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Our protagonist, Cohen, is presented to us, seemingly as true as a character can be presented in the beginning chapter of a book, but it does not take long for the reader to wonder what exactly Cohen has done. His character is written on the surface - we truly do not understand who exactly Cohen is, nor can we fully trust what he is showing us even with his innermost thoughts. This is exemplary writing by Smucker - an unreliable narrator at his best.
The chapters of Light alternate between what is happening in the present, and flashbacks to, what we can assume, are important moments in Cohen's life. It shows us that Cohen is definitely an observer - one who has seen much more than he was ever supposed to growing up. Smucker lures us into Cohen's life story with these flashbacks to his past; however, the idea that Cohen is still not someone we can trust lingers in the background. The exceptional writing by Smucker dangles in between these two "worlds" - one where accidents happen and the other, a darker place, where choices are made and accidents are created. Light is an addicting read - each page sinking us further and further into this avenue of doubt - did Cohen do something bad, or is he simply a victim of circumstance?
Smucker's writing and thought provoking chain of events for his characters definitely keep you guessing - something I love in books like these. Can you consider this a thriller? A mystery? I'm not sure. I believe it falls more in a thriller category, but it also presents itself to be much too quiet to be a thriller. I can honestly say, however, that there is no particular genre that this book fits in, nor does there seem to be a singular word to describe what this work is. It is chilling and troubling as it is sad and heartbreaking.
Light from Distant Stars is a book that is impossible to put down - each short chapter makes the temptation to keep going so much greater! I say, give in and read the book - it’ll definitely keep you up at night.
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Copy of Light from Distant Stars
+ Look to the Stars 8”x5” Journal + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card;
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + Personal Library Kit;
Copy of Light from Distant Stars + $10 Starbucks Gift Card.
July 17-27, 2019
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