*I received a free copy of this ebook, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
*** B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree 2018 ***
Blurb: Visions of a past life blur the lines of reality as Holly struggles to cling to sanity after being abandoned by the man she loves. As she grapples with middle age, loneliness, and regret, she sinks deeper into a mire of despair. Dreams reveal a world of darkness where a seductive protector lures her while a place of light competes for her soul. Is she meant to be a guardian of the light or a mistress of darkness?
This mesmerizing story will draw you in as Holly ponders the meaning of life and the power of her choices.
I found this book hard-going to start with. The story is told as a first-person narrative and I found the main character difficult to get to know, as she was already deeply lost and unhappy, and her account reflected this scattered brokenness to a disorienting extent.
This was compounded by the nature of the plot, which blends fantasy, religious spirituality and psychological self-help in a way that I have never come across before.
Gradually I got a feel for both the character and writing style and from that point on I was mesmerised. There were similarities with books like The Pilgrim’s Progress or Paulo Coelho’s spiritual journey novels, but framed in a new way.
The story tells of an epic fantasy battle between dark and light. Or maybe it is a religious parable about the struggle of one soul with the forces of good and evil. Or perhaps the inner mental battle of a middle-aged woman grappling with loneliness and loss of purpose. What you take from the book is left up to the reader, in a similar way as Holly’s fate is left in her own hands.
The middle section of the book dives deep into depression and darkness, with *trigger warning* suicidal thoughts (and actions) and some very bleak analysis of life from the main character.
However, the reader is left with a message of light, purpose and peaceful wellbeing which carried through into my life after I put the book down. I felt a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration that led me to examine my own path and take steps to change some priorities and make some improvements.
That was the overriding impression I was left with after reading Guardian of the Light: no matter what your belief system or how you read the plot presented, your life is in your hands and it is up to you to make the best of it.
I would definitely recommend giving this book a read with an open mind. It is different and not always an easy read, but worth perseverance.
My eyes flutter open. Where am I? Who am I? I remember that I’m now Holly, and I’m in bed with my cat, Gypsy beside me. She lifts her head and blinks sleepily at me. My heart is pounding. I try to hold onto this dream that masquerades as a remembrance or is it the other way around? Where does the dream end and reality begin?
– D. Thrush, Guardian of the Light