Soon The Light Will Be Perfect by Dave Patterson
April 9, 2019
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I wanted to share with you today, how thrilling I find debut novels. There is not a previous NY Times Bestseller to live up to or a not so successful book looming in the background. A debut is literally its own entity. The perfect start! Well Mr. H., I just finished Dave Patterson’s brand new book, Soon The Light Will Be Perfect, and loved it! This work of fiction is a coming of age story that not only explores family, love, and faith during the gloomiest of times but is a story that will stir your soul until the very end.
Dave Patterson’s book is narrated by a 12 year old boy (nameless) who lives in rural Vermont with his Catholic parents and his 15 year old brother. Though money is a constant source of struggle, his family gains a small bit of financial freedom allowing them to move out of the nearby trailer park and into a small place of their own. While his father works to make ends meet at a manufacturing plant that supplies equipment for the Gulf War, his mother endures the grueling side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. With the craziness of their lives propelling them forward, the two brothers embark on their own unique teenage journeys filled with temptations, curiosity and at times, despair. Despite the fact that this family endures some tough blows, there is no shortage of family love. Though the main character’s parents are loving and have good intentions, he continues to grapple with his inherited faith. With his tantalizing adolescent thoughts and his encounter with sickness and tragedy, this 12 year old is surrounded by a cloud of confusion and unwanted guilt.
Soon The Light Will Be Perfect grabbed my attention from the start. Patterson’s characters possess a layer of grit that make them truly authentic. This work of fiction reads very similar to a memoir. Though the time frame of this story is relatively short and the plot appears relatively simple, there is a lot to unpack from his writing. His book is heavy at times with no shortage of details. With themes of Catholicism simmering in the background and metaphors of life lingering in the air, Patterson presents readers with a young boy on the brink of adolescence. He takes a deep look at the stigma and reality of living in rural poverty, the effects of tragedy in a young boy’s life and the unforgettable scar left from a mother’s sickness.
So here is the scoop. I adored this book and loved the narrator of this story. This is the kind of book that sucks you in from the very beginning and is difficult to put down. Maybe it’s the parent in me, but there is something so innocent about this 12 year old’s questions and concerns about life around him. Though his parents were devout Catholics, their beliefs and actions didn’t always match up with his own views of the world and the human spirit. Patterson gives readers an inside look at the muddled, yet honest thoughts of a soon to be teen boy. He invites his readers into the lives of a family that are doing the best they can under stressful conditions. Though his story is at times bleak, it is also filled with hope and love that beautifully shine through. Soon The Light Will Be Perfect is a deeply moving story that needs to be on everyone’s bookshelf. Patterson’s book presents readers with stimulating and thought provoking material that make it the PERFECT book club pic. Go get yourself a copy! Happy Reading!!!!!!!
Talk to you soon Mr. H.!!!!!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. Prior to his debut novel, Dave Patterson wrote a beer column called Beer Muse for Maine Today. So………. not only did he write a fantastic debut novel, but he knows A TON about beer. How wicked cool is that???????