Saturday, 29 May 2021

Book Review: Trick of the Light by Fiona McCallum

 Trick of the Light
Fiona McCallum 
When your world goes dark, where do you find hope? 

Imprint: HQ Fiction
Publication date: 1st April 2021 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 354
RRP: $32.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via DMCPRMedia
About the book
Erica, newly widowed, is devastated to discover her venture capitalist husband left their finances in ruins. Determined to save her home while protecting her teenage daughters, she vows to get back on her feet without letting them, or anyone else, know the truth.

When her girls head off on a long-planned overseas adventure, Erica focuses on her much-loved job behind a makeup counter to keep her emotionally and financially afloat - although she is troubled by a peculiar encounter at work.

Then she loses her job, the darkness beckons and Erica's life spirals downwards, further disturbed by strange occurrences in her house. Missing objects. Stopped clocks. Noises in the night. Should she doubt her very sanity? Can she swallow her pride and make herself reach out to her friends in time? Does she have a choice?
My review
I think Trick of the Light is my favourite Fiona McCallum book to date!
The main character, Erica, was easy to connect with. She had lost her husband and although she was devastated she still insisted her daughters take the extended overseas holiday they had planned. I could understand Erica's push for the girls not to forsake their holiday assuring them that she would be fine. This is a natural parent response protecting your children even though they were adults. Once Erica is alone she soon spirals into a state of severe anxiety.
The story was quite sombre as we follow Erica as tragedy after tragedy befalls her.  I found the story line realistic and could appreciate how this series of events could possibly happen to a middle aged woman whose life was previously settled and happy, thus plunging her into a state of despair. I liked that the events were well portrayed in the time-line but were not overly dramatised.
Fiona McCallum includes themes of family and friendship and shows how we don't always include people closest to us in times of need but they are always there to help if given the chance.
I loved the added element of mystery and how the mystery and suspense slowly built adding a compelling element to the story.
Erica's decline is heartbreaking however their is an element of hope as Erica starts to rebuild her life and accepts that she must move on to a new phase in her life.
Fiona McCallum's characters are real life, relatable and strong women that have come through the hard knocks of life and moved forward with a new resilience.
Trick of the Light is a relatable story of growth, changing life plans and moving on in new directions.
4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the author
Photo credit Goodreads

Fiona McCallum spent her childhood years on the family cereal and wool farm outside the small town of Cleve on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

Fiona now lives in Adelaide and works full-time as a novelist. She writes "heart-warming journey of self-discovery stories" - often with a rural setting, sometimes with a romantic thread and sometimes without. Her tales tie together her love of animals and fascination with the journey people go on to find what really makes their heart sing and then follow their true passions to find happiness, even if it means taking risks and facing seemingly impossible obstacles.

Challenges entered:  Australian Women Writers Challenge #AWW2021

                                 Aussie Author Challenge #AussieAuthor21


  1. The last book I read by this author put me off reading any more, but maybe I'll give her another go.

    1. I have found that Fiona's books can be a little downhearted but The Trick of the Light is much more positive and the added mystery was a good deflection from Erica's problems.

    2. The one I read everyone was too nice, too agreeable, too forgiving. I don't know, it just didn't work, my sister felt the same.

  2. I struggled to finish this book. I found that 60% of this book is taken up with background details. Details are a must for describing surroundings and filling in more about certain characters but this author gets carried away and quiet often shoots off into irrelevance. Sorry but l like a great story and there was one but lost amongst all the details, paragraphs after paragraph and page after page.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Not every book, or author, is for everyone. We all look for different things in our reading which is a good thing and promotes discussion.