Soon the Light Will Be Perfect
We the Animals meets Hillbilly Elegy in this taut portrait of poverty, Catholicism, and a family in crisis in rural Vermont.A 12-year-old altar boy lives with his family in a small, poverty stricken town in Vermont. His father works at a manufacturing plant, his mother is a homemaker, and his fifteen-year-old brother is about to enter high school. His family has gained enough financial stability to move out of the nearby trailer park, and as conflict rages abroad, his father’s job at a weapons manufacturing plant appears safe. But then his mother is diagnosed with cancer, and everything changes.As his family clings to the traditions of their hard-lined Catholicism, the narrator begins to see how ideology and human nature are often at odds. He meets Taylor, a perceptive, beguiling girl from the trailer park, a girl who has been forced to grow up too fast. Taylor represents everything his life as an altar boy isn’t, and their fledgling connection develops as his mother’s health deteriorates.Set over the course of one propulsive summer, Soon the Light Will be Perfect chronicles the journey of a young man on the cusp of adulthood, a town battered by poverty, and a family at a breaking point. In spare, fiercely honest prose, Dave Patterson captures what it feels like to be gloriously, violently alive at a moment of political, social, and familial instability.

Soon the Light Will Be Perfect Details

TitleSoon the Light Will Be Perfect
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 9th, 2019
PublisherHanover Square Press
ISBN-139781335652904
Rating
GenreFiction, Young Adult, Coming Of Age

Soon the Light Will Be Perfect Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 It’s difficult enough for adults to confront the tough blows that life doles out, and can prove to be more of a struggle for a twelve year old boy. Trying to make sense of his mother’s cancer, the precarious financial situation of their family, while on the edge of the road to “coming of age”, the boy in this story will touch you. This unnamed boy grappling with these things, as well as a connection with a troubled young girl is set against the strict devotion of his parents to the Catholic 3.5 It’s difficult enough for adults to confront the tough blows that life doles out, and can prove to be more of a struggle for a twelve year old boy. Trying to make sense of his mother’s cancer, the precarious financial situation of their family, while on the edge of the road to “coming of age”, the boy in this story will touch you. This unnamed boy grappling with these things, as well as a connection with a troubled young girl is set against the strict devotion of his parents to the Catholic Church. I didn’t see them as fanatical, but their staunch beliefs at times creates even more confusion for the boy as he tries to find his way. We never know his name and I always find it bothersome when a character is not named. Is that a message that we are to be sure to consider that this is a universal story and this character can represent any twelve year old boy? I could have deduced for myself that there are some universal themes here. I think I connect better to characters whose name I know. Having said that, I was moved by the story and glad that I read it. I will certainly watch for what else Patterson writes.I received an advanced copy of this book from Hanover Square Press through NetGalley.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounded up. Dave Patterson's Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is spare, beautiful, and haunting. It's one of those books that feels a little like a ticking time bomb, because while everything that happens seems relatively benign, there's an underlying sense of tension that makes you wonder when, or if, everything is going to explode. But that doesn't detract at all from its appeal.A 12-year-old boy and his family live in rural Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Fo I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, rounded up. Dave Patterson's Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is spare, beautiful, and haunting. It's one of those books that feels a little like a ticking time bomb, because while everything that happens seems relatively benign, there's an underlying sense of tension that makes you wonder when, or if, everything is going to explode. But that doesn't detract at all from its appeal.A 12-year-old boy and his family live in rural Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. For the first time in a long time, things are stable for their family—they finally have enough money to move out of the trailer park (which dooms you to ostracism, as even his fellow students in the gifted program at school want nothing to do with trailer park kids) and live in a home of their own.It's not quite a comfortable existence, in that they still have to watch every penny, but with their father's job at a weapons manufacturing plant, things finally seem to be going their way. The boy's 15-year-old brother is rebellious, experimenting with girls, drugs, cigarettes, and mischief, but he still serves as an altar boy at their local church, so all is not lost. And then their mother is diagnosed with cancer, and everything starts to fall apart.This is a family for whom religion is tremendously important, and as their mother's illness worsens, they depend more and more on their church. Whether it's attending anti-abortion rallies, which get increasingly more disturbing, or watching the members of the church pray for their mother's recovery, the boy doesn't quite understand the power of religion, but he wants it to work for his mother. (A segment where he finds his confirmation saint and tries to emulate him is a disturbing and emotional one.)This is the story of a boy on the cusp of young adulthood, even if being an adult certainly doesn't seem all it's cracked up to be. When he meets a young girl named Taylor, he is intrigued by the way she seems so much more mature and worldly than he does, even if she may be only a year or two older than him. But he quickly realizes that Taylor's bravado is a mask for something else, although he isn't sure how to help her, or if she really wants his help. Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is a poignant story about a family in the midst of crisis, in which two siblings are forced to essentially raise themselves without any real supervision or explanation of all that is falling apart around them. They toy with rebellion but truthfully want a "normal" life back—that is, anything that doesn't send their family back to the trailer park. It's a novel about family, about belief, about realizing your parents don't have it any more together than you do at times, but you still rely on them.Patterson is a tremendously self-assured writer, and it's hard to believe this is his debut novel. At times it moved a little slower than I liked, and I felt like things were a little more graphic than they needed to be at times, but I couldn't pull myself away from the book, even though I read it expecting everything might go horribly awry at any second. Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is the first real glimpse of Patterson's talent, and it's worthwhile to read. I can't wait to see what's next.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.NetGalley and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada)/Hanover Square Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded upThere’s so much going on in this story but to me it’s basically a coming of age story of a twelve year old boy and his older brother who are having a bit of troubles in their family. Mom has cancer and is having problems with her treatments, there’s a possibility of Dad losing his job just when they recently were able to move into a home after living in a trailer park. The situation leads to the boys mostly fending for themselves. I was moved by this story, both beautiful and dark 3.5 rounded upThere’s so much going on in this story but to me it’s basically a coming of age story of a twelve year old boy and his older brother who are having a bit of troubles in their family. Mom has cancer and is having problems with her treatments, there’s a possibility of Dad losing his job just when they recently were able to move into a home after living in a trailer park. The situation leads to the boys mostly fending for themselves. I was moved by this story, both beautiful and dark at times.Thank you to Netgalley and HARLEQUIN / Hanover Square Press for the ARC!
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsA tightly woven coming-of-age story of a twelve-year-old boy and his family living in a small, economically deprived town in Vermont, as the country is on the verge of the Gulf War, and the family is on the verge of their own trauma.The family consists of two boys, the one that is twelve, and his fifteen year-old brother, a father who works at a manufacturing plant, and a mother who is a homemaker, active in their church, the mother is also involved in some charitable organizations. Thi 3.5 StarsA tightly woven coming-of-age story of a twelve-year-old boy and his family living in a small, economically deprived town in Vermont, as the country is on the verge of the Gulf War, and the family is on the verge of their own trauma.The family consists of two boys, the one that is twelve, and his fifteen year-old brother, a father who works at a manufacturing plant, and a mother who is a homemaker, active in their church, the mother is also involved in some charitable organizations. This is a strongly bonded, staunchly Catholic family, who attend services regularly, and who have been able, finally, to move out of the nearby trailer park. And for a moment in time, life is good.Shared through the eyes and thoughts of the twelve-year old, we watch as this boy-soon-to-be-a-man shares his story, his view of the world and his family, his mother’s “stomach problems” diagnosis changes to cancer, and his father’s struggles at work, the pending Gulf War which might help them economically, but at what cost? ”I don’t hear the rest of his homily as I stare at my mother and try to imagine an empty space where she has sat every Sunday morning of my life.” A family caught up in a maelstrom, relying on their priest for guidance and comfort until the priest inexplicably disappears amidst rumours. Enter Taylor, a girl from the trailer park, whose mother is divorced and whose life has forced her to grow up too soon, and a bond is formed between these two, one that grows stronger as his mother’s health declines as the summer days go by. While their world seems to be falling apart, and the war is a part of this story, this settles into a story of facing the uncertainty, pain, dissatisfaction associated with the instability of life and living that they are facing, along with a sometimes disturbing view of the mind of this twelve-year-old boy and his search for a miracle. Pub Date: 09 Apr 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by HARLEQUIN / Hanover Square Press
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    I was absolutely awed by the beauty of this cover. Something just called to me when looking at this cover.Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is a hauntingly beautiful and complex story. A 12 year old and his family are living in Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Things seem to finally be stable for this family and can finally move out of their trailer with the money that they have. There is a lot going on in this story... I can tell you that much. A traumatic event hits this family when the moth I was absolutely awed by the beauty of this cover. Something just called to me when looking at this cover.Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is a hauntingly beautiful and complex story. A 12 year old and his family are living in Vermont at the start of the Gulf War. Things seem to finally be stable for this family and can finally move out of their trailer with the money that they have. There is a lot going on in this story... I can tell you that much. A traumatic event hits this family when the mother is diagnosed with cancer. The two boys (12 and 15) are trying to cope and deal with this trauma the best that they know how. The two boys essentially have to raise themselves coping with the amount of trauma and emotional turmoil that is existing around them. Patterson writes beautifully and the emotion behind his words left me breathless at times. The story was moving at a slower pace then I would have liked and it was a tad bit graphic in details for me but I still was pulled into the story of this family. This definitely was a bit of a depressing read but it was beautiful and dark. I'm interested to see what Dave Patterson comes out with next and was pleased to have the opportunity to read this. 3.5 stars for this one.Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/ Trade Publishing/ Hanover Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Published to Goodreads: 1/26/19Publication date: 4/9/19
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    In compliance with FTC guidelines: I received a complimentary copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.I'm giving this a solid 4 starsThe first chapter of this coming of age story was very strong and grabbed my attention. I wasn't too sure what I had gotten myself into when the one of the first words In compliance with FTC guidelines: I received a complimentary copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.I'm giving this a solid 4 starsThe first chapter of this coming of age story was very strong and grabbed my attention. I wasn't too sure what I had gotten myself into when the one of the first words was an F-bomb. Thankfully, the language in the rest of the book was not overly crude. Some of the story line itself was a bit crude but again not overly so. It was well within context of the events unfolding. However, somewhere in the first half of the book It lost a bit of steam. I was also having trouble with the writing. I was not crazy about the first person present tense being used. I feel it limits great dialogue and character building. The only way the author can build is from one-sided observations or internal thoughts. I'm just not a fan!! But, after overcoming the not quite steady first half the second is written very well and maintained a great pace. The same tense and limitations are there but I believe the author handled them expertly in the remaining pages. Overall -- if I'm honest, not my most favorite coming of age story but still a wonderful study of how a parent's illness, over zealous religious bargaining, and economic woes can send a family spiraling out of control. 4* /(3.78*)
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  • Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes a synopsis just grabs your attention and refuses to let go. For me, Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is one such book. A coming-of-age story set in rural Vermont, it had a universality that it could have been set in Anytown, America.Patterson has pulled one life-changing year out of our young protagonist’s life. In this year we experience the highs and lows of growing up in this time and place. I could recognize some of his trials and tribulations, some from my own life, some from others Sometimes a synopsis just grabs your attention and refuses to let go. For me, Soon the Light Will Be Perfect is one such book. A coming-of-age story set in rural Vermont, it had a universality that it could have been set in Anytown, America.Patterson has pulled one life-changing year out of our young protagonist’s life. In this year we experience the highs and lows of growing up in this time and place. I could recognize some of his trials and tribulations, some from my own life, some from others I knew. Patterson does not paint a pretty picture; I appreciate this, because life isn’t always shiny and happy.Soon the Light Will Be Perfect was outside of my usual reading genres, but I like to mix things up to change the pace. This book worked for me with its gloomy reality and troubled protagonist. I felt sympathy for him and his situation. At other times, I was appalled at just how fast life was forcing him to grow up.Patterson truly captivated me with this story, and although it is set in a specific time and place, the themes it explores are apt to connect with anyone and everyone.I think that this is a book that just won’t get the attention that it deserves. Despite the connections that it creates, the marvelous touches of humor, and the dark, brooding characters, I don’t think it is the type of book that people will fall in love with, at the same time, it shouldn’t generate the hate that tarnishes reading. Unfortunately, I think that it will fall into a long list of good books that are lost in the mass of available books.*I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via Edelweiss).
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I received e-ARCs of this book from both Edelweiss and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.The book starts with two cats, one from each brother in a Catholic family who soon prove that they, the cats are Catholic and procreate until the house reeks of cat urine. Soon the cats take such a back seat that only occasional references to the reemergence of the smell is noted.The boys, the narrator aged 12 and his slightly older brother, are wrestling in mind and body with being teenagers and b I received e-ARCs of this book from both Edelweiss and Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.The book starts with two cats, one from each brother in a Catholic family who soon prove that they, the cats are Catholic and procreate until the house reeks of cat urine. Soon the cats take such a back seat that only occasional references to the reemergence of the smell is noted.The boys, the narrator aged 12 and his slightly older brother, are wrestling in mind and body with being teenagers and becoming men while their mother is being treated for cancer and their father is in danger of being laid-off from his job at a tank factory (even though the Gulf War is starting).As a Catholic, I perceive the book to be an examination of the intersection of the faith and life - hate the sin, not the sinner. It can be confusing. Many gray clouds settle over the family, but partially due to their faith and the understanding of individual humanities, the family stays united and resolute.I do not mean to imply this is a religious book. The religion can be seen as simply another character in the book.Since I was reading an e-book, I did not realize I was on the last page until I couldn't go on to another page. I felt the ending was rather abrupt.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'I’ve often prayed for our misery to be transferred to someone else- anyone else.'A young man comes of age in rural Vermont alongside his older brother, just a sliver away from the trailer park and poverty they used to live among before moving into a house. The two contend with more than their hormones. Their Catholicism is little help in facing the harsh reality of a mother whose illness turns out to be cancer. The shame and confusion of raging via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'I’ve often prayed for our misery to be transferred to someone else- anyone else.'A young man comes of age in rural Vermont alongside his older brother, just a sliver away from the trailer park and poverty they used to live among before moving into a house. The two contend with more than their hormones. Their Catholicism is little help in facing the harsh reality of a mother whose illness turns out to be cancer. The shame and confusion of raging urges that are becoming more of a fetish has him believing he is a deviant whose desires cannot be controlled. Often hungry for a filling meal himself, sick of heating frozen meals, he begins resenting his mother’s charitable meals for those that have even less, considering the recipient’s son is anything but thankful and seems enraged by generousity. His own mother tends to others needs despite her fragile health, yet contrary to her faith goes against the church during a protest, proving sometimes you have to honor your own moral code. There is the debt he owes for a cat, a ‘fruitful’ endeavour that sees felines taking over their home but far more confusing is his father’s concerns over the tanks he helps build for the war. There is an inner conflict, risk losing the job that provides for his family, particularly now with his wife so ill or just do one’s job and remember ‘it’s best not to question things’. Their father isn’t the only one struggling with his place in life. How do you put your faith in God when even Father Brian isn’t holding strong?As the boys help their father build a table for their ailing mother, the only thing she truly demands, her health continues to decline. Then new girl Taylor comes along, confusing him with her desire to know what his life feels like, that even as empty and terrible as it sometimes proves to be, it is still full of the love and stability others with so much less may long for. He finds himself drawn to her, whether it makes sense or not. Taylor’s environment is wildly freer than his own, surrounded by kids in the trailer park who have nothing better to do to pass the time than drink or worse. With a mother who goes through boyfriends, she needs protection and maybe he can be the one, even if he is wise enough to know running away isn’t an option, not when they don’t have two dimes to rub together between them. The only certain truth about Taylor is he understands even less about her actions than he does about his own.It’s a story about being trapped in situations outside one’s control, that even faith sometimes has to take a backseat to the harsh realities and obstacles that come into our lives. Not all moral dilemmas can be resolved with a prayer anymore than laying on of hands is going to cure his mother’s illness. Paths can converge and lead to happy awakenings, as much as it can lead to tragedy. Before the end of the novel, our young narrator will grow up and discover that when misery and suffering eases its hold on us, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of it.Publication Date: April 9, 2019Hanover Square Press
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    This book is well written. The troubles that eventually surface could be considered a little on the dramatic side, yet they have grown so organically from the characters, that they don't seem at all contrived or forced. It is a rare thing these days for an author to manage to move the plot along without resorting to out of character or illogical actions of the characters. A gripping novel from word one until long after the novel has ended. A realistic novel that is both heartbreaking and heartwa This book is well written. The troubles that eventually surface could be considered a little on the dramatic side, yet they have grown so organically from the characters, that they don't seem at all contrived or forced. It is a rare thing these days for an author to manage to move the plot along without resorting to out of character or illogical actions of the characters. A gripping novel from word one until long after the novel has ended. A realistic novel that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. It is a novel you can relate to as it could happen to any of us.This was actually a very heart-wrenching story. The story is told from the point of view of our 12 year old protagonist. Dave Patterson did a great job moving the main story-line forward. The pace of the story kept me engaged until the end. Even though a large part of the story was somber and a lot of sorrowful things happen I mostly found it to be a very uplifting story about family and faith and I was very satisfied with the ending. Thank you NetGalley, Hanover Square Press, HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing and Dave Patterson for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#SoonTheLightWillBePerfect #NetGalleyAll my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com/
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  • Debi Hawkes
    January 1, 1970
    "Set over the course of one propulsive summer, Soon the Light Will be Perfect chronicles the journey of a young man on the cusp of adulthood, a town battered by poverty, and a family at a breaking point. In spare, fiercely honest prose, Dave Patterson captures what it feels like to be gloriously, violently alive at a moment of political, social, and familial instability."All the afore mentioned themes are nicely expressed in the honestly represented voices of 12 and 14 year old boys.There were s "Set over the course of one propulsive summer, Soon the Light Will be Perfect chronicles the journey of a young man on the cusp of adulthood, a town battered by poverty, and a family at a breaking point. In spare, fiercely honest prose, Dave Patterson captures what it feels like to be gloriously, violently alive at a moment of political, social, and familial instability."All the afore mentioned themes are nicely expressed in the honestly represented voices of 12 and 14 year old boys.There were several times I just had to put the book down. Having lost my mother to cancer as an adult, I feel Dave Patterson so nailed the confusion, pain, frustration, the loss of boundaries, loss of your core self, the seeking for comfort in your faith, the oh so much guilt. I can't imagine a young man struggling with the same issues I struggle with still today, Excellent book, highly recommend.Thank you NetGalley, and publisher Harlequin Ent. for the opportunity to experience this book. My opinions are my own.
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  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 4 STARS2019; Hanover Square Press/ Harper Collins CanadaAs I listened to this novel, I had to remind myself that the protagonist was just 12 years old. This unnamed 12 year old boy is from a practicing Catholic family, where his father travels for work, his mother has cancer, and his brother is attending high school and slowly pulling away from him. We witness him trying to grapple all of this on his own as he watches a war take place through imaged on television. We, as readers, get a r RATING: 4 STARS2019; Hanover Square Press/ Harper Collins CanadaAs I listened to this novel, I had to remind myself that the protagonist was just 12 years old. This unnamed 12 year old boy is from a practicing Catholic family, where his father travels for work, his mother has cancer, and his brother is attending high school and slowly pulling away from him. We witness him trying to grapple all of this on his own as he watches a war take place through imaged on television. We, as readers, get a raw vulnerable view of the world from this young character's point of view which really adds to Patterson's writing. From the opening scene, with him and his brother playing with kittens, I found them all endearing and was invested on what happens next. Patterson gives us a snapshot of an American family in a time where they are struggling in most aspects of their life. His mother is a character that just tugs on your heartstrings. She is trying her best to give her family the best and then is told she has cancer. As her family and church rally around her in this time, she is also still giving back to those that need aide. I found myself scared for her and the 12 year old boy. There is no big gimmick in this book, like twists and turns, but rather a quiet portrait of "your neighbours". I highly recommend this one!***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***My Novelesque Blog
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.Two brothers brave a whirlwind summer in this taut and luminous coming-of-age novelA twelve-year-old boy lives with his family in a small, poverty-stricken town in Vermont. His father works at a manufacturing plant, his mother is a homemaker, and his fifteen-year-old brother is about to ente I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.Two brothers brave a whirlwind summer in this taut and luminous coming-of-age novelA twelve-year-old boy lives with his family in a small, poverty-stricken town in Vermont. His father works at a manufacturing plant, his mother is a homemaker, and his fifteen-year-old brother is about to enter high school. His family has gained enough financial stability to move out of the nearby trailer park, and as conflict rages abroad, his father’s job at a weapon manufacturing plant appears safe. But then his mother is diagnosed with cancer, and everything changes.As the family clings to the traditions of their hard-line Catholicism, he meets Taylor, a perceptive, beguiling girl from the trailer park, a girl who has been forced to grow up too fast. Taylor represents everything his life isn’t, and their fledgeling connection develops as his mother’s health deteriorates.Set over the course of one propulsive summer, Soon the Light Will Be Perfect chronicles the journey of two brothers on the cusp of adulthood, a town battered by poverty and a family at a breaking point. In spare, fiercely honest prose, Dave Patterson captures what it feels like to be gloriously, violently alive at a moment of political, social and familial instability.I really loved this book: as someone who deals with poverty, disease and survival on a daily basis (personally and work-wise) this book hit hard and fast. It is wonderfully written and I think that both adults and teens would get a lot out of it as these issues are common to so many of us. It would be a perfect book club pick as these are issues that never go away and a talk within a group could be healing for all. p.s. the necklace on the cover? Want it! (the only place I would ever camp is in a camper ./ trailer .... lol!)
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  • kelly
    January 1, 1970
    "Soon the Light Will Be Perfect" is the coming of age story of an unnamed 12-year-old boy and his family living in a small working class Catholic community in Vermont in the early 90's. The family includes the narrator, his 15-year-old brother, and his father and mother, who have recently moved out of a trailer park and into a modest home that they are proud of. The father, who works at a weapon manufacturing plant, has a good job with ramped up production due to the U.S.'s involvement in the Gu "Soon the Light Will Be Perfect" is the coming of age story of an unnamed 12-year-old boy and his family living in a small working class Catholic community in Vermont in the early 90's. The family includes the narrator, his 15-year-old brother, and his father and mother, who have recently moved out of a trailer park and into a modest home that they are proud of. The father, who works at a weapon manufacturing plant, has a good job with ramped up production due to the U.S.'s involvement in the Gulf War. The mother, a homemaker, involves herself with charity work and delivering food to the poor. All of the family is staunchly Catholic. Both of the children serve as altar boys and they attend mass regularly, even participating in events such as local anti-abortion protests. Then comes the summer, when this novel begins. The mother's stomach problems bloom into a devastating cancer diagnosis. The father loses his job when his conscience prevents him from turning a blind eye to shady goings-on at work. His brother begins experimenting with pot, alcohol, and talking to girls. The narrator begins to have affections for a troubled local girl and experiences a crisis of faith where he questions everything, everyone. All of the events in this novel are told by an older and wiser narrator, looking back on this particular period in time. I really liked this book. Each chapter could stand alone as a separate story, with its own plot, characters, and conflict. From the first page onward I was engaged in this, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the characters in it. I will definitely read more of this author in the future. 4.5 stars.
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  • Jillian Worster
    January 1, 1970
    Inspired partly by real events, Patterson's superb writing weaves together a story of hope, authenticity, and resilience. As a former student of Mr. Patterson, I have longed to read his novel. His debut SOON THE LIGHT WILL BE PERFECT does not disappoint. Over the years as his student, I learned about his childhood — even the occasional tales of mischief about him and his brothers. His experiences added a layer of realness to the story. It was as if these characters lived down the road.Each chara Inspired partly by real events, Patterson's superb writing weaves together a story of hope, authenticity, and resilience. As a former student of Mr. Patterson, I have longed to read his novel. His debut SOON THE LIGHT WILL BE PERFECT does not disappoint. Over the years as his student, I learned about his childhood — even the occasional tales of mischief about him and his brothers. His experiences added a layer of realness to the story. It was as if these characters lived down the road.Each character struggles beneath the weight of the mother's cancer diagnosis. A particularly poignant scene for me was when his father injures his hand. He keeps cutting and cutting and cutting new perfect pieces of wood for the table. Each he deems unfit. Until eventually he sends his protesting son away. It is then that we hear the crash. "In the garage the saw screams in the ceremony of my father's self-destruction," resounded in my mind long after I finished (98). Patterson's writing is rhythmic, a symphony celebrating language. His story rises off the page with characters which grab your heart. The word "soon" is perfect for this story. Soon, life will get easier. Soon, the pain will ease. Soon, the nightmares will stop. I wanted to tell the characters, "Soon. Soon. Soon." Since I know the author, I often giggled nervously when swearing and references to pornography appeared. I felt like I was watching a movie with my parents when a sex scene came on. That said, this novel is adult but could cross over to a mature young adult audience.The story was achingly true. Each word lifted off the page and straight to my heart.
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  • Patrick Barry
    January 1, 1970
    This was a story about two boys in the throes of growing up. They are facing it largely alone. The mother is very sick with cancer, the father's job is at risk, and the spiritual guide of the family, Father Brian is leaving the church. There is a strong chance that the family will disintegrate. Symbolism seems to abound in the book: cats, cigarettes, polyurethane and an going war raging in the background.. They all evaded me. More than anything the book demonstrate how quickly lives can fall apa This was a story about two boys in the throes of growing up. They are facing it largely alone. The mother is very sick with cancer, the father's job is at risk, and the spiritual guide of the family, Father Brian is leaving the church. There is a strong chance that the family will disintegrate. Symbolism seems to abound in the book: cats, cigarettes, polyurethane and an going war raging in the background.. They all evaded me. More than anything the book demonstrate how quickly lives can fall apart and how sometimes, against all odds, they stay together.
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  • Antonia
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it, it moves fast, and I read like the wind. Almost one sitting. It's hard to stop turning the pages. I heard the author speak earlier this month and he was so engaging, I knew I had to read the book right away. A tough year for a 12-year-old boy in small-town Vermont. The story is at times amusing, at times tense and visceral. I often found myself holding my breath. A good read. Maybe an unfortunate title, though. I will never remember it. Too many novel titles have Light in them. The o I loved it, it moves fast, and I read like the wind. Almost one sitting. It's hard to stop turning the pages. I heard the author speak earlier this month and he was so engaging, I knew I had to read the book right away. A tough year for a 12-year-old boy in small-town Vermont. The story is at times amusing, at times tense and visceral. I often found myself holding my breath. A good read. Maybe an unfortunate title, though. I will never remember it. Too many novel titles have Light in them. The only one I can remember is All the Light We Cannot See (not that great a title, either).
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  • Katie Shockey
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway and sped through it. The story is very interesting but the ending seemed kind of abrupt for me.
  • Loretta
    January 1, 1970
    A meditative novel with lovely prose. The plot does not exist in a typical sense but instead has the feeing of someone reflecting on their life and trying to make order where there is only chaos, a thing all humans attempt.
  • William Sedlack
    January 1, 1970
    Patterson has written a beautiful debut novel that is both vivid and poignant.
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Two siblings raising themselves in the midst of a family crisis with no idea just how drastic things may become.Their future is uncertain not to mention the goal is to move out of the trailer park entering into a good school but sadly the school doesn't welcome trailer park kids as this is rural Vermont during the Gulf War. As their mother falls ill the family turns to the church in hopes of salvation but the anti abortion rallies are becoming increasingly violent.Their father attempts to keep t Two siblings raising themselves in the midst of a family crisis with no idea just how drastic things may become.Their future is uncertain not to mention the goal is to move out of the trailer park entering into a good school but sadly the school doesn't welcome trailer park kids as this is rural Vermont during the Gulf War. As their mother falls ill the family turns to the church in hopes of salvation but the anti abortion rallies are becoming increasingly violent.Their father attempts to keep the family going on his poor man's salary but reality may soon set in as his income may not be enough in the weapons manufacturing plant.The one boy is meddling in extracurricular activities such as drinking, drugs, and crime and it may lead to a lifetime of trouble.That's until Taylor comes into the picture who is mature beyond her young age.I cannot believe this is a debut novel as Patterson is such a magnificent writer. This family goes to show that even parents may not have their shiite together but they graciously move on.My main issue with this one was the nature of certain actions that were simply too graphic for me. The edge of the seat suspense in which you're waiting for the other shoe to drop in explosive form was evident.Thank you to Dave, the publisher, netgalley, and aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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  • Travis Fortney
    January 1, 1970
    The first line of this--a profanity about cats--was great. This was followed by a great first chapter about a conservative Catholic family whose concerns--trying to rise from poverty while the father struggles to keep his job and the mother struggles with cancer--take a backburner to the much more pressing issue of their house being overrun by rapidly breeding cats. Unfortunately, the rest of the book--up until the last page or two, which is also great--is cliches piled on cliches. Cancer, car a The first line of this--a profanity about cats--was great. This was followed by a great first chapter about a conservative Catholic family whose concerns--trying to rise from poverty while the father struggles to keep his job and the mother struggles with cancer--take a backburner to the much more pressing issue of their house being overrun by rapidly breeding cats. Unfortunately, the rest of the book--up until the last page or two, which is also great--is cliches piled on cliches. Cancer, car accidents, teenage lust, religion, etc. The fact that they're all appearing together in a relatively short book doesn't make them feel fresh and new.
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  • Allen Adams
    January 1, 1970
    https://www.themaineedge.com/style/bo...There’s nothing quite like a good coming-of-age-story.Literature is riddled with great tales of young men and women dealing with that shift in circumstances between worlds, that transition from childhood to adulthood and the expansive gray area in the middle of it all. There’s something primal and undeniable about it all.Dave Patterson’s “Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” tells the story of two young men growing up in small-town Vermont. The pair must naviga https://www.themaineedge.com/style/bo...There’s nothing quite like a good coming-of-age-story.Literature is riddled with great tales of young men and women dealing with that shift in circumstances between worlds, that transition from childhood to adulthood and the expansive gray area in the middle of it all. There’s something primal and undeniable about it all.Dave Patterson’s “Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” tells the story of two young men growing up in small-town Vermont. The pair must navigate the strictures of their family’s Catholic faith while also coming to terms with their own gradual (and not-so-gradual) changes. As personal and professional problems threaten to overwhelm the family, the boys are left trapped by unappealing choices and hungry for a deeper understanding of the world – the world around them and the world within them.It’s the turn of the decade – moving from the 1980s into the ‘90s. An unnamed boy, just 12 years old, lives in a small, poor town in rural Vermont. His father works at a nearby factory, building military hardware; there have been numerous layoffs and the father worries about the security of his job. His mother is a homemaker, staying at home to care for both sons, the 12-year-old and his older brother. The family has just moved out of the town’s trailer park – indicative of upward mobility.They are fiercely Catholic, devoted wholeheartedly to the church; the youngsters serve as altar boys, while the adults are heavily involved in everything up to and including protests of Planned Parenthood. With the lead-up to and onset of the Gulf War, the father begins to feel his job is a bit safer, though it will eventually present a whole different set of complications.And then, the mother is diagnosed with cancer.The family’s responses run the gamut. The father winds up obsessing over the new table he’s building for the family’s dining room, a project that leaves him seeing imaginary imperfections and picking at nonexistent nits. The older brother wraps himself in the trappings of teenagerdom, leaving behind the childish adventures he had with his brother in order to spend most of his time with his new girlfriend. The younger boy, at a loss with how to deal with any of it, gets swept into the morass of his own interiority; he’s conflicted about the strange new desires rising within him. And when he meets a girl his age named Taylor – a girl with her own set of problems – his life is changed forever.All the while, his mother’s life slowly ebbs away.“Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” is a story of summer, of how one family’s lives were irrevocably altered by the events of a single season. It tells a tale of growing up, and how some aspects of that process can move far too fast while others proceed at a glacial pace. There’s no one-size-fits-all passage toward adulthood; it happens when it happens, whether you’re ready for it or not. It’s that abruptness, the confusion that comes with being forced to take a leap when you haven’t yet had a chance to look – that’s what Patterson captures so elegantly here.I was the same age as these characters at this same time. I lived in a world not all that far removed from the one in which this family exists. In that realm, there’s a strange vibe, a semi-constant feeling combining misplaced excitement and boredom. That’s as close as I can come to describing it – it’s difficult to articulate – but I’m betting Dave Patterson knows PRECISELY what I mean. Small towns can instill weirdly specific worldviews in their young – a sort of juve-nihilism that kids usually (but not always) mostly outgrow.“Soon the Light Will Be Perfect” makes some bold stylistic choices as well. By not naming the characters at the center of his narrative, Patterson opens the door for a more direct empathetic engagement by the reader. It’s a gambit that only pays off because the author proves up to the task; it could have read as gimmicky, but instead encourages emotional projection. That character connection is further aided by the first-person perspective, lending a directly experiential feel to the story.There’s nothing like a good coming-of-age story; Dave Patterson has given us just that with “Soon the Light Will Be Perfect.” It’s a sharp, quick reading experience – one whose specificity and honesty renders it all the more memorable. And if you’re like me – born of a certain time and place – you’ll feel more than a hint of recognition.
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  • Nancy Ahyee
    January 1, 1970
    "Soon the Light Will Be Perfect" by Dave Patterson is billed as a coming-of-age novel about a 12-year-old and his family, living in poverty in rural Vermont. Told from the perspective of the 12-year-old (who I don't believe was ever named), we hear about one summer for him, his 15-year-old brother, his factory-worker father, and his mother who is diagnosed with cancer. This is a sad story about a family who has barely made it out of the trailer park and will probably never have enough money to d "Soon the Light Will Be Perfect" by Dave Patterson is billed as a coming-of-age novel about a 12-year-old and his family, living in poverty in rural Vermont. Told from the perspective of the 12-year-old (who I don't believe was ever named), we hear about one summer for him, his 15-year-old brother, his factory-worker father, and his mother who is diagnosed with cancer. This is a sad story about a family who has barely made it out of the trailer park and will probably never have enough money to do more than scrape by.I think I could have liked this book had the story been told differently. As other reviewers have said, it paints a poignant picture of life in a factory town where there are never enough jobs. A family of devout Catholics, they never miss church, even when the mom is suffering through chemo treatments because (as the narrator tells us) no one wants that mortal sin on their soul. It's also to be expected that the kids would be off on their own because Dad is out working and Mom is in bed, so there's a lot of running around doing things they shouldn't in the town when kids would normally be supervised. I think I could have really appreciated this book and the pain and loss that encompass this boy.Taking all of that into consideration, I struggled with the amount of profanity and sexualization of this 12-year-old narrator. The first sentence drops the F-bomb three times, and there are 30 of them riddled throughout the book. (No, I didn't count them. Kindle has a search function.) And that doesn't count all the other profanity. This kid was also obsessed with women's bras and underwear...stealing them and hiding them in a shoebox under his bed. He would take them out and shove them in his mouth, and my guess is the implication is that he's pleasuring himself in the process, and then he needs to confess to unclean thoughts. On top of all that, his brother encourages him to smoke cigarettes and eventually gets him started smoking marijuana.I am in no way a prude and understand that hormones are starting to rage when kids are 12 and 15, but I found myself so many times thinking, "He's 12!" I think there's a way to tell a poignant and heartfelt story realistically without making it obscene. It felt really over the top to me, and I would not recommend it.Thanks to NetGalley and Hanover Square Press for a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review. This title is scheduled for publication in April 2019. .
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  • Leslie Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Two brothers struggle to survive a traumatic summer in rural Vermont is as haunting as poignant SOON THE LIGHT WILL BE PERFECT (Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins, April 2 2019) is one of those books that's just so gorgeous and authentic, you forget you're reading--and then you question if it's truly fiction because the author does such a fantastic job of pulling the reader right into the story with tiny observations that feel very accurate. Our unnamed narrator is a 12-year old boy on the cusp Two brothers struggle to survive a traumatic summer in rural Vermont is as haunting as poignant SOON THE LIGHT WILL BE PERFECT (Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins, April 2 2019) is one of those books that's just so gorgeous and authentic, you forget you're reading--and then you question if it's truly fiction because the author does such a fantastic job of pulling the reader right into the story with tiny observations that feel very accurate. Our unnamed narrator is a 12-year old boy on the cusp of young adulthood. He lives with his family in a poverty-stricken area in Vermont. But the family has done well enough that they are able to move away from the trailer park. His mother is a homemaker and his father works at a weapons manufacturing plant. The date is never specified, but we glean the story is set in the late 1980s or early 1990s because 1) it's a coming-of-age novel and 2) The Gulf War is just beginning. We start out with a rough scene--and then things spiral from there--we learn the boy's mother has cancer. But the family finds comfort in faith--both brothers are alter boys at the local Catholic church, the father frequently prays with the mother, and tradition seems to keep the family afloat. Meanwhile, the 15 year old brother is experimenting with cigarettes, drugs, girls, and general mischief. I found the storytelling very swift and sparse; SOON THE LIGHT WILL BE PERFECT is a tightly-woven tale with an underlying sense of doom. I desperately wanted to learn what was going on--but mostly what was going to happen, a distinction, I think to your typical coming-of-age stories. The end is most appropriate, inevitable--and I think there's so much metaphor here for a political, social, and familial downfall. Some of the writing and themes--and maybe the sense of place--reminded me of John Irving meets Bryn Greenwood coupled with Susan Bernhard (WINTER LOON).For all of my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a BookSpecial thanks to Hanover Square Press for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book!! Dave Patterson gives us an indelible glimpse into the lives of a small-town, close-knit, hard-working American family who has recently raised themselves out of poverty, and find themselves teetering on the edge again at a time when America is readying itself for war. The families two young sons 12, and 15 are each exploring coming of age; the youngest a bit embarrassed about it, the older more steady on his route towards manhood. Both boys adore their mother and watch over he I loved this book!! Dave Patterson gives us an indelible glimpse into the lives of a small-town, close-knit, hard-working American family who has recently raised themselves out of poverty, and find themselves teetering on the edge again at a time when America is readying itself for war. The families two young sons 12, and 15 are each exploring coming of age; the youngest a bit embarrassed about it, the older more steady on his route towards manhood. Both boys adore their mother and watch over her closely as she gets sick and begins to go through cancer treatments. The relationship between husband and wife is especially tender.Staunch Catholics, the church plays a big role in their home and how they deal with life. Both of the boys are altar boys and the family attends prayer services for their mother. When young Father Brian leads anti-abortion protests, the family soon joins in. That comes to a stop when the mother comforts a young girl injured by another group of protestors as she was leaving a clinic, and fellow church members express anger that perhaps their beliefs aren't "strong" enough. The childhood of the youngest boy ends abruptly when he comes upon a ghastly scene one night that rips his soul. The family tries to help him through it, but he is forever changed.This book is a celebration of a family whose members try to do the right thing, though they may not always be successful at that. They love deeply, without hesitation, they work hard, try to help others, deal with what they must and continue on. A slice of American pie that I thoroughly enjoyed!!Many thanks to NetGalley and Hanover Square Press for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased opinion.
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  • Erin Wentworth
    January 1, 1970
    Reading a book written by one of my most influential high school teachers is a privilege I never thought I would have. I was worried that there would be some reason I didn't enjoy this book and then I'd have to talk about it in this review, but I loved reading Soon the Light Will Be Perfect from start to finish. The poetic nature of Patterson's writing makes reading his work a delight, and his honesty throughout the book was clear. Unlike I read in some other people's reviews, I didn't think tha Reading a book written by one of my most influential high school teachers is a privilege I never thought I would have. I was worried that there would be some reason I didn't enjoy this book and then I'd have to talk about it in this review, but I loved reading Soon the Light Will Be Perfect from start to finish. The poetic nature of Patterson's writing makes reading his work a delight, and his honesty throughout the book was clear. Unlike I read in some other people's reviews, I didn't think that having an abrupt ending to the story was a bad thing. Although readers may want to read more about what would happen next with the narrator's family, I felt like the amount shared was sufficient to show Patterson's story. It was at times weird to read some explicit scenes, knowing they came from an adult I know from an educational setting, but I think this again showed the honesty in Patterson's writing. I would recommend this book to any student of Mr. Patterson's, and to any reader looking for an honest insight to a life of a struggling family, who just wants the best life possible for themselves and will work to get that. I look forward to reading any other books Mr. Patterson may write in the future.
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  • Jen Bober
    January 1, 1970
    Star rating 3.5. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free review copy. Soon the Light Will be Perfect is a moving story of a family living in a small town in Vermont. They have just been able to move out of the trailer park but as the summer begins the family continues to have some challenges. Told through the eyes of the 12 year old son he watches his Dad struggle to keep his job, his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer become weaker and his 15 year old brother start to rebel m Star rating 3.5. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free review copy. Soon the Light Will be Perfect is a moving story of a family living in a small town in Vermont. They have just been able to move out of the trailer park but as the summer begins the family continues to have some challenges. Told through the eyes of the 12 year old son he watches his Dad struggle to keep his job, his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer become weaker and his 15 year old brother start to rebel more as he gets ready for high school. I found this book to be easy to read and really pulled me into the story quickly. It has an interesting cast of characters and interesting plot lines as both the boys and family really are discovering themselves and who they want to be. I think what I liked the most about it was this could be any family. They were not glamorous, they didn't have it all together but they made things work. They stuck together as a family through all the hardships thrown at them. Wish the ending could have been played out a bit more as it felt a abrupt but I did enjoy it still.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Set in rural Vermont just as the Gulf war begins a 12 year old boy tries to make sense of the world around him. In this beautiful coming age story we see a family trying to stay faithful as sickness and financial issues are beating them down. The boy experiences conflicting events revolving his Catholic faith. His father is on the verge of losing his job and they may have to move back to the poverty section of their town from which they previously lived. There is so much packed in this book. Cen Set in rural Vermont just as the Gulf war begins a 12 year old boy tries to make sense of the world around him. In this beautiful coming age story we see a family trying to stay faithful as sickness and financial issues are beating them down. The boy experiences conflicting events revolving his Catholic faith. His father is on the verge of losing his job and they may have to move back to the poverty section of their town from which they previously lived. There is so much packed in this book. Center of this story is a table. The father is crafting a table for his family. It has to be perfect. He fights the wood to get it just right. Just as it is finished it becomes damaged but never the less in the end it is finished. Like the table the family is damaged yet continues, using their faith, to survive. I did find the ending a bit abrupt and tied up everything a bit too quickly.
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  • Jodi Paloni
    January 1, 1970
    Soon the Light Will Be Perfect tells the story of a struggling family through the eyes the youngest son, an unnamed twelve-year-old boy, over the course of a hot summer in a working class neighborhood in a rural town in Vermont. If you appreciate truth-telling in fiction, you'll appreciate this unflinching look at poverty, illness, and despair. I read this book in two evenings, riveted by the dogged plight of the narrator. I felt compassion for all of the characters, and especially the mother, w Soon the Light Will Be Perfect tells the story of a struggling family through the eyes the youngest son, an unnamed twelve-year-old boy, over the course of a hot summer in a working class neighborhood in a rural town in Vermont. If you appreciate truth-telling in fiction, you'll appreciate this unflinching look at poverty, illness, and despair. I read this book in two evenings, riveted by the dogged plight of the narrator. I felt compassion for all of the characters, and especially the mother, who showed all of her strengths and weaknesses as witnessed by her youngest son. There were parts of this book that made me laugh out loud, which can be difficult for a writer to pull off in a darker narrative. There was always a beat of hopefulness throughout the unrelenting hardships portrayed. Taking a glimpse of an America we tend to turn away from never hurt anyone.
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