I was fortunate to have reviewed the first in the Crater Lake series, Disappearing in Plain Sight, and I found a story that was rich in characters and characterization, grand vistas and the dramas that surround and often consume relationships. Guenette has returned with a second book set in British Colombia, in the remote area of Crater Lake. In this story, we continue to see relationships as they develop, clash and force growth from the characters as we now focus on a summer camp program for troubled youth.
Again, this story is almost entirely character driven and what a rich cast she has brought. Lisa Marie returns from the first book, still growing and causing some upheaval as she struggles to find her own place amidst the other lives that exist around her. Guenette doesn’t shirk from difficult topics: a gay teenaged boy who is frightened and angry because of his shame, a lesbian relationship that shakes the community and forces everyone to rethink their views on love, an elderly gentleman who is hoping to share his love of photography and how to find beauty in the smallest viewfinder possible, then to expand your sight, couples in turmoil after years together and even an eight year old boy who sees people in terms of their auras…the list goes on and on.
Characters are breathing entities in this book: there is drama and often it will frustrate you to the point of screaming, but that is quickly mitigated by a sweetly composed scene, and that balance of difficulties mixed with laughter and joy, despite the traumas sustained by all the characters is a true slice of life: not all is good, bad or indifferent, and all can be a revelation. Far from falling into the pitfall of a second installment not being as good as the first, this book is also marvelous and emotional, well-crafted and populated with characters that could be friends, family or neighbors. I would suggest reading the titles in order, if only to enrich your experience with this title, but it is not required: Guenette does provide background information and defines the setting with lushly descriptive phrasing that instantly gives readers a visual image, even those who have never been to the area.
Title: The Light Never Lies
Author: Francis L. Guenette
Genre: Literary Fiction, Literary Fiction /Family Saga
Published by: Self-Published
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As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.