Title: The Light of the World
Author Name & Publisher: Ellen Simpson (Ylva)
Publication Date & Length: December 2, 2015 — 259 Pages
At the back of her grandmother’s closet lies a mystery.
After her grandmother’s death, Eva finds a series of diaries detailing the life of a girl caught up in the magic of the Roaring Twenties. She cannot reconcile the young girl in these diaries with the miserable old woman she loved so fiercely. What happened to change her grandmother so drastically?
Eva starts to investigate the puzzle her grandmother left behind. With the help of a local historian and his enigmatic assistant Olivia, they find a forgotten labyrinth under the city streets. But they are not the only ones down there. Someone else is searching for the light of the world.
When clearing her grandmother Mary’s house after her funeral, Eve comes across some journals that make her see Mary in a new light. Her grandmother had not been a happy woman and seemed to be carrying a sadness within her. As a sufferer of depression, Eve had assumed that her grandmother was also depressed. The journals show Eve that her grandmother had been a happy, interesting young woman with a secret.
I really enjoyed this book and it became more and more interesting as the story unfolded. We find that Mary had a special friend, Wren, who was the guardian of ‘the light of the world’, but what did that mean? The relationship between the two young women was romantic but at that time, 1925, such things were not spoken about , never mind accepted. The mystery behind ‘the light of the world’ unfolded in present time as Eve and her new friend Liv, along with the rather creepy Theo and his son Al, scoured the diary for clues and researched the suffragettes in New York in the 1920s.
I thought the tension was pitched just right, never knowing who to trust or what it all meant for Eve. Her relationship with Liv was slow and tentative and I can see why it was paced that way. Liv had secrets of her own that made it necessary. She was a fascinating character, with a lot of strength when needed but she struggled with so many things she couldn’t share. The historical aspect and the research undertaken was a big plus for me. I thought the past was brought to life beautifully and I wanted to know so much more about Mary and Wren. Linking it back to the present worked so well. It was spine-chilling at times and I loved that. I felt Eve grew as a person through the book. She had issues with depression and I felt this held her back from living and relationships. She had no confidence in her ability to cope and it took great strength to fight the battle against the blackness. She found something to lift her out of it in trying to figure out her grandmother’s story. Liv was obviously part of that but Eve needed to see that she was capable of being more. I found it a fulfilling read, with many facets. Not just mystery, but love, hope and completion for Eve.
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