Author: Catherine West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2019
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.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
When I pick up a Catherine West book, I know I’m going to find an engrossing and touching story inside, and As the Light Fades is no exception. Although poignant and heart-wrenching, it’s also a moving story of healing, forgiveness, and grace. It seems as if every character had hurts and problems they were battling, but isn’t that the way life really is? We all have things in our past or present that affect us and our relationships.
West has tackled some hard, gritty subjects in this book, and she’s done it with great sensitivity. She is a master at creating broken, hurting, and realistic characters that are also endearing. Elizabeth Carlisle has made some unfortunate choices in her life, and she’s definitely hurting. Matt has just been made guardian of his niece, Mia, who has plenty of baggage of her own. I love the way the author threw these three together, along with Liz’s artistic, ailing father whose “light is fading” and started them on a healing path.
Although I’m sure it was hard to have a teenager show up in his life, I loved Matt’s determination to do his best for Mia and show her the love he hadn’t felt from his parents. The threads of forgiveness, grace, and mercy that run through the story give added depth and dimension to it and make for a very satisfying read. Although this is a standalone book, it was a fun touch to see some of the characters from the author’s book The Things We Remember show up.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
“We’re given clarity of thought and the ability to speak truth in love for a purpose. It took a while for that to sink in, but it finally did.”
Another emotional, heart-rendering, ugly-cry kind of women’s fiction from Catherine West. This fantastic author will never fail to touch your heart and soul, no matter what her subject matter. As the Light Fades deals with a whole slew of life stages and challenges, from a broken, angst-filled, angry teenager world to a battered and frustrated thirty-something world to a confused and often lost world of dementia, all dealing with pain but holding on, even to the tiniest ray of hope. The author touches upon other delicate topics like substance abuse, domestic abuse, and dysfunctional families but she does it with care, sensitivity, and hope. These themes are intricately swirled and woven into the world of visual arts - specifically photography, painting, and sketching. The book is beautifully and poignantly written from first person present perspective of Liz’s talented but confused father and third person perspectives of Liz, Matt, and Matt’s niece Mia.
The book has a crossover of characters from the author’s previous book Things We Knew but it isn’t a “sequel” per se and can be read as a stand-alone. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything though I didn’t read Things We Knew (but now I absolutely must read it!).
Liz, a former corporate attorney in NYC, is quite prickly but very interesting and lovable once we see who she is. Matt, a high school art teacher newly hired on Nantucket, is our unconventional hero who wants to protect and cherish. The host of secondary characters is as diverse and phenomenal as you can get and you’ll end up falling in love with the whole Carlisle and Stone families.
This book embodies “grace, power of forgiveness and the gift of healing.” Anyone who enjoys a cry-out-loud, thought-provoking contemporary novel would love this book.
I received a copy of the book from the author and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.