A Sudden Light Summary
Garth Stein

Everything you need to understand or teach A Sudden Light by Garth Stein.

  • A Sudden Light Summary & Study Guide

A Sudden Light Overview

A Sudden Light is Garth Stein's stirring family drama that features the standard fare of a rich estate and colorful history; however, it is deeply textured by the addition of ghosts, faith, and layers of complicated emotions. In 1990, at the age of 14, main character Trevor Riddell accompanies his father Jones to Riddell House, the hundred-year-old family estate in Seattle. Trevor's parents, having recently declared bankruptcy, are on the brink of separation when the trip takes place. Their task is to convince Jones's estranged father, Samuel, to sell Riddell House and its accompanying 200 acres in a lucrative development deal. However, the deeper Trevor delves into the family history, the more convinced he becomes that the family will never be will if they follow that path. Centering on themes such as redemption, family, and environmental conservation, as well as connectedness and tolerance for opposing viewpoints, A Sudden Light is a richly textured story of family and the power of faith and forgiveness.

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