Where the Light Gets in by Lucy Dillon

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‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’

Betty taught Lorna that courage is something you wear, like red lipstick, even if you don’t feel too courageous. So when Betty passes away, leaving her nervous dachshund called Rudy in Lorna’s care, Lorna knows she must take Betty’s advice and grab life by the horns.

Lorna has returned to her home town, Longhampton, to fulfil her dream of owning an art gallery. Like Lorna’s life, the art gallery needs that little something to revive its spark, but before this can happen, Lorna must confront the ghosts of her past. Lorna and Rudy embark on their journey of facing their fears and opening their hearts to old and new friends.

Where the Light Gets In is my first encounter with Lucy Dillon and I was not disappointed. This story had me laughing and crying simultaneously and just left me feeling a little warm inside whenever I picked it up.

Dillon’s characterisation is superb and, throughout the novel, I felt that I truly knew these characters and their traits. I found this to be especially true with the protagonist, Lorna. I knew how she was going to react to certain situations before she did and became truly invested in her journey. Dillon has created a universal character in Lorna. We’ve all experienced loss in some way, we’ve all felt a little lost in life and we’ve definitely all had a crush.

This novel tackles a lot of poignant issues that aren’t always given enough attention. One of these key themes is loneliness, specifically in the older generation, and the effect social isolation has on people. It made me really think about the life I’m leading and wonder if I could be doing more to help the elderly people around me.

Where the Light Gets in provided me with reassurance. As a woman in my 20s, I understood Lorna’s frustrations and recognised that same feeling of being lost and without direction. Lucy Dillon reminded me that life doesn’t need to be planned to be beautiful; this left me feeling really calm after reading it.

The pace of this book was superb. There wasn’t a single moment that I recall being bored or disinterested as, although it was filled with beautiful, delicate moments, it had enough events and dilemmas to keep the reader engaged. The relationships between the characters developed brilliantly and felt really natural. I loved the element of romance in this novel as it felt realistic and highlighted how sometimes life just gets in the way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t something I’d usually read but I’m very glad I did. It left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and it was packed with cute dogs! I’d recommend this for a nice, easy read.

4.5 stars out of 5.


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