If I had to sum up how I feel after reading this book in two words it would be: heartbroken and betrayed. That’s not a criticism, I think if a book makes you feel anything it’s doing its job right, and not every books can make you feel good things.
I felt very much that this was a book in two halves. We have the build up of hope, only for it to be dashed. Then the second story begins and there’s hopelessness, only for it to come good in the end. It made me very sad, but at the same time there was a great sense that things would be getting better for these characters.
I loved Harriet, and later Heike, as little girls who were distinct, believable and developed characters. Which I think is difficult to come by in child characters. I also loved the way Irwin developed.
On the Shores of Darkness, There is Light isn’t as bleak as I’ve made it sound. In some parts it’s funny, other parts poetic, others tragic. All of it very realistic.