By Kathryn Hyland
I thought I knew what a page turner was until I picked up The Light by Jacqueline Brown. Don’t plan on leaving the couch until you have read every last page, and even then you’ll be jumping over to Amazon to order the next two books in the series. The Light reels you in with relatable characters, laughable 2018 life problems, and inspiration to reevaluate your spiritual life and the people you surround yourself with.
In the blink of an eye, the main characters find themselves in the midst of a national catastrophe. They must learn new survival skills and come to terms with the fact that their world will never be the same. The disaster has the characters questioning their faith, relationships, and life choices. There are characters strong in their faith who lead the way and others whom the reader hopes will find the path.
A theme that stood out to me was forgiveness, particularly forgiveness of self, and what an awesome season to take this lesson to heart. The character Bria believes she does not deserve a man of God because of her past. Bria’s father has trouble forgiving himself for lying to his daughter. The ultimate journey of forgiveness then begins. Brown does an excellent job of reminding us that oftentimes we need outside help in order to actually forgive ourselves and to heal from past wounds. Brown shows such an understanding of the human heart, especially that of a woman, and how much we need others in our lives who can build us up, encourage us, and love us even when we feel we don’t deserve it.
Personally, the book placed a renewed vigor in my heart to seek out friends of virtue, mentors, and a spiritual director. All of these wonderful resources that I often think about for fleeting moments at a time, tell myself I will seek such people, and then proceed to believe once again that I can do it on my own. I convince myself I don’t have time for extra social hours or thirty minutes to spare in spiritual direction. So I put it off again and again. I am now inspired to ask God to send me such friends and mentors and trust that the time spent will be fruitful.
The Light is a wonderful reminder of how much peace and joy we will experience when we take time for prayer and have faith. It shows the beauty of true friendship and a loving family. It is simply refreshing and will definitely inspire spiritually. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this series!