Summary and book reviews of A Trick of Light by Karen Blomain

A Trick of Light

by Karen Blomain

A Trick of Light by Karen Blomain X
A Trick of Light by Karen Blomain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Mar 2001, 358 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

When Hattie's husband dies she finds evidence that there had been another woman in his life and decides to find her, but the confrontation leads to surprise and eventual understanding.

When Hattie Darling's husband Ben dies on his first night home from an extended business trip, she is devastated. But when she finds among his belongings evidence that there had been another woman in his life, Hattie is unable to mourn Ben as she thinks she should. In an attempt to make peace with her discovery, and against the advice of her friends, Hattie decides to find the other woman and confront her.

But the confrontation leads to surprise and eventual understanding. At the heart of this unusual book is the unexpected intertwining of the lives of the two women. Gradually, Hattie realizes that she has superimposed the deceit of Ben's life onto her own.

When Hattie awoke the first time, it was still early, around midnight. The house was quiet. Although she had been asleep less than an hour, she felt jittery and restless. She walked into the bathroom and drank a glass of water and started back to the bed. Abruptly, she turned and went down the stairs. Instead of switching on the hall light, she steadied and guided herself down each step by pressing her fingertips against the wall as she had done a thousand times before. Fear was the only thing different in Hattie's life.

The fear, the casket and the knowledge that Ben had been about to tell her something important. At first she was so afraid that she couldn't focus her eyes, but she approached the casket and forced herself to look at him. Ben lay there with his hands folded on his stomach; his left hand on top. He had never worn a wedding ring, and now Hattie wished he had. She thought back over the events of the past two days from her anxious anticipation of Ben&...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

A gentle tale of two women who, unbeknown to each other, shared the same husband. The story opens as Hattie's husband returns from a business trip and dies just as he is trying to tell her something. Shortly after, Hattie discovers evidence of another woman and goes in search of her. She finds her and, unexpectedly, becomes deeply involved in the other woman's life whilst never revealing her own true identity. Whilst the storyline of one man, two wives has been told many times, (for example Anita Shreve's relatively recent, The Pilot's Wife) this tale brings a new angle to the telling. I recommend this to readers who enjoy novels that explore family relationships - with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. I understand that the book is currently being made into a movie by Barbra Streisand's film company - it should make a great 'chick flick'.  

Media Reviews

Author Blurb Bookends
Piotr translated, Every half-truth is a complete lie. This statement well underscores the dilemma of Hattie Darling, the heroine of Karen Blomain's first novel. For Hattie is forced through a series of bizarre circumstances to sink deeper into a falsification of her seemingly happy and well-adjusted life. The plot complication is old as all triangular relationships between men and women. Hattie's travelling salesman husband Ben dies, and Hattie, living in a small Pennsylvania town, travels Northeast to discover that he has secretly married another woman, Anya, in Hartford, Connecticut, and sire a daughter by her as well.. [Hattie's ] avoidance of the truth begins. She rents a room in Anya's small row house and unexpectedly, over a period of months, bonds with both Anya and her eight-year-old daughter Kasia. The three of them achieve contentment and love, despite a seemingly improbable situation - and therein lies one of the crucial values of this novel. The book is a fascinating psychological tale of how two women in such circumstances could actually become friends, the one never revealing her true background, the other never asking or needing to know the details of Hattie's life before Ben's death.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked A Trick of Light, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard
    19 out of 21 of our First Impression Reviewers rated Louis Bayard's latest novel, Courting Mr. ...
  • Book Jacket
    Transcription
    by Kate Atkinson
    Over her two-decade-plus career, Kate Atkinson has reinvented herself as a writer several times by ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhalation
    Exhalation
    by Ted Chiang
    Exhalation is an assemblage of nine short stories and novellas written by Ted Chiang, a computer ...
  • Book Jacket: Disappearing Earth
    Disappearing Earth
    by Julia Phillips
    On the remote peninsula of Kamchatka—tucked away on the far eastern corner of Russia and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

    "An American epic in the truest sense…"
    Entertainment Weekly
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Women Rowing North
    by Mary Pipher


    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Her Kind of Case
by Jeanne Winer

A highly-recommended emotion-filled legal drama with three starred reviews!

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Miracle Creek

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie...

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I T S Form O F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.