A Sudden Light 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       December 14, 2014


Author  Garth Stein

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781439187036
Publisher:         Simon & Schuster
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.simonandschuster.com 

Haunting and addictive, the story of Trevor Riddell and his family hold you captive until the last page as you find yourself becoming more and more entranced with the goings-on in a family with a history that traces back to the pioneering days of America.

Trevor Riddell is desperately trying to save his parents’ marriage. His father returns to his childhood home, Riddell House, taking  Trevor with him for the summer. The home turns out to be a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound; a place he knew nothing about other than his father had left there a long time ago and never returned.

Riddell House is the last piece of the massive fortune founded on timber and railroads but which also came at a great cost.

Jones Riddell, Trevor’s father, returns to help his sister Serena encourage their father to sell the property, move into a care facility and divide the remainder of the money so both Jones and Serena can continue on with their lives.  Trevor somehow gets co-opted into this scheme and does believe that if the money can solve his parent’s problems, he will certainly help.

As the days go by he becomes aware of another presence or possibly more than one presence in the house, other than the well-known fact that his long departed grandmother, Isobel, dances for his grandfather in the ballroom in the dead of night.

As Trevor is considered to be a very bright young man his curiosity leads him to investigate the story of his family and in particular the story of Ben, who seems to have had a great influence on the family’s eventual decline in their fortunes.

 This curiosity leads him into the secret passageways of Riddell House and to the discovery of a hidden room, the office of Elijah, where he discovers journals and letters which shed light on the family’s history. He discovers the diaries and notebooks of Harry, Ben friend which while confrontational, explains why the presence which has become known to Trevor cannot rest until things are put to rights.

Told from a fourteen year old perspective you do not realise completely, until the end, this story of a man to his children many years later.

Fascinating, enveloping, enthralling you will discover that you are stepping every inch of the way with Trevor as he tries to work out his families tragic past in order to create a better future.