Having recently read and very much enjoyed Francis Guenette’s debut novel, Disappearing in Plain Sight, I was sad to leave the feisty characters behind, I was delighted to discover that the author had a sequel up her sleeve,although I admit I was a little nervous as to whether it could match the high standard set by the first book.
I needn’t have worried. The Light Never Lies was every bit as good, broadening the cast of characters to include all ages and stages of life, from the newborn to the dying.
Remote Setting in British Columbia
Like Disappearing in Plain Sight, it’s set in a small pocket of civilisation in the stunning rural wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, and revolves around Micah Camp, where troubled teens go to find new hope and purpose to relaunch them on life. But it’s not just the teens who are troubled – the adults who work at the camp and those based around it have problems of their own to deal with, and the result is a complex mesh of interactions as they all work out their issues.
The many-faceted plot is told with clearly and compassionately without ever becoming sentimental or sensationalist – in fact the even tone of the narrative makes it all the more moving. As in the first book, the setting is almost a character in its own right, and feels real and vivid all through the story.
New Character Range, Young and Old
I particularly liked the introduction of new strands to this book, especially a frail old man and a lively young boy. They bring two different ways of seeing to the cast of counsellors – photographically (the old man is a career photographer, learning technical tips from a teenager and passing on his gift to her) and psychically, via the small boy who has an ancient gift of seeing “lights” around people that tell him more than rational observation about the characters.
A satisfying, moving and memorable book which, likes it predecessor, I’ll be recommending far and wide.
Find out more about Francis Guenette on her excellent author website: Disappearing in Plain Sight