To an artist, the light is everything. So what is Amber supposed to do when facing blindness?
Amber spent her life adapting first to being abandoned by her birth mother as a toddler, and then to the death of her adoptive father in her teen years. Now she s moved past all that, loving life as an independent woman: she has a job as an art instructor and the perfect apartment.
But when a routine eye appointment reveals she s losing her sight, life comes to a halt. Pressures come at her from all sides. Her mother, her boss, her boyfriend and her closest friend, Shannon, all have ideas about what s best for her.
Even after her blindness counselor, Ethan, befriends her and opens her eyes to new opportunities and the possibility of a deeper relationship, one haunting question remains: How could the God she loved all her life turn everything upside down again?
Oh the feels in this book! Heartbreak, loss, fear, pain, acceptance, hope. April McGowan draws the reader in to experience everything right along with Amber.
When her entire life shifts in one afternoon, Amber’s dream of teaching students art, her relationships, even her apartment seems too much. The knowledge she is losing her sight shifts her perspective in every area of her life.
Flawed and prone to mistakes and missteps, Amber reminded me that God meets us where we are. In our anger, our despair, our acceptance. We may not understand why he allows it but he never leaves us—even during those times we rail at him.
This book is about relationships. Broken ones, those in disrepair, those that fall away, new ones, and ones that last a lifetime.
Full of twists and turns, beauty, and poignancy, Hold the Light is one book you will not be disappointed in picking up.
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
The book cover excellently captures the brilliant essence of this story: a lone woman, possibly depressed, slowly approaching the edge or end of something, headed toward obscurity—obscurity that’s full of light.
It’s no sugar-coated walk in the park that Amber is taking. Admittedly, I found her difficult to like when she’d let loose a sarcastic and spiteful tongue toward the people who care about her. Her anger is understandable, though, and she does feel remorse. It wasn’t always easy for me to follow the story’s train of emotion, there were places where the style and development felt rushed and simplistic, and the novel’s villain wasn’t the most convincing to me.
But in other places, the main characters’ experiences rent my heart. It’s not the first book I’ve read about a sighted person losing her vision, but it still gave me some new thoughts to consider. And besides a plot twist I didn’t anticipate, the story came most alive for me at Amber’s easel: the colors, the flow of feelings and creativity and purpose, the appreciation of nature, the communication with God. The light. Brilliant.
WhiteFire Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
This book is the first I’ve read by this author and I could not put it down. What an emotionally charged and thought-provoking novel!
The writing style is fluid and easy to follow. The plot is absolutely amazing and it challenged me to broaden my horizon, break out of my misconceptions about certain groups of people, and truly see this world – though broken and sick – through Jesus’ eyes. There were quite a few surprises in the plot that revved up the emotional gear a few notches.
The characters are unforgettable. Amber, an artist and an art teacher quickly going blind, starts out as a self-centered woman who only bemoans her medical condition and tries to shut her family and friends out. She actually is quite unlikable at the beginning but meets Ethan, a counselor for the blind, who helps her adjust to her new world. Amber does indeed go through the steps of grieving and matures as the story unfolds. Ethan is….loyal, compassionate, competent, yet so flawed….and we don’t see his flaws until halfway through the story. Shannon is Amber’s best friend who sticks by her through the calm and the storm. I pray that I can be half the friend that Shannon is in this book. And I’m hoping that there will be a sequel about Shannon…..
The thread of faith, hope, prayer, and redemption is the backbone of this story which worked really well.
This book brought up a lot of topics to ponder….like how do we, as believers of Christ, treat those with disabilities? How do we treat the homeless? Are we truly representing His love as His church? When crisis hits, how do we handle it?
I am thankful to WhiteFire Publishing for a free review copy of this book. A favorable review was not required. All comments and opinions are solely my own.