The Western Light: A Novel by Susan SwanThe Western Light: A Novel by Susan Swan

The Western Light: A Novel

bySusan Swan

Hardcover | July 19, 2012

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The Western Light, the prequel to the international bestselling The Wives of Bath, is Susan Swan's long-awaited return to the life of the beloved narrator Mary "Mouse" Bradford. Mouse's world is constrained by a number of factors: her mother is dead, her father -- the admired country doctor -- is emotionally distant, her housekeeper Sal is prejudiced and narrow, and her grandmother and aunt, Big Louie and Little Louie, the only life-affirming presences in her life, live in another city.

Enter Gentleman John Pilkie, the former NHL star who's transferred to the mental hospital in Midland, where he is to serve out his life-sentence for the murder of his wife and daughter. John becomes a point of fascination for young Mary, who looks to him for the attention she does not receive from her father. He, in turn, is kind to her -- but the kindness is misunderstood. When Mary figures out that the attention she receives from the Hockey Killer is different in kind and intent from the attention her Aunt Little Louie receives, her world collapses. Set against the beautiful and dramatic shores of Georgian Bay, the climax will have readers turning pages with concern for characters they can't help but love.

Susan Swan is the illustrator of many books for children that celebrate the season, including Out on the Prairie, Sugar White Snow and Evergreens, and When Autumn Falls. She lives in Texas.
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Title:The Western Light: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.03 × 5.6 × 1.05 inPublished:July 19, 2012Publisher:Cormorant BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770862226

ISBN - 13:9781770862227

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting and Inspiring The first book I read by Susan Swan was The Western Light which I loved so when I read about What Casanova Told Me on the inside of that book, I had to check it out. I was also influenced by what the first reviewer said. I loved it! I read this book every day until I was done, every available minute I had. I was hooked. It's sort of artsy and I liked that about it. It's about complicated relationships, about mother-daughter relationships, about love and sex. It's a good book. It had interesting characters and I was always imagining how I would react in different situations. I loved how the main character threw herself into an adventure - and I went there with her every step of the way! It's an older book but it doesn't read old. I loved it...but I already said that, didn't I?!
Date published: 2013-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book Western Light was such a great read. Evocative, moving, with memorable characters and a brilliant depiction of a time and place. Mouse steps out of the book and enters your heart. Susan Swan is a master storyteller.
Date published: 2012-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read This book is amazing. It really evokes the particular time and place and the characters come to life. I also enjoyed the ambiguity of around Pilkie's character, whether he actually did it or not, and what happened to him in the end. It is also interesting how it's a prequel to the Wives of Bath but there are many things about the two books that aren't exactly the same. All in all a great read, highly recommended.
Date published: 2012-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Fell in love with Mouse right away. She made me laugh and she made me cry. I didn't want the story to end, but it has such a great flow, it was over before I knew it. I need some more Mouse! Susan, please send her on more adventures!
Date published: 2012-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read!! What a wonderful read!! Having worked in the Mental Health field for 30+ yrs., I found this book to be a perfect combination of insightful and entertaining. I thouroughly enjoyed this trip back to the 50's set in beautiful Geotgian Bay. I was sorry to see this story end. I would hightly recommend this book to all.
Date published: 2012-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply fantastic I simply fell in love with the characters in this book. It's such beautiful writing. Another true success from Canadian Author Susan Swan. Get a copy of this book and read it!
Date published: 2012-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A welcome return Susan Swan is a wonderfully creative writer, whose characters are always well-crafted and interesting. We understand them, even if we don't always like them. Mouse Bradford, though, is impossible not to like. She is the most endearing of all Swan's characters. And here, in the prequel to The Wives of Bath, we welcome her back, younger and a tad more innocent. We again return to that southern Georgian Bay landscape that shaped Mouse, and the author. Part-mystery, part-adventure, part- romance, this is, at its core, a novel of longing and searching for people and places past. It is also a wonderful read.
Date published: 2012-07-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Journalistic Insight on Love I received a copy of this from the Goodreads First Reads program. I don't know what I expected from this book, but what that was is not what I got. I immediately noticed that the book was originally published in 2005 and this worried me a little. Then I noticed that several Canadian newspapers rated it rather highly, so I curled up on the sofa with cup of tea at hand and read...and read. I was fortunate that it was a week end as I did not want to put the book down. I wouldn't call it an edge-of-your-seat-page-turner, but my interest in the protagonist - Luce and her ancestor - Asked For (yes, that is her name) parallel lives in Venice and Greece never waned. Armed with her ancestor's journal Luce reluctantly navigates through the Mediterranean with her late mother's partner. Asked For's writings serve Luce as both a therapeutic tool to cope with her mother's death, and and a means of encouragement in finding a partner worthy of her love. Swan elegantly intertwines Luce's and Asked For's stories in ways that render even the blustering Lee Pronski likable. For his part, Casanova is quite simply a conduit for all of these women to realise their potential and who they really are. As it turns out, I am quite pleased to have a read a 7 year old book that I had never heard of.
Date published: 2012-05-19

Editorial Reviews

"Mouse Bradford is a unique and luminous creation... Gentleman John Pilkie, the hockey killer with a heart of gold, is
dressed and ready to become a legend."

- Paul Gross