The Blind Light: Book summary and reviews of The Blind Light by Stuart Evers

The Blind Light

A Novel

by Stuart Evers

The Blind Light by Stuart Evers X
The Blind Light by Stuart Evers
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About this book

Book Summary

A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history and the bittersweet complexity of love.

England, 1959: two young soldiers―Drummond and Carter―form an intense and unlikely friendship at "Doom Town," a training center that recreates the aftermath of atomic warfare. The experience will haunt them the rest of their lives. Years later, Carter, now a high-ranking government official, offers working-class Drummond a way to protect himself and his wife, Gwen, should a nuclear strike occur. Their pact, kept secret, will have devastating consequences for the families they so wish to shield.

The Blind Light is a grand, ambitious novel that spans decades, from the 1950s to the present. Told from the perspectives of Drum and Gwen, and later their children, Nate and Anneka, the story brilliantly captures the tenderness and envy of long relationships. As the families attempt to reform themselves, the pressures of the past are visited devastatingly on the present, affecting spouses, siblings, and friends.

Stuart Evers writes with literary flair and intellect without ever abandoning the pleasures and emotional intensity of great storytelling. He explores the psychological legacy of nuclear war and social inequality yet finds a delicate beauty in the adventure of making a life in the ruins of the one you lived before.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[E]ngrossing…with its slow burn, Evers's vivid, perceptive chronicle of secrets and desperation satisfies." - Publishers Weekly

"Unpredictable character arcs will keep readers wondering what will happen next, and the many tragedies and triumphs of each family evoke the same epic feel of generational change as Edna Ferber's Giant." - Library Journal

"The Blind Light is a page-perfect and impeccably structured portrait of Britain's troubled, post-nuclear generations, and the pressures which have both tugged them apart and cemented them together. Stuart Evers has written a powerful and affecting novel which excels at being as true to Family and the personal as it is to Nation and the universal, a rare and potent combination." - Jim Crace

"One is taken both by the breadth of vision and the depth of character on offer in Stuart Evers' stunning The Blind Light. Rarely does a novel of this scope sing with such brio at the level of the sentence while searing so emphatically in the region of the heart. This is an achievement to be admired and, frankly, envied. My hat is off." - Laird Hunt, author of The Evening Road

"A thoroughly absorbing novel which illuminates the nature of friendship and family while offering a compelling portrait of Britain. I loved it." - Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

"A thoughtful and powerful study of the corrosive effects of fear, the damage we do to ourselves and our loved ones when danger is all we can see. Right now that story feels disconcertingly timely." - Clare Clark, The Guardian

This information about The Blind Light was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Janet H. (Utica, NY)

The Blind Light
This book takes us through 60 years of history, focusing not so much on the facts of the events, but the emotions these events stirred in the people living through them. It begins in the present and then goes back in time to tell the story of two families living in the years after WW2. While I struggled in the beginning to understand what was happening, after a chapter or two, the pieces began to come together and I didn't want to put it down. This book takes friendship and familial relationships, historical events, hope and despair and creates a stirring story that caused me to think about what I had read long after I closed the book.

Linda W. (Summit, NJ)

Now and Then
I enjoyed the format that Stuart Evers used to write this book. He begins with a scene in current time that implies a possible conflict and tension rooted in a past event. The he goes back 60 years to a past generation and begins a story about a young Englishman. The narrative continues with alternating voices and leap frogs years to keep the characters maturing. He often makes allusions to past events to explain a current scene. Pay attention because the plot twists and turns, but it keeps you engaged in a story that is personal, profound and immersed in a bygone event that changed and scarred the main characters.

Shirley T. (Comfort, TX)

The Blind Light
This is a "true to the times" story set in England under the threat and fear of nuclear war from post World War II up to the present. It will be very nostalgic for older readers and provides a history of the times for younger readers.
The story is told through the friendship of two men of very different social backgrounds but both are haunted by the fear of total nuclear annihilation.
The tale of Drum, Gwen and their family is very well portrayed and believable throughout this book. Each man in the friendship, Drum and Carter, deals with the other in this complex relationship and, as they age, the pact they have agreed upon leads to a dramatic and satisfying ending.
This is a skillfully crafted and very emotional story which remains with the reader long after it ends. I loved the book.

Melanie B. (Desoto, TX)

Well Written Story of How Fear Dominates Family Dynamics
The Blind Light is a very well written story of two families whose lives intertwine yet run parallel through a generation. The story of Drummond Moore and James Carter and their families reveal how a promise the two men make to protect and be there for each other ends up psychologically weighing on their families and shaping the outcome of each family member's life. This is a story of how fear of the unknown stunts the lives of those affected by it. I highly recommend this book.

Wendy R. (Pinehurst, NC)

Time Tested Friendship
A friendship formed over a training session, takes many different paths. From building new families, jobs and world views the story encompasses how relationships and perceptions change over time, especially when the underlying current of fear is present. I enjoyed reading this book, the characters are believable and it resonated with me how friendships between two people can change when other people enter into the picture and voice their opinions. This would be a good Book Club pick, lots of elements to discuss - history, psychological aspects, friendship and how families can change over time.

Molly O. (Centennial, CO)

The Blind Light by Stuart Evers
Living with the fear of nuclear holocaust, two families' lives are intertwined after the partriarchs – Carter and Drum – meet as young military men who witness the aftermath of the Bomb in a military simulation. This saga spans nearly 60 years in which we become intimately involved with generations as their stories are told by married couple Drum and Gwen. There is much intimacy between characters, and we get to know these two best. Because of the limited point of view, it is difficult to understand why Drum and Gwen's kids are so angry. But it is the story of Carter and Drum and their devotion to one another that drives the plot. Beautifully written with well-defined settings, this is a book that begs you to slow down and enjoy it.

...16 more reader reviews

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More Information

A former bookseller, Stuart Evers is the award-winning author of Your Father Sends His Love, Ten Stories About Smoking, the acclaimed novel If This Is Home, and, most recently, The Blind Light. He lives in London.

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