Book, Review

When The Lights Go Out ~ Carys Bray

326 pages ~ ★★★★☆ ~ Netgalley eARC

I requested this after seeing it mentioned in one of Jen Campbell’s YouTube videos; Jen’s videos are a great source of recommendations even if it does mean my TBR pile seems to never get any smaller.

When The Lights Go Out follows a family in the run up to Christmas Day. Father, Chris is a landscaper who’s work has been suffering over the past year due to the weather, in his newly found spare time he’s trying to pull his family into being as self-sufficient as possible and preparing for a time when the power will fail and they’ll need to rely on his stash of beans and rice kept in the garage.

Chris’ wife Emma feels her protesting days are behind her and longs for quiet time in her sewing room. Up until now Emma has tolerated Chris’ strange new behaviours but she’s finding him more and more difficult to deal with.

The book follows the family in the week leading to Christmas as we see the tension mount; while Christmas can be a stressful time for any family its particularly compounded by Chris’ increasingly odd behaviours, including bringing home several rabbits insisting they’ll be raised to be eaten.

This was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, some parts had me laughing out loud and the last couple of chapters had me unable to go to sleep until I’d finished. It was an ending my eyes couldn’t read quick enough for how much my brain needed answers. The characters are incredibly believable, I want to give Emma the biggest hug (and maybe sit and do some crafting with her in the sewing room).

Overall I’m really glad I requested this, if it hadn’t had been for Jen’s video I would have skipped past this, now I’m going to go look at what else this author already has in the world and hopefully find some more future favourites.

It felt like quite a seasonably appropriate book to read during autumn/winter, in our opening chapters there’s non-stop rain and that was the exact weather we had the weekend I read this book. I wouldn’t say this is a particularly festive read so even though it is set around Christmastime its by no means a light-hearted sing-song round the tree so maybe read this now or save it for the new year.

When The Lights Go Out∆ is available on Kindle now and in hardback from 12th November. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.

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