A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
I’m not quite sure how to classify this novel. Ghost story, certainly. Coming of age, yes. Historical, yes, there’s some of that, too. Mystery. Oh, and environmental. If you’re inclined toward any of those genres you’ll appreciate this new story by Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Trevor Riddell is introduced to his family history when he travels with his father to Riddell house, a monstrous house set on a huge tract of land on Puget Sound bought and paid for with lumber taken from the Pacific Northwest and used to supply the ties for railroads. The house is built entirely of the trees from the land. Whole trees. Monster big trees. But it was the purging of the forests that sets the tone for the book.
Trevor’s father, John, has separated from Trevor’s mother and his journey back to his estranged home is solely for the purpose of putting his aging father in a nursing home, sell the house and land to a developer and take the money back home to hopefully reunite with his wife.
That’s where the family ghost comes in. The ghost has other plans for the land. Trevor discovers enough evidence to support the family ghost and sets in motion an alternative plan.
Sound confusing? It really isn’t. This was really, really thought provoking and well worth your effort.