Lighting Up Time: A Short Story for the Winter Solstice
By Debbie Young
A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman
With the excitement of Winter Solstice approaching in the next few days, I was pleased to have the opportunity to purchase and read Lighting up Time by Debbie Young. I have read several books by the author and find her a master of plot and story structure. This is not an easy task to accomplish within a short story since it must be tighter and clear for the reader. Furthermore, I have found the subtle themes to her writing gently provoke the reader to look toward their own personal life.
|Debbie Young sharing the book love via her Little Free Library.|
The story begins with Emma, a young English journalist, who was babysitting for her sister Kate during winter solstice. Yet, it is not Zoe or Archie who will gain from the long dark night. Emma is confronted by her fear of the dark and loss of her Great Aunt Sophie. Debbie Young hooks the reader’s attention by engaging the reader with questions as to why the dark upsets Emma and what was her personal relationship with the late Aunt Sophie. I really enjoyed the images such as “chinked Prosecco glass” “papery skin” and “fire dwindled to ash, dotted with orange sparks.” It is not very often that a reader experiences all of the senses inside the words of a story.
|Debbie Young. Picture by Clint Randall|
I only had one part that interrupted my flow as a reader, “Cautiously I crossed the hall to the foot of the dark oak stairs and began to climb them carefully. Please stop coughing, please stop coughing, I urged Archie at every tread. Don’t make me come all the way up. I proceeded as quietly as I could, as if silence might reduce the danger lurking in the shadows.” I feel that the use of three adverbs is what might have been the problem. However, this was not a huge issue since I was very invested in the plot and characters. The last line was a great way to link the entire story and I found myself even waving with a smile at a reflection
The price of the short story was reasonable and well worth the satisfaction that I gained from reading Lighting Up Time. Debbie Young’s stories have well-developed themes, engaging plots, great structure, memorable characters, well-chosen settings, and attractive style. I give my highest recommendation.