What I’m Reading: How the Light Gets In

A blog reader suggested a book so I thought I’d give it a try.  Happily, the book was at the free online library, Hoopla Digital.  The book was How the Light Gets In by Jolin Petershem.

How the Light Gets In

So what did I think of the book…pretty good.  I’m glad I read it.  The book actually is set in Wisconsin about 2 hours from my house… which makes books more fun for me.  The book had a few “hang-ups” that caught me and I just had to tell myself to overlook.  For example, there is a character in the book that aspired to be a pianist.  As a teen in an accident, he loses a finger.  Yet, somehow he goes to college to be a pianist.  I’m sorry but I have trouble believing that a person could still be a pianist if they lost their finger.

Another thing…the story takes place in a Mennonite community.  There is a Mennonite man and he is going to marry an English woman.  Nothing at all is said about their differing religions.  I have trouble believing that no one would say anything about them marrying when she has no intention of becoming Mennonite.

There are a few other things…but those are the two that struck me as “wrong”.

So when that happens, I sometimes get sidetracked and miss the real story of the book.  Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that?!

All in the story ends with a nice message on the importance of trying in a marriage.  I liked that part.  All in all I did like the story overall…just minus the hang-ups.

Here is what Amazon had to say:When Ruth Neufeld’s husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law, Mabel, to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together the next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband’s cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and a budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she’d lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn’t dead after all.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.6 stars.  I would give the book 4.2 stars.  I liked it but as I said earlier in this post, a couple of things were unbelievable.

If you are interested you can find the book HERE.  At the time I wrote this post, this book was available for free to Kindle Unlimited Users.


12 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: How the Light Gets In”

  1. Jo…read “How the Light gets in” by Louise Penny. It is part of a-mystery series set in Canada. If you like series, start with her 1st book. Your library might carry and she is an excellent writer

  2. You know Rick Allen is the drummer from Def Leppard and he is a fabulous drummer…with only ONE arm ….so maybe the piano character is not that far fetched….also….an acquaintance married a Mennonite girl..he was not Mennonite…they have a fabulous marriage and three children…and do not live in a Mennonite community ….so again….maybe not so hard to believe ?….I guess it depends on a person’s own history with things…thanks for the book review…it dies sound interesting

  3. It sounds like an interesting book. You have me wondering about the pianist with a finger missing. I think I’ll do some research. A gal I babysat for years and years ago only had little nubs fingers and she played piano, maybe not to the point of studying music though. It makes me wonder. Something else she was able to do that I couldn’t and that was get knots out of shoestrings.

  4. I know someone who was missing part of his finger. He is a terrific organist. I really wanted to watch him play but couldn’t. Maybe large hands can adapt.

  5. I had a cousin that had little control of her hands due to a birth defect. However she could write and type with her feet. People with disabilities learn to adapt and overcome.

  6. So I read The Paris Orphan. I think it was one you reviewed. It was a good story detailing a topic I hadn’t gone very in depth into. But can I just scream at the ending?! She dies! Really?!!! Right before they attain a well deserved happy ending? Arghhh. I like the way The Book of Lost Names ended way better lol…. that kiss!

      1. I’ll give it a try…I did like the overall story of her Orphan book, but as Jo mentions in this recent book’s review, too many things in Orphan didn’t add up. They somehow don’t reconnect all those many years? She is able to hide having a child to raise for 30 years? Mmmm, nah. Not buying it. I like to sew, so I’ll see if he Seamstress book is more logical. Blessings!

  7. I totally agree with you, Jo. Some of the free Kindle books are also badly edited. I can’t get past that and will just quit reading the book.

  8. I was unprepared for the ending of How the Light Gets In! Oh my. I felt like I needed to reread the book. I did go back and skim over parts of it again. Lol. I think the man wrote his own musical compositions, thus he could write with consideration for his missing finger. I am a pianist and I don’t think it’s impossible to play with a missing finger. I am glad I have all of mine, though.

  9. Sue Stringfellow

    I am Mennonite- I think most Mennonites are much more “liberal” in their thinking- you might be thinking of Amish- now they would definitely have a problem with someone marrying outside their faith!

  10. Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. better known as Dr. John decided to switch from guitar to piano after losing his index finger on his fretting ..

    There are Mennonites where I live and they marry outside their faith. Like Sue Stringfellow said, you may be thinking of the Amish.

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