Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Light From Distant Stars (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          The latest book by Shawn Smucker, Light From Distant Stars, hits several notes of fictional writing that seem both majestic and tragic. I don't mean that in a bad or a mean way. His writing is spot on, in my honest opinion. But what I mean with my "majestic and tragic" comment is that for the main character Cohen Marah, he seems to have a hard time coming to terms with his father's death.

          While the reader will go on this ride of amazing story-telling with Shawn, they will find out a few of Cohen's past and at times seem to be made up retelling of how Cohen's father dies. In a way it's a bit like a mixture of Stephen King's story The Body meeting up with Suzanne Woods Fisher's Minding the Light. Distant Stars is both poignant and fantastic in its alternating realistic and fantasy feeling on how Cohen recalls his past, both growing up in his father's home and shifting between what he believes is real and fantasy. It's a shift that the reader can be made aware of moving through the book while at the same time thinking Cohen had nothing to do with his father's death. That's the sense I had on the book.

          Shawn Smuckers has had hits with writing The Edge of Over There, The Day the Angels Fell, and his nonfiction book Once We Were Strangers. Him, his wife and children live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  I think the best thing I can say for Shawn is that while I tend to like his book Once We Were Strangers best, he can tell a great story, too. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in the hopes of a fair and honest review.

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