A Shine That Defies The Dark

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

This is my romance book placed in the time of prohibition, and I haven't read any historical romance for quite some time, so this was a nice change of pace. 
It was really, really good. I enjoyed from the very beginning to the end. 
Great book from a new author. 
Highly recommended!
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A Shine the Defies the Dark takes us through a journey of a young girl during the era of prohibition. This was a engrossing read from the start and the more I read, the more I wanted to know what was going to happen to Ophelia and her mother. A few years back Ophelia and her mother were basically ran out of town, and now that they are back, they are treated horribly. Her mother is willing to do just about anything to put food on the table and a roof over their head. Ophelia has other things in mind and takes things into her own hands, only things don’t go they way she hopes.

Ophelia was a caring young girl, she loved her momma and I just adored her for it. She puts herself in some situations that were pretty dangerous, but with the backup of a good guy who genuinely cares for her, she does what she needs too. Her love interest Remy, is one of the Granger boys, they are supposed to not be “friends”, so this little forbidden love wasn’t kept a secret very long. Their time together was so sweet to follow. But with the law (good and corrupt ones) at their heels and other moonshiners starting wars over who is allowed to rum run, things get even more dangerous. Ophelia’s world is turned upside down, and I felt just horrible for her. Everything that happened might have been suspenseful but it was a bittersweet ending. Made my heart hurt. But it really was such a great read and I will certainly be on the lookout for more from this author.
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“I was running with bootleggers, my Momma was sleepin’ with a man in exchange for a roof over our heads, and I was falling crazy in love with a member of one of the most notorious families in Louisiana, who as it turned out, isn’t as bad as I’d always been led to believe.”

What a lovely surprise.  I almost didn't request this book because, honestly, the thought of young adult novel set during the Prohibition didn't really interest me... until I read the blurb.  Also, the gorgeous cover certainly helped!  And I am very glad I did - this is an amazing peek into life in southern Louisiana during Prohibition.

“Lord, how I had missed the bayou, I realized. Despite all of trouble my family had experienced, I was convinced that every good thing in the world started and ended in southern Louisiana.”

Ophelia is returning to Plaquemines Parish after six years in Charlotte, and the reader gets to rediscover the bayou along with her.  The language is lyrical and evocative, and I could really feel Ophelia's love for her hometown.  I especially loved the little bits of Creole sprinkled in.  Ophelia is a wonderfully strong and smart character.  At only sixteen, she's dropped out of school to help her mother, who's taken on numerous small jobs to support them, from washing laundry to canning tomatoes to darning laundry.  While I didn't agree with some of the choices Ophelia made, I understood and respected where she was coming from.

“I guess it got to the point that every day in my life was filled with darkness. Then I saw a glimmer of light shine through and I ran toward it and put all my hope on it.”

I loved all of the Granger boys and their differing, complicated relationships with Ophelia, from Eloi to Remy to Sirus to Sunshine, though, of course, I loved Remy most.  I loved how he supported her in learning to be a bootlegger, and how obvious it was that he cared for her and was happy to just spend time with her.  I especially loved the picnic they went on.  As for the other brothers, I admired Eloi's responsibility, Sirus' youthful optimism, and Sunshine's practicality.

“Maybe the problem was you were too focused on the dark to see the other sources of light”

Days later, I'm still processing this book.  I've spent a lot of time thinking about how children are affected by the sins of their parents - and sometimes repeat them.  I've also thought a lot about the dark parts of my life and what things were the "shine" then.  I think this would make a great book club book, and I'm definitely looking forward to the release so I can make some of my friends buy it and read it so I have someone to discuss it with!

Overall, an enjoyable, heart-wrenchingly beautiful read!
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