Author: Francis Guenette
Published: February 2014 by Huckleberry Haven Publishing
Category: Contemporary Fiction
Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.
The Light Never Lies begins a few months after the end of Disappearing in Plain Sight, with flashback chapters to fill in the intervening time. The multi layered story and characters are complex yet realistic, identifiable and as totally engaging as the first time around. And revisiting Vancouver Island and the beautiful Crater Lake setting was a treat in itself, still just as appealingly evocative and visual.
Lisa-Marie returns to the Crater Lake complex with Justin Roberts, scared and with shock news that will impact on everyone’s lives. Liam especially has a hard time coping with the repercussions, afraid it’s affecting his newly formed relationship with Izzy Montgomery, the trauma councillor at Micah Camp, a refuge for troubled teenagers. There are new residents at the camp, one in particular whose presence facilitates a deadly confrontation which shatters the already fragile peace and tranquility of Crater Lake.
Liam checked Caleb’s gold watch on his wrist; despite the removal of two links by Izzy’s jeweller, the band was still loose. Any minute now the bus would be arriving in Dearborn and Beulah would be on her way back to Crater Lake with Justin and Lisa-Marie. Liam didn’t know when he moment of confrontation might come, but come it would and there wasn’t a thing he could do to avoid it. He was like a deer standing on the highway, blinded by the headlights of an oncoming transport truck. All he could do was wait to be flattened by the impact.
Bethany, Lisa’s aunt, struggling with issues after her near death experience, and Beulah, her partner, experiencing her own problems while trying to keep everything on track, are drifting further apart.
Alexander Collins, a native elder, and Robbie, his son, smarter than his years and with a fascinating gift (which relates to the book title), travel to Crater Lake looking for family. Edward, Izzy’s father, wants to spend his final days with his daughter. Cynthia St. Pierre, a mystery writer, and baby Sophie, all add to the dynamics and aspect of Izzy’s fast growing and extended family. Each personality is defined and as the intricacy of the relationships unfold sympathetically I was absorbed into the story and could picture it as if watching from the sidelines.
All the characters, old and new, are a great mix and Francis Guenette weaves a compelling and very well crafted story which tugs at the heartstrings and pulls out respect, appreciation and compassion. Each of them dealing with difficult situations which are explored with sensitivity, whether it’s the teenage resident at the camp who is angry and afraid because he believes he’s gay. Or the relationship between Bethany and Beulah. The convoluted connection between Izzy, Liam, Lisa and baby Sophie. And the terminal illness of a family member. They are all interwoven into the story allowing the exploration of individual weaknesses or failings. A wonderfully captivating and touching story with a very moving ending.