CB Anslie pens a remarkable tale about the power of collective memory. Her book “Children of Light” starts with Rae Arrowson, a nine-year-old girl experiencing her first vision.
During sunset, while heading up the stairs, Rae saw a young woman floating on top of the stairway. She was wearing a long, roughly woven tunic and leather sandals while holding an infant wrapped in a linen cloth in her arms.
Terrified, Rae watched the projection, frozen and confused. Fortunately, her father, Carl, was there to ease her worries. After explaining what she just saw, Carl knew it was time for Rae to find out the truth about her gift and how it binds the ties to the women from his bloodline.
Through the help of Rae’s grandmother and paternal relatives, the little girl’s fears slowly melt away as she realizes that her gift can help connect loved ones in more ways than one.
“Children of Light” is a unique premise that uncovers the power of collective memories. The author does a great job of showcasing the concept through the characters’ dialogue, particularly in scenes including Father John Redman. Despite the premise having the potential to build a horror story, it was great to see the author take the story’s direction to an unexpected turn instead by focusing on relationships and the age-old debate of “destiny vs. coincidence.”
While the book has many intriguing characters, none are as fascinating as Rae Arrowson and Father John Redman. Rae, who has the gift of past and future visions, is mature beyond her years—making her the best type of protagonist for this story. Additionally, Father John offers the logical side of the premise, examining the potential of Arrowson’s gifted lineage through logic and precision while mixing in compassion and kindness. Together, these two create a nice balance that makes the book a great read.
Overall, “Children of Light” is a fantastic read. While it leaves you asking questions at first, it does an excellent job of answering them concisely later. This book is a worthy addition if you like stories depicting the themes of interconnected souls, destiny, and coincidence—a great combination to start the new year!
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024