Friday, March 12, 2021

Book Review: The Light Through the Leaves

Happy Friday! I am so glad it is Friday. I've had such a full week it feels like. Whether it's health related, my birthday, mom life, or all of the other things, I just feel worn down. I was wishing for a few days of doing nothing but that certainly won't be this weekend... or next. Next week though is spring break for my kids so I'm hoping I can just sleep in and do nothing.. crossing fingers! 

The Light Through the Leaves

 Glendy Vanderah

One unbearable mistake at the edge of the forest.

In a moment of crisis, Ellis Abbey leaves her daughter, Viola, unattended—for just a few minutes. But when she returns, Viola is gone. A breaking point in an already fractured marriage, Viola’s abduction causes Ellis to disappear as well—into grief, guilt, and addiction. Convinced she can only do more harm to her family, Ellis leaves her husband and young sons, burying her desperate ache for her children deeper with every step into the mountain wildernesses she treks alone.

In a remote area of Washington, a young girl named Raven keeps secrets inside, too. She must never speak to outsiders about how her mother makes miracles spring from the earth, or about her father, whose mysterious presence sometimes frightens her. Raven spends her days learning how to use her rare gifts—and more important, how to hide them. With each lesson comes a warning of what dangers lie in the world beyond her isolated haven. But despite her mother’s cautions, Raven finds herself longing for something more.

As Ellis and Raven each confront their powerful longings, their journeys will converge in unexpected and hopeful ways, pulled together by the forces of nature, love, and family. 
Oh man, what a book. If you are looking for a light read, this really isn't it. If you're looking for a book that will really get your heart, dive into this one. 

As a mother, one of my biggest fears is and has always been child abduction. I was almost nervous to start this one but I have read another book by Glendy Vanderah, and I really enjoyed it so I felt OK going into this. We have Ellis, already a mother struggling a lot, and she makes a mistake that so many of us have done in some capacity. It only takes a moment, hindsight is always 20/20, and while it is easy to say what we would have done, we never truly know what we would do if in the same situation so reserve your judgement. One of my favorite thing about Glendy's books is she really ties in nature and the natural world but also a touch of supernatural, in a really great way. 

The story starts with Ellis, out and about with her infant daughter and toddler twin boys. The boys start acting up, for a literal second Ellis is overwhelmed while dealing with the tantrum and suddenly, her daughter Viola is gone. She's gone and her whole world spirals. Her marriage goes to shambles, she becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, the media is BRUTAL to her, and she has what is maybe the world's worst mother in law, so she gives up her twin boys because she harbors so much guilt and grief and sees herself ruining her entire life and it breaks your heart. 

Fast forward several years. Viola is now known as Raven and she's living a not so great life with Mama, who has volatile moods (clearly mental illness is at play) and she has become self reliant but she spends a lot of times in the forest to connect with nature, which is tremendously helpful for her. 

The story flip flops between both Ellis and Raven and how their independent lives/stories eventually merge. I can't tell you how it happens or anything once it does because it really is magic. The ending is spectacular, it really clenched this one for me. I loved all of the secondary characters, too. I felt like all of the little story strings were pulled together and I loved it. 

Absolutely giving this one 5 stars, this pulled me right out of my reading slump and I am so grateful. It makes me so happy to have been on this tour, and Glendy is on my list of go-to authors. I cannot wait to see what comes next. Thank you to TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour and providing me an ARC for review. 

I highly suggest this one if you're looking for a book to really sink into, it is a perfect weekend read. 
This post contains affiliate links.

1 comment:

Why Girls Are Weird said...

I totally feel ya on feeling worn down. I've been going through some ridiculous highs and lows lately and it's pretty exhausting.

Nonetheless, this book sounds AMAZING and obviously I need to read it!