I picked this book up after I learned that Garth Stein would be speaking at my alma mater, hosted by my very favorite local indie. Not only did I want to support my home bookstore, but I can't resist hearing an author (any author) speak about his craft. In this case, I was well aware of Stein's work given The Art of Racing in the Rain. That book has been on my TBR long list for yeaaaaaaaars. Me having never picked it up had nothing to do with the quality of the book and more because... life. But I can guarantee that after having read A Sudden Light and hearing Stein speak, I'll be reading The Art of Racing in the Rain SOON!
Ghost stories are so often written off in the literary world. And as Garth Stein proved with A Sudden Light, that is a shame. Never before have I read a ghost story that was so moving and sweeping across generations as the tale of the Riddell family. The eternal struggle between the desire to profit from and to protect our land is symbolic of the struggle found within many father-son relationships . Dad wants you to follow in his footsteps, but every individual is born with his or her own desires and values. And sometimes it takes a destroyed relationship... or the complete and utter destruction of one's values... for a parent to realize just how much more their child understands the intricacies of the world.
And for your viewing pleasure, here are a few pics from the time Garth Stein signed my copy of A Sudden Light and my daughter's copy of Enzo Races in the Rain! (Stein's children's book based on The Art of Racing in the Rain). With this, Lorelai's signed book collection has been officially started!
The bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain presents a long-awaited new novel in which a boy trying to save his parents’ marriage uncovers a vast legacy of family secrets.
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 Seattle’s 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 the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.
But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.
Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power.