This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Dark Enough to See the Stars by Beth Duke revolves around Ronni, a compassionate nurse and accomplished author, who receives an emotional email from Gary Harris, who claims to be the son of a man she wrote about in her book. Discussing the situation with her husband Rick, they decide to prioritize their own lives against the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interspersed throughout their narrative are flashbacks of Ronni and Rick's journey, including their wedding and honeymoon. Meanwhile, in Anniston, Alabama in 1946, we are introduced to Sam, a talented photographer who captures a perfect yearbook photo of Violet. These intertwining stories gradually unfold, shedding light on the resilience and strength of the characters as they navigate love, loss, and self-discovery in the face of adversity.
I really liked the way that Dark Enough to See the Stars by Beth Duke played out in scenes that frequently read like vignettes, with pieces woven together to make one comprehensive story but with each of those same pieces having the strength to stand alone. There is a full emotional landscape that makes Duke's composite wonderfully character-driven, an appropriate maneuver given its anchoring in the pandemic. For instance, when Ronni O'Shea is grappling with a loss, she engages in deep conversations with Max and they bond over shared histories and mutual comfort in a way they never would have in another timeline. The lingering shadow of COVID-19 marks Ronnie's life through various characters as well. Ronnie's friend Deanna grapples with the absence of Max and Elise who are affected by the pandemic's travel restrictions. Meanwhile, Samuel, Max and Elise's son, is overwhelmed by the pressures of store construction delays, a stark repercussion of the economic slowdown during the pandemic. Duke writes an effective and engrossing contrast of experiences to provide portraits of life amidst a global crisis and it is a brilliant tribute to the losses and triumphs of then vs now. Very highly recommended.