A Light Within, by Ann Heinz

5_10_17 A Light Within

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Not only do I get the privilege of being the first to review this book on Amazon, but I get to give it five stars!

 

A period piece about breaking traditional gender roles is how I describe A Light Within. A young woman named Cora laments about her inability to attend medical school. Because she’s a woman. Alright, pretty standard for the time. The events that follow are anything but standard.
Set during a time of abolitionists and women becoming self-aware, A Light Within takes on a heavy task. There was much going on in the pre-Civil War era that was important, and the author managed to encompass quite a bit.
Something that stood out besides the excellent writing, was the attention to detail. A heavy bit of research seems to have gone into everything from locations, to speech and dress. The novel never feels like it “breaks character” and has modernism creep in. Though it does mimic certain current events, or are we repeating history because we can’t seem to learn from it?
While traditional in some ways, we see more and more of the opposite as the story unfolds. And the story’s woven tighter than Gordian’s Knot. Later on, it morphs to takes on a more To Kill A Mockingbird feel. The issues of morality, good and evil, and racism are now at the forefront.
Now, anyone who reads my reviews knows my thoughts on how romance gets portrayed. It usually follows the same formula over and over again. The woman’s thought process of “I and independent and don’t want a family” changes when she meets a man. What’s different about Cora is the fact that she does want that. Eventually. She has things to do first, and she remains true to that. The love story that blossoms with her is well done. It’s subtle, and progressive, and it doesn’t try to take away from the story. In other words: it remains a tertiary theme.
Characterization represented and interesting dichotomy, especially within Cora’s family. Remember how I said traditional gender roles get broken? Look at the character development. There are significant points that the reader can see it happen. The author isn’t subtle about it at all. Nor are they apologetic.
There was a lot I liked about this novel. Writing language from a different time is a difficult task, but the author was up for the challenge. A Light Within is very immersive and so well-written. A great deal of thought and effort went into this novel and the result is stunning. A must-read.
Buy it here!
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4 comments

  1. First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you
    do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your
    head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?
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    1. Hi there! I’m so happy you like the blog! Oh man, that question is the bane of every writers existence. To be honest, I sort of rehearse what I want to say in my head as though I were talking to a real person. Then I just sort of start writing and not caring how it comes out, as long as I get something out of paper. From there I can edit, see what I missed or what I’d like to change/include. I usually put on something instrumental like the Skyrim soundtrack to block off any noise or distraction from people around me. Sometimes the easiest way to deal with that is just start writing whatever crap comes to mind and then go back and edit later. After all, first drafts were made to suck–in the literary world, at least! I sincerely hope this helps. Good luck, and keep at it!

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