Thursday 4 May 2023

Book Review: Where the Light Goes by Sara Barnard

Where the Light Goes by Sara Barnard book cover

AD* | A heart-wrenching exploration of grief, set in a landscape corrupted by fame and the scrutiny that comes from living in the shadow of a star.

"Lizzie Beck" is one-quarter of British pop sensation The Jinks, who launched their career via a reality TV talent show and rose straight to fame – and in Lizzie’s case, infamy, for her tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend, stints in rehab and candid confessions about her mental health on Instagram.

To Emmy, though, she will always be her older sister, Beth, the person whose footsteps she intends to follow. Except now she can’t. Because Beth, Emmy's beloved sister, has died by suicide.

Forced to face a world without the guiding light of her bright, brilliant big sister, Emmy must wrestle with the impact of private grief, public scrutiny and discover who she once was and who she will become, now that Beth is gone.

Looking for a heartfelt, poignant novel that explores the complexities of grief, family, and self-discovery? Check out my review of Sara Barnard's latest book, Where the Light Goes.  

Where the Light Goes is a powerful and emotionally charged novel. The story centres around teenager Emmy, who is struggling to cope with the sudden loss of her sister, Beth. As she tries to navigate her grief, Emmy also has to deal with her strained relationship with her parents, friends, and boyfriend, and the biggest question of all - who is Emmy without Beth?

One of the strengths of this novel is its exploration of grief and the different ways it affects people. Barnard does a great job of depicting the complexities of Emmy's emotions as she tries to come to terms with her loss. The portrayal of her relationships with those around her is also very realistic and nuanced, showing how grief can strain even the closest of bonds.

The character development in this novel is excellent. Emmy is relatable and likeable, and her growth over the course of the story is compelling. Barnard's writing is beautiful and evocative, capturing the mood and atmosphere of the novel perfectly. The themes of family, grief, and self-discovery are handled with insight and sensitivity, and the story is both heart-wrenching and, ultimately, hopeful.

Overall, Where the Light Goes is a stunning novel that will resonate with readers who have experienced loss or who are interested in exploring the complexities of human emotion. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 stars

Where the Light Goes is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Are you a Sara Barnard fan? Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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