It’s been a reading frenzy for me lately! Which is a good thing, except when you jump from book to book and then kind of leave your reviews in the dust. So here I am, catching up again! Ah, the blook bloggers life is never dull 😉
Now before I share my thoughts on this story, I should disclose it is not being marketed as a Christian Fiction novel, although it is a clean read. There are a few issues that could cause a trigger for some, but I think Cathy did a fantastic job in how she presented them. All this to say – I’ve been a fan of Cathy’s for a while now. When she mentioned she was not marketing this as Christian fiction, I supported and still support her 100%. Here’s the thing – God told her to write this story. And while some readers may skip over it for the simple fact it doesn’t have the name Christian Fiction next to it, I can see God everywhere in this story. And I think you will too if you give it a try.
Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.
After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.
Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.
Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.
When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.
Readers get your tissues ready, because this is a story that will move you and bring you to tears. West has delivered a heartrending story that pulls you right in. She has a way with words and stories that really make a reader think – think about life, tough situations, our attitudes during these situations, and how we can be a blessing to others who are going through something horrific. I promise you – this book will change you.
Liz was my favorite character by far. She was damaged, yes. But even so she was such a strong character. She reached a point in her life where she didn’t totally want to let her past define her, or even what her ex-boyfriend did to her. Now sure, it makes it hard for her to have relationships, but that didn’t stop one from blossoming. Some of my favorite scenes are with Matthew and Liz. Yes their relationship starts out as a friendship. Well, technically a landlord/tenant relationship. Things seemed to easy between them. By this I mean there weren’t a lot of awkward moments. It was just two people easily able to talk to each other, comfortable around each other, and willing to help each other out. As their feelings for each other seemed to blossom, I was pleased with how patient Matthew was. Yes, this made him even more of a hunky hero, but it also made him an even better match for Liz.
The parts of the book that really spoke to me were those scenes with Mia. Mia had been dealt a rough life, there is no denying that. But here is a girl who just needs someone to love her, show her that she can trust people, and allow her room to grow. Living with Uncle Matthew had its ups and downs, but underneath it all, you could see her love for him. I think this could be said of kids in similar situations. Yes, they act out, but do we ever stop and think about why? West’s writing really made me think about this more, and want to help children in these types of situations.
There are so many things that make up a good book. The writing, the characters, the setting, the dialogue, and the writer’s ability to hold your attention. All of these boxes can be checked about As The Light Fades. But perhaps even more important was the awareness it creates. Awareness about real life struggles that people face. Awareness about ways we can help others. Awareness of how we ourselves are quick to judge others, and what we perceive are their circumstances, when perhaps we don’t really have a clue at all. I had to take a big breath after reading this, and just sit quietly for a moment. It moved me that much, and I think it’ll move you too if you give it a try.
I received a complimentary copy of this review. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew, 2017 and Where Hope Begins, 2019) and recipient of ACFW’s Carol Award for Where Hope Begins.