Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

After Light By Catherine Hunter

“A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit.” John Milton

A friend of mine called me just as I finished Catherine Hunter’s latest novel, After Light. I was a mess. Crying my eyes out. I couldn’t talk. What a book!

When I was able to collect my thoughts I sent Catherine what I hoped was an intelligent commentary. Here is a brief excerpt of the note I sent Catherine. I’ve taken out the bits that would give away any key elements of the story. Suffice to say my note to Catherine was much longer, but hopefully you’ll understand how I felt about this novel from my note below. 

“Okay…I think I can be intelligent now about your novel, Catherine. I love it when a book and more importantly an author stirs the kind of emotion and compassion you did in me. Well done.

What did I love? I loved the slow reveal of each character, the going back and forth in time to peel back layers of the hurts each experienced, from Deirdre to Frank and onto his girls. I loved their humanness; their desire to do better for themselves and their families, yet how they still fell into traps of jealousy and anger and all the other negative things we humans are prone to when we feel threatened in any way. The sister relationship was very well played out, along with the love and hate struggle and the guilt that comes with that. 

They were all so very human so that even in their most dastardly actions, I couldn’t help but feel and cheer for them. Well done. I loved how you also showed their capacity for forgiveness. Rosheen’s project was brilliant. It was her way of asking for forgiveness, understanding her roots and her family and sharing that story with her son and sister in the hopes, I suppose, that it would show them where they came from and how much they were loved. 

I loved that different people could see the characters in different ways. Frank for example. His daughters saw him in one way at home, and yet his friends saw him in quite another way. I loved how Connor and his friends saw Frank in a different light, the person he truly was, the one he didn’t know even existed.

All the twists and turns were so wonderful and so very much like life itself. I loved Deirdre’s strength. She wasn’t likeable to me at first and yet I could see why she was doing what she was doing both to survive and to try to do the best for her son, even though at times it didn’t seem like that. Man, it reminded me of some of the things I’ve done and said to my son when I was afraid for him. 

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll say it again, After Light was a great read. Bravo!” 

And just to give you a hint of Catherine’s book, I’ve included the trailer to After Light here. Like the book, it’s absolutely wonderful. Enjoy! And get this book. You won’t regret it!


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