04 March, 2015

A sudden light by Garth Stein [Kathy, Collections Development]

When 14-year-old Trevor’s parents agree to a trial separation, his mother returns to her British birthplace and his father takes Trevor to his family estate near Seattle. Trevor is fascinated by the house and its secrets and spends his summer exploring the estate and bonding with his grandfather, while his father and aunt try to persuade the old man to sell the land to developers. Visits from a supernatural being and the discovery of an old diary make Trevor keen to find out the hidden stories of his family.

Narrated by Trevor looking back as an adult, this is a haunting tale of relationships between fathers and sons spanning several generations of a Seattle family. Stein's writing is beautifully descriptive and atmospheric and he introduces quite unusual characters. I liked the way the view was from that of a young boy who was not afraid to question the past and was curious about everything around him, and the subtle comments on progress and how we treat the environment.
A passage that resonated with me observed the way we make our surroundings overly safe for children and elders ‘they didn’t realise they were raising a generation of children who could only walk on level ground. The pathfinders of the world, henceforth, would be confined to the pre-paved paths’

This title is available in print, and as an Overdrive e-book.

Title: A sudden light: a novel
Author: Garth Stein
ISBN: 9781439187036
Published: 2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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