Light from Distant Stars

Title: Light from Distant Stars
Author: Shawn Smucker
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2851-9

“But especially, especially in regards to the death of my father,” Cohen pleads during his confession to his priest in Shawn Smucker’s novel, Light from Distant Stars.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-ninety-one-page paperback targets those interested in a Christian dramatic suspense. With no profanity, topics of abuse, adultery, dying, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an excerpt of another book by the author, acknowledgments, and the writer’s biography with advertisements.

In this dark drama, middle-aged Cohen Marah is at a crossroads in life when he feels responsible for his father’s imminent death. After his ex-pastor dad is found in a pool of his blood at the funeral home where they work and live upstairs, the son must deal with the past to accept the future regarding dying. In reliving the unveiling of his parent’s sins and covering of his own, he spends days at his father’s hospital bedside, nightly escaping to a nearby church’s confessional, forcing him to face his fears and guilt.

~ Why ~
This book shows the heartbreak, emotional wilderness, and fear of death one goes through when losing a loved one. I appreciated the hymns of salvation, eternity, and Jesus’s love included that one can cling to for support. Since the book hones in on forgiveness of others and oneself due to life’s mistakes, it shows how guilt can eat away at the core of one’s soul.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of dying or those that promote Christ is the answer to life’s complications may not like this book. Others may feel the story with Catholic undertones jumps around from past to present, including a strange Beast, two mystery children, and a dysfunctional family.

~ Wish ~
Although I liked the author’s writing style, I found the storyline somewhat confusing. It did not seem to answer all the questions, especially regarding Ava, a childhood friend who becomes a detective. It would be helpful if all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like tender but disturbing tales of dealing with the passing of a loved one while confronting the good and bad in a relationship, this read shows the process of overcoming the pain of the past. However, I found it a bit confusing when reminiscing the protagonist’s true or make-believe childhood’s events.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.


This book can be purchased at

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Fiction

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