What a pleasure to come back to the stars of that first novel and watch as they interact with each other and the new characters that come to Crater Lake and the secluded landscape of Northern Vancouver Island, Canada .
There’s so much to love about Guenette’s writing and storytelling ability, including landscape descriptions, characterizations, and diverse conflicts.
The characters are all my friends now even if I don’t really like some of them all of the time. They are flawed; they are immature; they are secretive; they are unkind; they are human. Somewhere along the way, Guenette manages to take their flawed personalities and turn those around into positive assets. The conflicts are inner ones within both of the novels in this series. If the characters can overcome the past traumas and neglect, they will be able to soar higher than ever before. But the tension of the novel throbs with questions about whether they can survive or not.
Within the characters, I find bits of myself and others in my life. That’s what makes The Light Never Lies so compelling. Even if I don’t like some of the behaviors, I still want to be a part of the book club and the baseball team. I want an invitation to Izzy’s house for a dinner prepared by Alex and Christina, both new characters who add another element to the whole concept of family as put together by Izzy and Liam.
Izzy is my favorite character, and even though on the surface she seems perfect—beautiful, smart, accepting—Guenette gives her insecurities as she deals with her father Edward who’s come to her to spend his final days. I want nothing more than to sit with Izzy in her garden and sip on a glass of wine as the moon rises above the lake.
In this new novel, Guenette adds another dimension through the child, Robbie, wise beyond his years, and in the baby Sophie who gives them all a touchstone. Robbie’s life hasn’t been easy thus far, but his internal understanding of the world and its tangled connections shows the reader how a soul at peace can be accepting of just about anything.
I’m in awe of this talented storyteller and the rich characters she has created. The Light Never Lies is definitely character-driven novel where seriously flawed people find themselves facing ordinary circumstances where they must cope or fail.
From the metaphysical abilities of Robbie to see light around and within people to the exploration of tribal rights and insights, Guenette has woven a rich tapestry using threads created from a variety of colors and textures. Learning to let go and love others unconditionally and without reservation stand as strong messages in this novel.
Even though she manages to find resolution for the major plot lines, Guenette leaves room for the next book in the Crater Lake Series.
If you enjoy character-driven dramas that allow characters to explore their flaws with the hope of redemption always a step away, then you’ll enjoy this second book in the series. While each of the novels can stand alone, I recommend reading both of them in the order written. Why deprive yourself of missing one single second of sheer immersion in life on Crater Lake?
Disclosure: I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Light Never Lies in exchange for an honest review.