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.