Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Review: The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah (audio)

 

Title:  The Light Through the Leaves
Author: Glendy Vanderah
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Published: Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes / 464 pages
Source: Audio via Brilliance Publishing / Print via Amazon Publishing

Summary:

Go on a powerful journey of forgiveness and healing with The Light Through the Leaves, a transcendent novel of love, loss, and self-discovery by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars.

One unbearable mistake at the edge of the forest. 

In a moment of crisis, Ellis Abbey leaves her daughter, Viola, unattended - for just a few minutes. But when she returns, Viola is gone. A breaking point in an already fractured marriage, Viola’s abduction causes Ellis to disappear as well - into grief, guilt, and addiction. Convinced she can only do more harm to her family, Ellis leaves her husband and young sons, burying her desperate ache for her children deeper with every step into the mountain wildernesses she treks alone. 

In a remote area of Washington, a young girl named Raven keeps secrets inside, too. She must never speak to outsiders about how her mother makes miracles spring from the earth, or about her father, whose mysterious presence sometimes frightens her. Raven spends her days learning how to use her rare gifts - and more important, how to hide them. With each lesson comes a warning of what dangers lie in the world beyond her isolated haven. But despite her mother’s cautions, Raven finds herself longing for something more. 

As Ellis and Raven each confront their powerful longings, their journeys will converge in unexpected and hopeful ways, pulled together by the forces of nature, love, and family.


My thoughts:  I absolutely loved Glendy Vanderah's debut novel, Where the Forest Meets the Stars, so it was a no-brainer when I was pitched this book as to whether I would read it. And this latest one is just as beautiful and captivating as I expected it would be. 

I adored this book. I immediately became invested in the characters and found myself emotionally attached to them. I needed to know how everything was going to work out and could think of nothing else until I got to the end. This is the type of book where you will go through a range of emotions due to some of the character's actions, but not living in their shoes, it's really hard not to know exactly what you would do.

This book is at times a bit hard to read because it does touch on some difficult topics. But I think it weaves them into the story in such a way that you can't help but keep reading. The characters are so complex yet they also are quite real. They show us just how vulnerable we all can be at times.

I also loved how the author used nature as a way of healing. When things get tough, how many of us turn to the outdoors to take a breath or cool our heads? The connection to nature is very powerful in this book and I appreciated just how that is used.

I was completely surprised by this book, in a good way! It's one of those books that once you start reading, you just cannot put down. As much as you want to savor your time with these characters, you also want to devour it, to find out what the ultimate resolution is going to be. I certainly will be recommending this one to everyone and I cannot wait to see what comes next from this super talented author. She has definitely become a must-read author!



Audio thoughts: I had the opportunity to listen to this book and it really translated well onto audio. It is the first time I've listened to narrator Susannah Jones and I thought she did a great job. She gave all the characters a unique voice and her pacing and intonation was spot on. She really did a great job of bringing this book to life. 

 

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