Book Review: In The Light of What We See by Sarah Painter

51iL7moKnpLBrighton, 1938: Grace Kemp is pushed away by the family she has shamed. Rejected and afraid, she begins a new life as a nurse. But danger stalks the hospital too, and she’ll need to be on her guard to avoid falling into familiar traps. And then there are the things she sees…Strange portents that have a way of becoming real.

Eighty years later, Mina Morgan is brought to the same hospital after a near-fatal car crash. She is in terrible pain but recalls nothing. She’s not even sure whom to trust. Mina too sees things that others cannot, but now, in hospital, her visions are clearer than ever…

Two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by a shared space and a common need to salvage their lives.

I came across this book after listening to Sarah Painter’s podcast called Worried Writer. This podcast is brilliant if you are a writer and I have been hooked since the first podcast I listened to. This is the first book I have read of Sarah Painter’s and after having finished this one I will definitely be getting hold of her backlog to add to my ever growing TBR (To Be Read) pile.

I have one word to sum this book up: amazing. You could tell that everything about this book was well thought out and I loved every bit of it.

I have always loved multiple narratives in a novel;  in my opinion it gives the story extra layers and shows us a more rounded image of each character.

In the light of what we see instantly grabbed me and pulled me into the story from the moment of the car crash right until the very last word. One aspect of the book I thought really added a lot more depth and interest was idea of having different narratives from different eras. To me, it showed how two characters can come from two completely different backgrounds and even different decades and can actually have a lot more in common then you may first think.

The characters, Mina and Grace are beautifully portrayed and as the book progresses we find out more about both of their pasts; the good and the bad, which makes you fall in love with them even more. All the way through I felt like I was there with the characters; experiencing their joy, their sorrow, their pain and their love towards others.

In the Light of What we See is a rollercoaster ride of emotion; you will laugh, you will cry and you will shout at the characters in frustration like I did, just try not to shout too loud in public!

If you like novels such as the Time Travellers Wife or The Notebook you will love this book.

(In the Light of What We See has been released by Lake Union Publishing on 1st April 2016.)


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Liz Hewett
Liz is an avid reader and writer. She’s married to Keith and is currently living in Hampshire with their mischievous but loveable cat, Jeff. When she hasn’t got her head stuck in a book you can find her putting pen to paper and editing her own book that she wrote for Nanowrimo 2014. In fact, she has always loved writing and had her first article published at the age of 8 in a local church magazine.

Liz absolutely loves reading to the extent that she has even made herself a reading area in their small house which is lined with masses of books and book inspired posters. Some of her favourite authors are: Sophie Kinsella, Freya North, Tess Gerritsen and J.D Robb (Nora Robert’s pen name).

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