Review: As the Light Fades, by Catherine West

Bookk cover: As the Light Fades, a novel by Catherine West

As the Light Fades, by Catherine West (2019)

There are so many positives about this novel.

Catherine West writes with skill and compassion, tackling hard issues with honesty and sensitivity and enough humour that this is not a hard read. She gives us real characters to care about, flawed people who are doing their best and fear it may not be enough.

Her voice is true, whether writing from the late-twenties/early-thirties central characters of Liz and Matthew, 15-year-old Mia, or the elderly Drake.

And Drake… how many novels include a character with Alzheimer’s in a positive light? Drake’s voice opens the novel, and it hooked me from the beginning. This isn’t a victim, but a man navigating a hopeless situation with grim humour. He may be losing his memory, but his will is strong. And despite his limitations, he can still make a difference.

Readers who enjoy stories about family relationships, gentle love stories, and finding healing for past hurts will love this book.

Favourite line:

I see a restlessness in her eyes today, churning like a stormy sea. Like she’s carrying something too heavy but doesn’t have a place to put it down. [Kindle location 3791]

As the Light Fades is a clean contemporary read with a subtle faith thread and a theme of forgiveness and grace. Set on the US tourist haven of Nantucket, it features the Carlisle family readers first met in The Things We Knew.

You don’t have to have read the previous novel, although I highly recommend them both.

Catherine West writes contemporary women’s fiction about hard times and hope. For more about the author and her work, visit

[Review copy provided through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.]

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