ARC Review: Afraid of the Light by Douglas Kennedy

Evening Everyone,

I hope that you’re all keeping well. I’ve fallen into a bit a black hole lately and not been writing as many reviews as I had been previously. Of course, the stars have aligned against me and everything that could be busy in my life has started to become busy at the same time. But I’ve been getting bits of reading done here and there and I finally got a book finished and ready for review.

Book 📖

Thank you to @HutchHeinemann and @DKennedy_Novels for this advanced copy of Afraid of the Light in return for an honest review. Afraid of the Light was published on 8th July 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description 🔖

Brendan is a man who lives his life following rules and keeping other people happy. He has stayed in a marriage that is not filled with love and worked in a job that does not give him satisfaction. When he loses that job, the only opportunity available to him in his sixties is to drive for Uber.

One of his fares changes his life. Elise is a retired professor and spends her retirement volunteering for a charity that supports women through abortions. When Brendan drives Elise to an abortion clinic, his life changes forever.

General Thoughts 🤔

This book certainly packed a punch. I didn’t think that anything was over dramatised and that was what made it even more frightening to me. I probably find it too easy to live in a bubble where people are accepting, rational and are considered to be thinkers. That makes it easy for me to forget that there are still people in the world with harmful thoughts and beliefs. It is those people that Brendan lived amongst even though he did not share their beliefs.

Living in the UK, I could argue that pro-life activism isn’t such a problem here however I am inclined to think that it probably is, it’s just not as publicised or as blatant. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman facing danger during what could be one of the hardest moments of her life. It terrifies me to think that women can be attacked for making a choice about their own body.

Characters 👬👭👫

My heart was drawn to Brendan right from the beginning. It must be hard to get to the later stages of your life and realise that your decisions have always been made for other people rather than yourself. However, I think that this helped in giving him the strength to break ranks so to speak and do what he believed to be right.

Elise was a force to be reckoned with and I think that any woman would be lucky to have Elise in their corner. She was certainly a strong woman and used her privilege to help others. I found it interesting that these two characters had very different lives yet shared so much in common.

Writing Style ✍️

As I mentioned earlier, I certainly didn’t feel like there was any dramatisation in this book. It was written in a way that was almost a bit flat, but it suited the subject matter perfectly. It was so brutally honest and blunt that it hit me right in the gut. This author definitely knows how to write a book about an emotive subject matter without making it read like a saga.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️

I really don’t know what I was expecting from this book but I definitely got a slap in the face of reality and emotion. It’s harsh and I didn’t find it an easy book to read, but I feel like I have gained something from reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed Afraid of the Light and would definitely recommend reading it.

😍😍😍😍😩

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