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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  • Published in USA  Oct 2020
    544 pages
    Genre: Novels

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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

The information about The Blind Light shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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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.

Florence H. (Laguna Woods, CA)

The Blind Light
Having lived through the fearful years of the Cold War it was interesting to read of Doom Town and the after effects of being trained to survive a nuclear attack. The disparity of income status of the two men influenced their friendships and the future of their families. The next generation of these families continue with the conflicts. Both families experience problems with children. Wealth appears to be no guarantee of happiness.

John A. (Austin, TX)

Bittersweet
Set in England, this multigenerational novel focuses on the interpersonal relationships between two families that started with the military service friendship of the two patriarchal figures. The book starts slowly as the reader is introduced to the characters and their backgrounds. In addition, the short chapters and the jumping around between the characters makes it challenging to truly get into the book until one has read more than one hundred pages. After that, the characters and their interactions steadily draw you in until you feel like you have known these people most of your life. It's a bittersweet story that reminds me of the emotions experienced when reading Stoner by John Edward Williams.

Mary L. (Greeley, CO)

History, family, and cold wars
The threat of a nuclear apocalypse underlies the unlikely and often strained friendship between two British military men, one from the working class (Drum) and one from the wealthy (Carter). Though an atomic bomb never brings the destruction, the ensuing 70 years of the novel as the two men marry, have families, and live out there lives. Both positive and destructive human dynamics as well as historical events impact their lives. Not an easy novel to read and often one can get lost in some stream-of-consciousness, but it leaves the reader with much to ponder.

...7 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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