Book Review – ‘Sunspots’ by Karen S. Bell.
I can find no other way to describe ‘Sunspots’ than it being a stunning piece of literature. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of a young woman Aurora who loses her husband Jake in a car accident and, during her battle to move on, is confronted with information showing her late husband wasn’t as deserving as she believed.
This story took not only Aurora on a journey but also me as a reader. I felt myself connect so strongly to Aurora and her pain, feeling heartbroken at her grief and a strong desperation for her to find peace with herself at the sudden end of her marriage. Sunspots was so cleverly written and I applaud Karen Bell for taking me on such a journey through her writing that when I finished it I was shaking and sobbing, feeling as though I’d been going through the same trials as the characters.
I sometimes feel sad when I read books where we are made to dislike the main characters original love interest immediately, and then spend the rest of the book looking for her new one, so it was a wonderful and refreshing change to see the development of Aurora and Jake’s relationship from the start, which makes us also in a way connect to Jake and feel hope that he too loved Aurora as much as she did him. This also made me more strongly connect to Aurora as a character, and grieve with her as she starts her new life without her husband.
What I really loved about this story was the glimpses of the past we were given throughout the novel. The switch from the present to the past was expertly done, and I greatly enjoyed how the two storylines unfolded. I was stunned by how cleverly the switches in time were placed within the story, as the chapters of Aurora and Jake’s beautiful courtship and their obvious love for each other coincided with chapters set in the present where Aurora was grieving for the lost love that she thought was perfect, and then as Aurora began to realise that her life with Jake had some issues, the flashbacks to the past showed the less deserving side of Jake which had always slipped through Aurora’s rose-tinted view of her husband. This was incredible storytelling, and helped lead to some brilliant character development.
The paranormal and spiritual side to ‘Sunspots’ was wonderfully balanced and whilst being an important feature in the second half of the book, wasn’t unrealistic in its role. It was instead a beautiful and poignant reminder that there is more to this world than we always realise, and didn’t at all detract from Aurora’s storyline of her finding acceptance. I loved the past-life elements that were infused within the story and there was some brilliant use of foreshadowing in the flashback chapters that all adds together in the final chapters.
I cannot recommend ‘Sunspots’ enough, and if I could give it more than 5 stars, then I definitely would. It is a beautiful journey of love, loss, grief and acceptance, which portrayed a realistic and heartbreaking view of the world that we live in today.