BOOK REVIEWS, KAREN WHITE, NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING GROUP

THE SOUND OF GLASS by Karen White

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NAL/Penguin Random House Publishing Group,

ISBN-13: 9780451470898

Published: May 12, 2015.

The Sound of Glass by Karen White reveals how discovering the life-shattering secrets of a Southern family changes Merritt Heyward who unearths them. Engulfed by guilt after her husband’s tragic death, Merritt hears that Cal’s family home is bequeathed to her. Facing an unpredictable life and an unforeseeable future, Merritt travels to find the hidden secrets of Cal’s past buried deep in the heart of his ancestral home. This mysterious legacy re-defines the priorities of Merritt’s life as she unravels the tangled threads of the family’s past to confront her own dumbfounded fears for the healing she desperately needs.

In this multilayered mystery of a multigenerational, multifamily saga with a multifaceted plot, Karen White, “the Queen of Women’s Fiction,” plumbs the subtle depths of humanity as she deals with the inexplicable facts of life and death intertwined with tragedy. Her sensitive, story-telling style and precise, to-the-point narrative is an intricate weaving of the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Her sweeping, commanding and powerful execution of the complex plot and storyline of this extraordinary classic is praiseworthy, right from the start to the poignant, heart-rending revelations at the end. Karen White paints a vivid, multifaceted portrait of a family rooted in strife with hidden secrets and enduring love that ultimately leads to courage and healing.

I like the precious words of wisdom in the story, with their rare power to illuminate and inspire the hearts of readers. Here are some of the brilliant facets of wisdom and knowledge, shining like the brightest jewels:

It is in utter darkness that we see the brightest light. We are tossed and turned in the fire of affliction by the turbulent waves and storms of life, bearing deep scars to show what we have suffered. With each scar we learn new lessons. We turn toward the light unflinchingly, unbelievably strong at the torn, jagged and broken places. We absorb the light and reflect it outward.

Our paths cross, our lives meander as the twisting rivers bring us back to the starting point. Nothing happens simply. Everything happens for a good reason. Life never gets any easier than this. We just get stronger as time goes by. We cross bridges in the heart of the storm. I will not be afraid any more. The heart bears a compass pointing toward home. The horizon trembles with new light. The darkness gives way to the light. I see the beauty and the good in unexpected places. And in ourselves.

Stars shine through the darkness to illuminate the hidden places. When you gaze at stars, you look back in time long gone. Starlight takes millions of years to reach the earth, so when you see the stars , you know how it looked like millions of years ago.

Courage is doing the one thing you think you cannot do. The glowing lights soften the darkness. It is never really dark. There is always light if you look hard enough. The darkness is illuminated by the soft glow of lights. A single light glows in the darkness. You are strongest at the broken places.

Complex, engrossing and emotionally rich, The Sound of Glass lingers in the heart long after the gripping, beautifully told story is over. An endearing must-read for all.

© Miriam Jacob

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