Cover Image: The Light Always Breaks

The Light Always Breaks

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A beautiful forbidden love story with (business) food and history in the background. The story is good, but not great. I did enjoy it, though!

Was this review helpful?

3.5 rounded up. This highlights a different time of history, the equal rights work done by both men and women in post-WWII DC. There is a romance angle, but it doesn't take over as in many other historical fiction novels. The meeting where men and women were separated was a real eye-opener.

I loved all the details of the Cajun and Creole cooking of the restaurant, and I didn't expect so many New Orleans vibes in a book located in DC. The restaurant where the chef came from is still a popular restaurant in NOLA.


Of course along with that were some French phrases and the editor does a great job of translating what is said. That's one of my pet peeves in reading a book where foreign languages are used--looking at you Anita Bookner! But my one criticism of the book is that it could have been tightened up to move the action along. NAACP doesn't need to be spelled out every time, or titles such as Revend, Doctor, etc . (However I never once got characters mixed up.)

A bit of gossip was included about Strom Thurmond that I didn't know.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

I love a book that discusses and showcases an important topic, this being race and the impact race has on society. I also love what can be viewed as a forbidden romance, in a sense. However great the concept, I felt that there could have been THAT much more to make it an outstanding read.

Was this review helpful?

Picked up The Light Always Breaks after really enjoying the author's previous book, When Stars Rain Down. This one wasn't quite up there with her other book, but it was an interesting look at 1940s Washington, DC. I definitely learned a lot about the segregation that was so prevalent there at the time, something I didn't realize. I loved what a strong character Eva was, especially as a woman during the 40s. Overall, the story just fell a little flat for me and I wanted a bit more out of it.

Was this review helpful?

I began this story eager to learn more about some of the people in Washington, D.C., who were involved in the Civil Rights movement. I got that, but I also got a story about a fascinating woman and restauranteur, Eva Cardon, and the white Senator she becomes involved with, despite the extreme danger to herself.

I enjoyed this story till the meeting between Eva and Courtland, when he kisses her without permission. I never warmed to Courtland after, and he was enough of an annoyance that I had to put the book aside for several weeks before returning to finish it. Much as I loved Eva, and liked learning more about people working to progress civil rights at the time in D.C., my enjoyment of the book was compromised by Courtland.

Thank you to Netgalley and to Harper Muse for this ARC in exchange for my review.

Was this review helpful?

Eva Cardon is one of the most powerful characters that I've read I love her strength, and her boldness, she was beautiful and she was the owner of the most famous Restaurants here in Washington, but people around her especially white folks didn't want her, or "her people" as they use to call Eva's family and friends, the klan was behind these atrocities and terrible events that were happening in the plain election.

Courtland Kingsley IV a senator from Georgia was rooting for Miss Eva and her business, her family, and her friend but, he wasn't always welcome, his skin didn't help that they were afraid of anything he could bring to their business and family, and that's exactly what happened someone didn't like Eva's friendship with Courtland, bringing so much pain and chaos to their homes.

This was my second book by Angela Jackson and I really love her style, and her writing, she always makes your feelings go on a roller coaster, especially with the main characters, and also she always includes so many of the secondary characters like Eva is the heroine but all the others are as equal as important as to her and bring so much to the story and without all of them the story wouldn't be possible.

I always cry and laugh and feel joyful with Angela's books but I have to say I always cry because it never happens what I want it to at the end, haha, especially the love part is like the main characters always end up alone and sad.

Very happy that I had the opportunity to read this book

It was a good story, I love how evolved so organically and made us feel all the feels and emotions with everything Eva was experiencing no matter what.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for the advanced copy of The Light Always Breaks in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was a beautiful, historical love story between two individuals who found an instant attraction and love in a time that didn't allow interracial relationships. Eva is a black restaurant owner and Courtland is a white war hero turned senator. They met at an event promoting civil rights and have an immediate attraction towards another. As much as they can't deny it, they continue to gravitate towards each other, even when there are outside forces literally trying to keep them apart.

This story was beautifully written, and as a DC native, I appreciated the integration of the city's locations. Eva and Courtland's attraction was so interesting to read, especially written from the time of 1947. I appreciated how desperately Courtland wanted to be with Eva but sometimes I think he forgot his privilege; he was ready to give up everything for her but ultimately, she would still always suffer more in every situation. The ending was heartbreaking, but I think we left Eva in a good place.

Was this review helpful?

jackson-brown is a promising author and this second novel solidifies certainly solidifies her writing skills. sadly the story here didn't really resonate with me, maybe this is due to the dynamic that is at its centre...

Was this review helpful?

I truly enjoyed the premise of Angela Jackson-Brown's The Light Always Breaks. Set in the late 1940s, this novel looks at racism, love, friendship, and more through the beautiful life of Eva Cardon, a black female restaurant owner in DC. I was inspired by her dedication to her business, her family, and herself... as well as her desire to grow in faith and in working in the civil rights movement despite the very real personal costs. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of 5 because the writing didn't work for me at times, and I also struggled to believe in the romance between Eva and Courtland, a white Southern senator. He seemed like a man out of his time due to his political leanings and his desire to love Eva at personal cost - I just didn't see his why.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the free advanced ebook copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I was very intrigued by the premise of the novel, a Black, female entrepreneur in the 1940s! Overall I did enjoy the story but I felt like the writing was a little too blatant, I kept hearing my high school english teacher's voice saying 'show, don't tell' and at times I struggled to believe the main character was old enough to be running her own business.

Was this review helpful?

A brilliant historical fiction novel.
Many thanks to Harper Muse and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This is not the first book I've read from this author, and It truly won't be my last Ms. brown has written such an emotional and educational historical read that I did not want to end. There is also a lot of education in regards to the African american french creole community and how it might have been to be raised in New Orleans, LA. Between that, and the forbidden love between Eva and Courtland (who is a white southerner born and raised now working in congress in the late 1940's) wanted more. I really felt like I was transported back in time. I was hoping for the ending to go a different way, but nether the less, I enjoyed this book so very much. Phenomenal job

I received a copy of the book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review of my own thoughts and opinions.

Was this review helpful?

Sorry for the late review! Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for this. advance copy. This book. was okay. It started out slow for me and then. it got better. The book included A LOT OF politics and background that was kind of boring. It is historical fiction with a touch of I guess it is to be expected but it was not that good for me. If you like historical fiction with a lot of background information this would be for you,

Was this review helpful?

I feel like this had so much potential but unfortunately felt flat for me. It felt repetitive and ultimately the storyline felt unresolved. I feel like the author could have better communicated the themes she was trying to convey.

Was this review helpful?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

Eva has been raised by strong, Black women who believed in her dreams and set an example of how a woman should conduct themselves. Though she lost both of her parents at a young age, she didn't allow her pain or her color to keep her from opening the restaurant of her dreams... Of course... it's never this simple.

I enjoyed reading Eva's story and seeing her life in comparison to that of her mother and sister. I enjoyed reading about the very REAL civil rights leaders in their interactions with Eva. Though we're not living in the 1940s, the book inspired me to remember the work we do, and the things we fight for, are often bigger than us. I cannot say that I saw the ending coming, but I definitely enjoyed the text.

Was this review helpful?

I was so completely drawn in by the premise of this book, an up-and-coming Black restaurant owner in DC in the 1940’s becoming entangled with a white politician, right up my alley! Unfortunately, I had to call it quits on this book before I made it very far at all. I am sorry I can’t provide a full review for this book as I did not finish it. The writing from page one felt very juvenile to me, with characters over-explaining motivations and a plot that was progressing at a confusing pace. The way the story was described was intriguing but the way it has been written was overdone, heavy handed, and I think the publisher has neglected a duty to give this book the edits it needed to be a great and impactful read. I can’t stress enough how much I feel that Angela Jackson-Brown was wronged by the publication of this book that read as something so unfinished, the story was set to explore serious and important themes and issues and it deserved to shine, not to fall completely flat.

Thank you Harper Muse and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for this honest review. Because I did not finish this, I will not be sharing my review anywhere as it feels unfair to provide an opinion based only on the first 20% of the book.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was good but not great. It had an interesting premise and setting but I wasn't drawn into it that much. I wasn't really invested in the characters. The book is about a Black woman restaurateur who falls in love with a white politician - I think in the 40s or 50s. Backdrop is Washington DC, race relations, black voting rights, representation, etc. All of which could have made it a really great book but this one was lacking. Even the romance felt simplistic and rushed.

Overall ok but not great.

Was this review helpful?

The Light Always Breaks is a historical fiction set in the 1940's in Washington DC during the height of civil unrest. Eva Cordon, the black owner of a popular French restaurant, crosses path with Courtland, Georgia's white senator. Sparks immediately begin to fly. Eva is involved in the civll rights movement. Courtland finds himself torn between his love for Eva, the right thing to do, and his father's prejudice ways and thoughts.

I found that I had a love hate relationship with this book. I loved the book at times and I hated the book at times. I wanted to scream at the characters and other times my heart broke for them.

Here are just a few of my thoughts about the hate part.

- Early in the book, Courtland and a mutual friend of Eva and Courtland, Adam goes to Eva's restaurant with Courtland. Before arriving at the restaurant, Adam warns Courtland not to get involved with Eva. At the restaurant, the men end up eating lunch with Eva. During the lunch, Adam leaves Eva and Courtland alone. It felt unrealistic to me that after warning Courtland of the perils of being with Eva, Adam would leave the two alone in a very public setting.

- Eva is a twenty-four-year old black woman who owns a French restaurant in Washington DC in 1947. I never could find how Eva got the money to start a business this fancy in Washington DC at this time in our country. This felt unrealistic to me. This fact bothered me the entire book.

2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoy historical reads so I was very excited to start reading. The book idea was pleasant but seemed forced and could have been told in fewer pages. The story to me was long and drawn out. I didn’t care how the author chose to include several famous historical names mention in fictional roles. I wasn’t sure if it was suppose to be a history lesson or a novel. I wanted to like the book but there were so many things that I couldn’t get past. I kept wondering how young Eva Cordon was able to have such a well known and successful high end restaurant in Washington, DC during this era. As if there wasn’t enough happening add in the instant interracial romance between Eva and a young white Senator from Georgia, Courtland Kingsley IV.

I enjoyed reading about the inner works of the civil right sent. I like that the author included a strong and courageous woman during such a time of racial discrimination. The book was able to shed light on problems that plagued America during the 1940’s. The contrast of seeing the political side from Cortland’s family and their view and willingness to fight and stand for their personal racial bias. The author offer’s a lot of internal and external conflicts that keeps the storyline going.

The book offered a lot, but for me it was just okay. I liked it enough to finish reading it.

Was this review helpful?

The Light Always Breaks opens just as the new year begins in Washington DC. Eva Cardon, the owner of one of the city’s best restaurants, is organizing a party to welcome the new year, and even though the restaurant is filled with celebrities and activists, it’s a young Senator from Georgia who catches her eye. It’s pretty obvious that the senator, named Courtland, is smitten with Eva and wanted to get to know her the moment he first saw her. The only problem? Eva is Black, Courtland is white, and it’s the cusp of 1947, when segregation was still in full swing.

The premise of this book immediately caught my attention but unfortunately, the further I got, the more disappointed I was. The writing lacked the depth and intensity that I was hoping for, but what annoyed me the most was how perfect Eva was. I love strong female characters but she simply could not do anything wrong, everyone loved her, and overall she felt very much like a Mary Sue. While some of the things that happened in the book had a bit of a Lifetime movie quality to them, I felt compelled to read until the end, because I was really curious about how everything was going to be resolved. I appreciated the background of this novel - the Civil Rights movement and the fight for racial justice - and the message it conveyed, but the relationship between Eva and Courtland was too insta-lovey for me, and I kept wishing the characters were better developed.

TLDR: The Light Always Breaks is a novel with a fantastic premise, but the execution fell flat. The historical aspect was fascinating but sadly, the romance did not sweep me off my feet.

Was this review helpful?