Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan by Deborah Reed (Review by Lara Ferguson)

1 min read

Rating: 4/5

Violet Swan is an artist. At 93, she has had a long and productive career, she has been a wife and a mother, and now she is dying. She has always been fiercely protective of her story, the how and the where and the whys of how she became what she is, but as she nears what she knows is the end, she finds herself turning back to the stories that were seminal in her becoming and wondering if now is the time to share her truth with the world, or at the very least her family.

When an earthquake shakes her house in Oregon, it becomes the catalyst for Violet’s decision to allow her grandson to make the documentary about her life that he has always wanted to make. When her grandson comes to make the documentary, he brings with him his own secret and thus begins the unraveling and strengthening of her family.

In Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan, Deborah Reed crafts characters that the reader wants to know, to explore, to understand. There are stories within stories and connections to be found within each story. This book is about the connections that we often don’t see until it’s too late to learn from them. In sharing her hidden self, Violet gives her family permission not only to share more of themselves and connect in new ways, but also to forgive and accept each other.

Every family has hidden things. Things that are not discussed. Things that are sort of known…or not known. What Violet discovers is that the things can in their telling begin an incredible, beautiful journey into knowing.

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