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Facing The Light [Mass Market Paperback]

Adele Geras
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 2004

An extended family gathers in late August to celebrate the seventy-fifth birthday of its formidable matriarch, Leonora. She is the daughter of the famous Edwardian painter Ethan Walsh, whose paintings are kept at the family home, Willow Court in Wiltshire. At Leonora's house party will be her daughters, Gwen and Rilla, whom she raised alone after she was widowed in her late twenties; Rilla's stepdaughter Beth; and Gwen's husband and three children with their spouses and lovers. One outsider joins the group: Sean Everard, a television director who's making a documentary about the life and work of Ethan Walsh.

All families have their dark side and Leonora's is no exception. By the time the marquee is dismantled and all the guests have gone their separate ways, two shocking past events have come to light, to rock complacency and change for ever the lives of Leonora and her daughters.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; Reprint edition (4 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752842846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752842844
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 667,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been writing books for children since 1976 and have published more than 90 books for readers of all ages from babies to teenagers. In 2003, my first adult novel was published (FACING THE LIGHT) and I've written three others, all published by Orion.
I've also published poetry and have reviewed for the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement

Product Description


An enthralling mystery that maintains a sense of suspense through each spellbinding page. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Book Description

Spanning the years 1935 to the present and set in a country house in Wiltshire, a glorious multi-layered story of an English family

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, thoughtful and warm 25 Feb 2004
By Sophie Masson VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a compelling, thoughtful and warm novel that makes for an eminently satisfying read. The action is set around the extended Walsh family which is gathering together to celebrate the 75th birthday of its matriarch, Leonora, at the family home, Willow Court, home also to the beautiful paintings of Leonora's artist father, Ethan Walsh. But all families have secrets, and the Walshes are no exception--and in the course of the visit, many hidden things will come to light, and darkness lifted from many hearts.
The characters are so real and well-drawn that you feel you absolutely know them; the style is limpid, engaging, flowing, the plot tightly-structured yet subtly revealed. Though there is much unhappiness revealed, this is a very life-affirming, and love-affirming book, full of hope and forgiveness and a great compassion. It makes you glow inside. And the description of art, of the paintings themselves, and the feeling in them, is so vivid that you are sure you can see them there in front of your eyes. A delight of a read. Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light up your life with 'Facing the LIght' 13 Mar 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Adele Geras is a well-established and respected author who writes to a consistently high standard. This first adult novel, an adroit and delightful book, confirms the quality of her writing. All the best books have an enigma at their heart and this book has not just one but two revelations for the reader to anticipate and puzzle over. Willow Court,the country house in which the main events occur, permeates the book and has a personality in its' own right rather as Manderley does in 'Rebecca'. Adele Geras skillfully entices the reader, encouraging one to swiftly devour the book after the opening chapter, by suggesting and developing growing tensions, irregularities and questions.
The carefully drawn characters take it turns to share centre stage and their perspectives are gradually shifted and changed as Geras moves the spotlight from one to another and constantly refocuses on their characters. This helps to heighten the tensions and the tight time scale of present day events is moved on by timely flashbacks.
This is a book for a wide audience - those who love family sagas will have the pleasure of adding a new author to their reading list; readers who eagerly await new books from Adele Geras; those who read her outstanding novel for young adults, "Troy" and primarily those who like an absorbing, well written novel.
This is a cracking read. Buy it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! 4 April 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book this is! Great characters, believable dialogue and a weaving of storylines and times that gently ease us along to the conclusions the author draws. It is almost a mystery book, with clues and tempting glimpses into what happened in the past to affect the future. Buy this book and dedicate some time to just relaxing into another world. I am very impressed and will certainly be hoping for more adult works from this author. I loved it and you will too - I guarantee it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this down! 25 Nov 2008
By Dot
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book, I think it is my favourite of the year so far! I love books set in country houses with eccentric families and mysteries and long-kept secrets; this book has all of that.

Facing the Light centres round the Walsh family with Leonora as the matriarch; the extended family are coming together for the weekend to celebrate the milestone of her 75th Birthday. Leonora is the daughter of Ethan Walsh the celebrated artist whose work hangs throughout Willow Court. She has two daughters, Gwen and Rilla; their children then make up the extended family circle.

Leonora's childhood was blighted by the death of her mother as Rilla's life has been overshadowed by the death of her young son at Willow Court. Throughout the book secrets and mysteries are unravelled and characters perceptions of their family members are greatly challenged. Adele Geras has created a family of very different and eccentric characters who are all entirely believeable but not all necessarily likeable.

It is difficult to review this book without giving too much away but I can say that I really enjoyed reading it; there are many twists and turns along the way and there were times when I really did not want to put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets and Lies 31 Aug 2006
By P. Burt
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What an excellent read! I thoroughly agree with all the previous reviewers about the merits of this book. If you love family sagas and enjoy finding out about hidden skeletons in closets, then this book will suit you. As a previous reviewer has already suggested, there is a secret at the heart of the book. I had an idea about halfway through about what this secret might be, but I was nonetheless sufficiently intrigued to carry on reading to the very end, to find out whether I was right (I was!).

Some parts of the story were really quite heart-rending and you do find yourself drawn into this story almost from the beginning.

The only fault I could find was that, as another reviewer said,not all the loose ends are satisfyingly tied up - the reader is left dangling over what happened to Efe's wife and child, but this is only a very minor criticism. I loved this book and would recommend it to others without reservation!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Family Drama 24 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this gentle meander through a thoroughly eccentric family. The evolving of the characters was satisfying, like a good wine, taste it thoughtfully and slowly.
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