A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Image via Goodreads.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

I liked this tale of two lurid lovers, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to give it a higher rating.

Laura Whitcomb’s writing was wonderful, considering A Certain Slant of Light is her debut novel. It’s sensational yet sweet, hair-raising yet unhurried – there were a few quotes I took special notice of but now regret not writing down. After quickly scanning the first chapter or two, here’s a quote that I think shows her talent:

“I had two strong and seemingly contradictory sensations. One was a fear of being seen by a mortal – as if beheld naked when you know you are clothed. The other was an almost indescribable sensation of attraction – the vine curling toward the sun’s light in slow but single-minded longing.”

However, I had issues with the plot. While it’s plain to see this book delved deeper into the heart of human emotion than most young-adult books, Whitcomb’s execution of the storyline unsettled me. There was so much going on – Helen and James’s past lives and their struggle to fit into modern society, Jenny and Billy’s current lives, the spiritual side of the story, etc., that I couldn’t connect to the characters. If she had taken a couple of these story elements or conflicts and fleshed them out further, perhaps I would have loved this book instead of merely liking it.

Overall I wanted less, but I wanted more at the same time. I apologize if that’s confusing. Nevertheless A Certain Slant of Light can only be truly understood by a reader possessing an open mind and the maturity to handle some serious stuff, so if that doesn’t sound like you, I would avoid this book. Certainly not a bad read, though.



Filed under 3.5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

2 responses to “A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

  1. Danielle S.

    This book is absolutely one of the dearest books to my heart. I started reading this book 7 years ago and I am more intrigued every time. Not only is the ebb and flow of the structure give readers a sense of attachment to the wave of emotions the characters experience, but also the structure is what confined or restricted the chaotic story line. Whitcomb repeats certain words and descriptions to tie together complete opposite characters beautifully. I am in tears at the end of the book– tears of saddness; however, the conclusion had me in quite opposite tears. (cheesy I know, but true).

    I do agree with the fact the author could have indulged more in certain elements and storylines (i.e Her other hosts, Jenny’s relationship with her father, the adultery, James’ life, and of course the last scene).

    Definitely take the time to read this book. It’s absolutely unforgettable. Really makes you think about life, love, spirituality, and life’s purpose.

    • Beautiful defense of the book! The reasons you listed are all points that should push people to pick up the novel. I’m glad this book has affected you so, it shows just how powerful books can be. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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