Title: As the Light Fades
Author: Catherine West
Release Date: September 10, 2019, Published by KDP
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.
After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.
Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.
Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.
When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.
This story had so much more to it than a romance, which was what I was expecting. I really enjoyed this story that dealt with family dynamics, domestic abuse, addiction, alzheimer’s, the effects of sexual abuse, all told in an environment of forgiveness and grace. The three main characters are Elizabeth Carlisle, who has come home after escaping an abusive relationship, Matthew, a man who rents Liz his guest house as well as becoming guardian to his 15 year old niece, and Mia, Matthew’s niece, whom he has custody of while her mom is in jail. All of them are dealing with difficult situations including some serious depression and fear. As the three of them get closer together, the help each other to heal. Through art, listening and eventually counselling, they are able to move forward in their lives.
I loved the characters in this story, especially Drake. He is the patriarch of the Carlisle family and lives in a nursing home. He is dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s, yet he knows that he doesn’t remember things. His voice is told through his thoughts, almost talking to himself and it added so much to the story. Without realizing it, he was instrumental in Mia’s healing. Elizabeth (Liz or Lizzie) is dealing with her own fear that her ex will come after her. He tries to intimidate her and she allows it until she sees what Mia is going through. She eventually develops a backbone, standing up to him, doing what is right. Then there is Matt. He is adorable. What single male would take on his teenage niece who has such a big chip on her shoulder? He fell in love with Liz almost immediately upon meeting her, but gave her the time and space she needed to heal before pursuing a relationship. Mia, broke my heart. She had already been through so much in her short life. She was hurting so badly and didn’t trust anyone to share her pain with. As the three of them grow, heal and learn to forgive themselves and others who hurt them along the way, it was very emotional. Adding in Matt’s parents was wonderful. Seeing how these uppity Boston Brahmins finally admitted they were wrong and apologizing for their shortcomings showed that grace can come at any time if you are open to it. Each of these characters had their own realistic voice that made this story seem so real. The emotions I felt as I read this story ran the gamut from laughter to terrible sadness. I definitely recommend this story to those who enjoy Contemporary Women’s Fiction and I know I will look for more books by Catherine West. I received a copy of this book from Just Read Tours upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew, 2017 and Where Hope Begins, 2019, and a Carol Award Finalist for Where Hope Begins. Her latest novel, As the Light Fades, releases September 2019.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com