A Light in the Forest: A Novel by Melissa Payne
.ePUB, 309 pages
Expected Publication: 13 Dec 2022
By: Lake Union Publishing
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About The Book:
Vega Jones escapes an abusive relationship with nothing but her two-month-old baby and the van she grew up in. Her destination is a small Ohio town her late vagabond mother left years ago. It’s one full of nobodies, her mother warned. That makes it the ideal refuge for Vega to lie low, feel safe, and maybe learn more about a past her mother never spoke of. Vega warms to the town and to new acquaintances like Heff, the young deputy and artist who prefers his yard art to actual policing, and empathetic Eve, a local farmer whose near-death experience gave her more than just her life back. But even in this welcoming community, there’s an undercurrent of something unsettled, talk of a tragedy that unfolded in the woods years ago, and a mystery connected to Vega in ways she couldn’t have anticipated. As a mother on the run and following a path of mounting risks and illuminating secrets, Vega discovers that even during the darkest of times, there’s light in unexpected places.
Melissa Payne writes yet another story that made me feel so many emotions. This one really broke my heart at times it was so raw and painful. I felt so much for these characters and what they lived through.
Vega was very brave to go out on her own to find a safe place to land, and a wonderful place (for the most part) she did find. Many issues were on topic during this read, domestic abuse, LGBTQ hate, animal cruelty, and just plain nastiness. I felt bad that Vega grew up thinking all men were bad, her mother did her a disservice there, especially since she has a son of her own to raise.
I enjoyed the past and present timelines and the differing points of view in each chapter. The characters were varied, some you love and some you love to hate. I liked that about this story because it made the town and its inhabitants feel real.
This was such an inspiring story and an interesting tale in that eventually everything weaves together in the end and all questions are answered and I loved the theme of community and that family isn't always blood.
I cannot write a review without mentioning the amazing cover for this book, it is so eye-pleasingly beautiful and fits well with the story inside.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Melissa Payne, and Lake Union Publishing for the giving of the ARC.
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