Soon the Light Will Be Perfect

Soon the Light Will Be Perfect

We the Animals meets Hillbilly Elegy in this taut portrait of poverty, Catholicism, and a family in crisis in rural Vermont.A 12-year-old altar boy lives with his family in a small, poverty stricken town in Vermont. His father works at a manufacturing plant, his mother is a homemaker, and his fifteen-year-old brother is about to enter high school. His family has gained eno...

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Title:Soon the Light Will Be Perfect
Author:Dave Patterson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Soon the Light Will Be Perfect Reviews

  • Angela M

    3.5

    It’s difficult enough for adults to confront the tough blows that life doles out, and can prove to be more of a struggle for a twelve year old boy. Trying to make sense of his mother’s cancer, the precarious financial situation of their family, while on the edge of the road to “coming of age”, the boy in this story will touch you. This unnamed boy grappling with these things, as well as a connection with a troubled young girl is set against the strict devotion of his parents to the Catholic

    3.5

    It’s difficult enough for adults to confront the tough blows that life doles out, and can prove to be more of a struggle for a twelve year old boy. Trying to make sense of his mother’s cancer, the precarious financial situation of their family, while on the edge of the road to “coming of age”, the boy in this story will touch you. This unnamed boy grappling with these things, as well as a connection with a troubled young girl is set against the strict devotion of his parents to the Catholic Church. I didn’t see them as fanatical, but their staunch beliefs at times creates even more confusion for the boy as he tries to find his way.

    We never know his name and I always find it bothersome when a character is not named. Is that a message that we are to be sure to consider that this is a universal story and this character can represent any twelve year old boy? I could have deduced for myself that there are some universal themes here. I think I connect better to characters whose name I know. Having said that, I was moved by the story and glad that I read it. I will certainly watch for what else Patterson writes.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Hanover Square Press through NetGalley.

  • Karen

    3.5 rounded up

    There’s so much going on in this story but to me it’s basically a coming of age story of a twelve year old boy and his older brother who are having a bit of troubles in their family. Mom has cancer and is having problems with her treatments, there’s a possibility of Dad losing his job just when they recently were able to move into a home after living in a trailer park. The situation leads to the boys mostly fending for themselves.

    I was moved by this story, both beautiful and dark

    3.5 rounded up

    There’s so much going on in this story but to me it’s basically a coming of age story of a twelve year old boy and his older brother who are having a bit of troubles in their family. Mom has cancer and is having problems with her treatments, there’s a possibility of Dad losing his job just when they recently were able to move into a home after living in a trailer park. The situation leads to the boys mostly fending for themselves.

    I was moved by this story, both beautiful and dark at times.

    Thank you to Netgalley and HARLEQUIN / Hanover Square Press for the ARC!

  • Larry H

    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounded up.

    Dave Patterson's

    is spare, beautiful, and haunting. It's one of those books that feels a little like a ticking time bomb, because while everything that happens seems relatively benign, there's an underlying sense of tension that makes you wonder when, or if, everything is going to explode. But that doesn't detract at all from its appeal.

    A 12-year-old boy and his family live in rural Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Fo

    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounded up.

    Dave Patterson's

    is spare, beautiful, and haunting. It's one of those books that feels a little like a ticking time bomb, because while everything that happens seems relatively benign, there's an underlying sense of tension that makes you wonder when, or if, everything is going to explode. But that doesn't detract at all from its appeal.

    A 12-year-old boy and his family live in rural Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. For the first time in a long time, things are stable for their family—they finally have enough money to move out of the trailer park (which dooms you to ostracism, as even his fellow students in the gifted program at school want nothing to do with trailer park kids) and live in a home of their own.

    It's not quite a comfortable existence, in that they still have to watch every penny, but with their father's job at a weapons manufacturing plant, things finally seem to be going their way. The boy's 15-year-old brother is rebellious, experimenting with girls, drugs, cigarettes, and mischief, but he still serves as an altar boy at their local church, so all is not lost. And then their mother is diagnosed with cancer, and everything starts to fall apart.

    This is a family for whom religion is tremendously important, and as their mother's illness worsens, they depend more and more on their church. Whether it's attending anti-abortion rallies, which get increasingly more disturbing, or watching the members of the church pray for their mother's recovery, the boy doesn't quite understand the power of religion, but he wants it to work for his mother. (A segment where he finds his confirmation saint and tries to emulate him is a disturbing and emotional one.)

    This is the story of a boy on the cusp of young adulthood, even if being an adult certainly doesn't seem all it's cracked up to be. When he meets a young girl named Taylor, he is intrigued by the way she seems so much more mature and worldly than he does, even if she may be only a year or two older than him. But he quickly realizes that Taylor's bravado is a mask for something else, although he isn't sure how to help her, or if she really wants his help.

    is a poignant story about a family in the midst of crisis, in which two siblings are forced to essentially raise themselves without any real supervision or explanation of all that is falling apart around them. They toy with rebellion but truthfully want a "normal" life back—that is, anything that doesn't send their family back to the trailer park. It's a novel about family, about belief, about realizing your parents don't have it any more together than you do at times, but you still rely on them.

    Patterson is a tremendously self-assured writer, and it's hard to believe this is his debut novel. At times it moved a little slower than I liked, and I felt like things were a little more graphic than they needed to be at times, but I couldn't pull myself away from the book, even though I read it expecting everything might go horribly awry at any second.

    is the first real glimpse of Patterson's talent, and it's worthwhile to read. I can't wait to see what's next.

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

    NetGalley and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada)/Hanover Square Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

  • Cheri

    3.5 Stars

    A tightly woven coming-of-age story of a twelve-year-old boy and his family living in a small, economically deprived town in Vermont, as the country is on the verge of the Gulf War, and the family is on the verge of their own trauma.

    The family consists of two boys, the one that is twelve, and his fifteen year-old brother, a father who works at a manufacturing plant, and a mother who is a homemaker, active in their church, the mother is also involved in some charitable organizations. Thi

    3.5 Stars

    A tightly woven coming-of-age story of a twelve-year-old boy and his family living in a small, economically deprived town in Vermont, as the country is on the verge of the Gulf War, and the family is on the verge of their own trauma.

    The family consists of two boys, the one that is twelve, and his fifteen year-old brother, a father who works at a manufacturing plant, and a mother who is a homemaker, active in their church, the mother is also involved in some charitable organizations. This is a strongly bonded, staunchly Catholic family, who attend services regularly, and who have been able, finally, to move out of the nearby trailer park. And for a moment in time, life is good.

    Shared through the eyes and thoughts of the twelve-year old, we watch as this boy-soon-to-be-a-man shares his story, his view of the world and his family, his mother’s “stomach problems” diagnosis changes to cancer, and his father’s struggles at work, the pending Gulf War which might help them economically, but at what cost?

    A family caught up in a maelstrom, relying on their priest for guidance and comfort until the priest inexplicably disappears amidst rumours.

    Enter Taylor, a girl from the trailer park, whose mother is divorced and whose life has forced her to grow up too soon, and a bond is formed between these two, one that grows stronger as his mother’s health declines as the summer days go by.

    While their world seems to be falling apart, and the war is a part of this story, this settles into a story of facing the uncertainty, pain, dissatisfaction associated with the instability of life and living that they are facing, along with a sometimes disturbing view of the mind of this twelve-year-old boy and his search for a miracle.

    Pub Date: 09 Apr 2019

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by HARLEQUIN / Hanover Square Press

  • Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog:

    'I’ve often prayed for our misery to be transferred to someone else- anyone else.'

    A young man comes of age in rural Vermont alongside his older brother, just a sliver away from the trailer park and poverty they used to live among before moving into a house. The two contend with more than their hormones. Their Catholicism is little help in facing the harsh reality of a mother whose illness turns out to be cancer. The shame and confusion of raging

    via my blog:

    'I’ve often prayed for our misery to be transferred to someone else- anyone else.'

    A young man comes of age in rural Vermont alongside his older brother, just a sliver away from the trailer park and poverty they used to live among before moving into a house. The two contend with more than their hormones. Their Catholicism is little help in facing the harsh reality of a mother whose illness turns out to be cancer. The shame and confusion of raging urges that are becoming more of a fetish has him believing he is a deviant whose desires cannot be controlled. Often hungry for a filling meal himself, sick of heating frozen meals, he begins resenting his mother’s charitable meals for those that have even less, considering the recipient’s son is anything but thankful and seems enraged by generousity. His own mother tends to others needs despite her fragile health, yet contrary to her faith goes against the church during a protest, proving sometimes you have to honor your own moral code. There is the debt he owes for a cat, a ‘fruitful’ endeavour that sees felines taking over their home but far more confusing is his father’s concerns over the tanks he helps build for the war. There is an inner conflict, risk losing the job that provides for his family, particularly now with his wife so ill or just do one’s job and remember ‘it’s best not to question things’. Their father isn’t the only one struggling with his place in life. How do you put your faith in God when even Father Brian isn’t holding strong?

    As the boys help their father build a table for their ailing mother, the only thing she truly demands, her health continues to decline. Then new girl Taylor comes along, confusing him with her desire to know what his life feels like, that even as empty and terrible as it sometimes proves to be, it is still full of the love and stability others with so much less may long for. He finds himself drawn to her, whether it makes sense or not. Taylor’s environment is wildly freer than his own, surrounded by kids in the trailer park who have nothing better to do to pass the time than drink or worse. With a mother who goes through boyfriends, she needs protection and maybe he can be the one, even if he is wise enough to know running away isn’t an option, not when they don’t have two dimes to rub together between them. The only certain truth about Taylor is he understands even less about her actions than he does about his own.

    It’s a story about being trapped in situations outside one’s control, that even faith sometimes has to take a backseat to the harsh realities and obstacles that come into our lives. Not all moral dilemmas can be resolved with a prayer anymore than laying on of hands is going to cure his mother’s illness. Paths can converge and lead to happy awakenings, as much as it can lead to tragedy. Before the end of the novel, our young narrator will grow up and discover that when misery and suffering eases its hold on us, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of it.

    Publication Date: April 9, 2019

    Hanover Square Press

  • Kendall

    I was absolutely awed by the beauty of this cover. Something just called to me when looking at this cover.

    Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is a hauntingly beautiful and complex story.

    A 12 year old and his family are living in Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Things seem to finally be stable for this family and can finally move out of their trailer with the money that they have.

    There is a lot going on in this story... I can tell you that much. A traumatic event hits this family when the moth

    I was absolutely awed by the beauty of this cover. Something just called to me when looking at this cover.

    Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is a hauntingly beautiful and complex story.

    A 12 year old and his family are living in Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Things seem to finally be stable for this family and can finally move out of their trailer with the money that they have.

    There is a lot going on in this story... I can tell you that much. A traumatic event hits this family when the mother is diagnosed with cancer. The two boys (12 and 15) are trying to cope and deal with this trauma the best that they know how. The two boys essentially have to raise themselves coping with the amount of trauma and emotional turmoil that is existing around them.

    Patterson writes beautifully and the emotion behind his words left me breathless at times. The story was moving at a slower pace then I would have liked and it was a tad bit graphic in details for me but I still was pulled into the story of this family. This definitely was a bit of a depressing read but it was beautiful and dark.

    I'm interested to see what Dave Patterson comes out with next and was pleased to have the opportunity to read this.

    3.5 stars for this one.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/ Trade Publishing/ Hanover Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

    Published to Goodreads: 1/26/19

    Publication date: 4/9/19

  • Theresa

    In compliance with FTC guidelines: I received a complimentary copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

    I'm giving this a solid 4 stars

    The first chapter of this coming of age story was very strong and grabbed my attention. I wasn't too sure what I had gotten myself into when the one of the first words

    In compliance with FTC guidelines: I received a complimentary copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

    I'm giving this a solid 4 stars

    The first chapter of this coming of age story was very strong and grabbed my attention. I wasn't too sure what I had gotten myself into when the one of the first words was an F-bomb. Thankfully, the language in the rest of the book was not overly crude. Some of the story line itself was a bit crude but again not overly so. It was well within context of the events unfolding.

    However, somewhere in the first half of the book It lost a bit of steam. I was also having trouble with the writing. I was not crazy about the first person present tense being used. I feel it limits great dialogue and character building. The only way the author can build is from one-sided observations or internal thoughts. I'm just not a fan!!

    But, after overcoming the not quite steady first half the second is written very well and maintained a great pace. The same tense and limitations are there but I believe the author handled them expertly in the remaining pages.

    Overall -- if I'm honest, not my most favorite coming of age story but still a wonderful study of how a parent's illness, over zealous religious bargaining, and economic woes can send a family spiraling out of control.

    4* /(3.78*)

  • Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    Sometimes a synopsis just grabs your attention and refuses to let go. For me,

    is one such book. A coming-of-age story set in rural Vermont, it had a universality that it could have been set in Anytown, America.

    Patterson has pulled one life-changing year out of our young protagonist’s life. In this year we experience the highs and lows of growing up in this time and place. I could recognize some of his trials and tribulations, some from my own life, some from others

    Sometimes a synopsis just grabs your attention and refuses to let go. For me,

    is one such book. A coming-of-age story set in rural Vermont, it had a universality that it could have been set in Anytown, America.

    Patterson has pulled one life-changing year out of our young protagonist’s life. In this year we experience the highs and lows of growing up in this time and place. I could recognize some of his trials and tribulations, some from my own life, some from others I knew. Patterson does not paint a pretty picture; I appreciate this, because life isn’t always shiny and happy.

    was outside of my usual reading genres, but I like to mix things up to change the pace. This book worked for me with its gloomy reality and troubled protagonist. I felt sympathy for him and his situation. At other times, I was appalled at just how fast life was forcing him to grow up.

    Patterson truly captivated me with this story, and although it is set in a specific time and place, the themes it explores are apt to connect with anyone and everyone.

    I think that this is a book that just won’t get the attention that it deserves. Despite the connections that it creates, the marvelous touches of humor, and the dark, brooding characters, I don’t think it is the type of book that people will fall in love with, at the same time, it shouldn’t generate the hate that tarnishes reading. Unfortunately, I think that it will fall into a long list of good books that are lost in the mass of available books.

    *I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via Edelweiss).

  • Susan

    This is a coming of age story about a 12 year old boy who is struggling to deal with his mother's cancer, the family's financial instability and his faith. I read this in almost one sitting and the whole time I kept rooting for this family who have had more than their fair share of problems. I did find it odd that the four main characters didn't have names and I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a reason for that and I didn't get it. I thought this was a good book even though the ending fel

    This is a coming of age story about a 12 year old boy who is struggling to deal with his mother's cancer, the family's financial instability and his faith. I read this in almost one sitting and the whole time I kept rooting for this family who have had more than their fair share of problems. I did find it odd that the four main characters didn't have names and I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a reason for that and I didn't get it. I thought this was a good book even though the ending felt hurried.

    Thank you Harlequin/Hanover Square Press and Netgalley for an ARC.

  • Linda

    I received e-ARCs of this book from both Edelweiss and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

    The book starts with two cats, one from each brother in a Catholic family who soon prove that they, the cats are Catholic and procreate until the house reeks of cat urine. Soon the cats take such a back seat that only occasional references to the reemergence of the smell is noted.

    The boys, the narrator aged 12 and his slightly older brother, are wrestling in mind and body with being teenagers and b

    I received e-ARCs of this book from both Edelweiss and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

    The book starts with two cats, one from each brother in a Catholic family who soon prove that they, the cats are Catholic and procreate until the house reeks of cat urine. Soon the cats take such a back seat that only occasional references to the reemergence of the smell is noted.

    The boys, the narrator aged 12 and his slightly older brother, are wrestling in mind and body with being teenagers and becoming men while their mother is being treated for cancer and their father is in danger of being laid-off from his job at a tank factory (even though the Gulf War is starting).

    As a Catholic, I perceive the book to be an examination of the intersection of the faith and life - hate the sin, not the sinner. It can be confusing. Many gray clouds settle over the family, but partially due to their faith and the understanding of individual humanities, the family stays united and resolute.

    I do not mean to imply this is a religious book. The religion can be seen as simply another character in the book.

    Since I was reading an e-book, I did not realize I was on the last page until I couldn't go on to another page. I felt the ending was rather abrupt.

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