Review of “On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light” by Cordelia Strube


This is one of the BEST books I have read in a very long time! I’m going to put it out there and say I believe this book will really put Cordelia Strube, who I was previously unfamiliar with, on the map in a BIG way. She certainly deserves any awards, accolades, screenplays, etc. that come her way as a result of writing this beautiful and meaningful book. I should stop gushing now. I rarely gush but I’m admittedly restraining myself even after that uncharacteristic outburst.

On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light is actually a very difficult book for me to give a thorough review to without adding spoilers but I don’t want to give even a hint away. It’s that good, original, and unexpected.

Harriet, our young heroine, is wise beyond her years. She’s smart and sarcastic, loving and spiteful, hardened and innocent. She’s had to deal with her parents divorce, her brother’s chronic illness, and her parent’s layabout, no-goodnick, and so-called intellectual less than ideal new partners, and social isolation because she’s just not your average eleven year old. She’s also quite enterprising and is amassing a small but respectable secret cache of (escape) money by tending to the needs of the elderly men and women that live in her apartment building. We learn so much about these characters I really found myself growing attached to most of them. Each of these characters came with their own little stories and I really enjoyed the way their lives and stories were perfectly woven into those of our main characters.

As for her brother, Irwin, I loved him more with each turn of the page. As I watched him grow from young boy to adolescence, I was increasingly awed by the author’s ability to portray the characters in such a way that’s so believable and honest.

This is one of those rare books that works much humor and lightheartedness into some really heavy subject matter in a completely appropriate and realistic way. Bravo, Cordelia Strube! I’m already looking forward to reading your next book.

My rating 5 stars

Thanks to ECW press via NetGalley for proving me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.