Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Sudden Light (Garth Stein)

Garth Stein's A Sudden Light is a richly layered novel that truly deserves all the buzz its been getting.  Stein seamlessly interweaves multiple generations into this part ghost story, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel.

Teenager Trevor Riddell goes with his father to Riddell House, which has been in the family for a very long time.  The estate is falling apart (along with Trevor's parents' marriage), and the existing Riddells have differing ideas of what to do with it.  Stein takes his time building each of the characters and fully fleshing them out, from Grandpa Samuel, to his daughter Serena, to Trevor's father Jones, and to their long-dead ancestors.  Often, A Sudden Light is unbearably suspenseful -- the type of novel that you have to read just one more chapter before turning out the lights and going to bed.

Author Garth Stein already has written a bestselling novel (The Art of Racing in the Rain).  With the September 2014 publication of A Sudden Light, he's sure to have written another one.