Review: Soon the Light Will Be Perfect

Back from a week-long vacay to my family’s rental property in Panama City, Florida. I got a wicked tan. Oh, and I did get some beach reading done…

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Review for "Soon the Light Will Be Perfect" by Dave Patterson (2019)
Rating: 4.5 stars

“Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” is the coming of age story of an unnamed 12-year-old boy and his family living in a small working class Catholic community in Vermont in the early 90’s. The family includes the narrator, his 15-year-old brother, and his parents, who have recently moved out of a trailer park and into a modest home that they are proud of. The father, who works at a weapon manufacturing plant, has a good job with ramped up production due to the U.S.’s involvement in the Gulf War. The mother, a homemaker, involves herself with charity work and delivering food to the poor. The family is staunchly Catholic; both of the children serve as altar boys and they attend mass regularly, even participating in events such as local anti-abortion protests.

Then comes the summer, when this novel begins. The mother’s stomach problems bloom into a devastating cancer diagnosis. The father loses his job when his conscience prevents him from turning a blind eye to shady goings-on at work. His brother begins experimenting with pot, alcohol, and talking to girls. The narrator begins to have affections for a troubled local girl and experiences a crisis of faith where he questions everything, everyone. All of the events in this novel are told by an older and wiser narrator, looking back on this particular period in time.

I really liked this book. Each chapter could stand alone as a separate story, with its own plot, characters, and conflict. From the first page onward I was engaged in this, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about the characters in it.

I will definitely read more of this author in the future. 4.5 stars.

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