the overall theme is one of hope for the future and forgiveness of the past.

As the story begins, Cohen steps over his father's dead body on the floor of the funeral home that they both own.  He leaves the funeral home immediately and doesn't tell anyone what he saw.  Did he kill his father becomes one of the basic questions of the book. He feels that his father's death is his fault.  As the book continues over the four days that his father is in intensive care hooked up to a respirator, we learn not just about what is going on now but also many of Cohen's memories from growing up. He waits at the hospital with his sister and has several visits from the police who are investigating the assault on his father.

As he waits at the hospital, his memories of his childhood become very vivid and he begins to remember more about his earlier years that he had totally forgotten until now. His father is a big part of his memories - both the love he has for his father and the ways he feels that his father has failed him over the years. The memories he uncovers only add to the grief that he is feeling about his father's imminent death.

I thought that this was a beautifully written, memorable novel about love and forgiveness both of yourself and of others that you feel have harmed you. This is my first book by this author but certainly won't be my last.

Buy Light from Distant Stars at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.
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