A Light in the Forest – ARC Book Review

A Light In the Forest by Melissa Payne

Date published:- will be published on 13th December 2022

No. of pages:- 329 pages

Genre:- Literary


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall rating:- 4/5

From Melissa Payne, bestselling author of The Night of Many Endings, comes an emotional and suspenseful novel about the weight of secrets and the healing power of friends and family.

Vega Jones escapes an abusive relationship with nothing but her two-month-old baby and the van she grew up in. Her destination is a small Ohio town her late vagabond mother left years ago. It’s one full of nobodies, her mother warned. That makes it the ideal refuge for Vega to lie low, feel safe, and maybe learn more about a past her mother never spoke of.

Vega warms to the town and to new acquaintances like Heff, the young deputy and artist who prefers his yard art to actual policing, and empathetic Eve, a local farmer whose near-death experience gave her more than just her life back. But even in this welcoming community, there’s an undercurrent of something unsettled, talk of a tragedy that unfolded in the woods years ago, and a mystery connected to Vega in ways she couldn’t have anticipated.

As a mother on the run and following a path of mounting risks and illuminating secrets, Vega discovers that even during the darkest of times, there’s light in unexpected places

This is the second book I have read of Melissa Payne and A Light In The Forest deals with some sensitive issues

Trigger warning–domestic abuse, homophobia, transphobia

Vega had enough of her abusive relationship with Zach that she decides to leave him for good and moves to a small town in Ohio where her own mother had left many years ago. While settling down, Vega meets many interesting people–Heff, Eve, Ethan and so on and soon, she gets used to live in the small town and trying to build a life in the town. Meanwhile, in 1995, a girl named Donna is leaving the house from an abusive house and tells the story of how she left the town.

I thought this was a good story. The writing was really gripping and engaging. and there were some parts in my opinion that was too emotional and heartbreaking to read. I do like the switch of POVs between present day and past in 1995. The story itself teaches about the value of friendship and community and so overall, I enjoyed reading the book. Though in my opinion this wasn’t as good as her first book, I enjoyed this book as it was a touching and emotional story. Worth four stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Melissa Payne is the bestselling, award-winning author of The Secrets of Lost Stones, Memories in the Drift and The Night of Many Endings. Her forthcoming novel is A Light in the Forest. Melissa lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with her husband and three children, a friendly mutt, a very loud cat, and the occasional bear. For more information, visit www.melissapayneauthor.com or find her on Instagram @melissapayne_writes.

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