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Jennifer Leigh Pezzano
Jennifer Leigh Pezzano Author Interview

Light Among the Shadows follows a woman who is running from her grief and finds work on a secluded property where she meets a man with an equally dark past. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There’s actually a little story behind my inspiration for this book. Two years ago, I was going through some old poetry and journals I had stored in a box. As I was flipping through a notebook, a piece of paper fell out. On it was a very brief outline of an idea, and the first few paragraphs written down of a woman driving alone in the dark, running from something.
It took me 20 years to find this piece of paper, and I was immediately drawn into discovering who this woman was. It was a story that I would not have been able to pull off at the tender age of 18. Things always come to us when we are ready for them.

Your characters are emotionally stirring and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

All my characters are inherently flawed and wounded, carrying baggage, and hiding behind their walls. I wanted to address what happens when two people come together and learn how to honor the broken pieces inside. There is a beauty that can be found there, a space that opens up inside allowing healing to take root.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted to address the themes of loss, of guilt, the process of grief and how it can destroy a marriage, and how people navigate their disabilities.

How do you live with the kind of pain that rips you apart? How do you communicate the subtitles of emotion with someone who cannot see you? How do you learn to let go of guilt, and give yourself permission to find happiness again?

Grief and loss are such an integral part of the human experience, but how many of us run from it? The moment we can sit with it, that is when the healing begins.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My current WIP is much different than this one. More of a woman’s literary fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in. It is about a woman who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the changes she is forced to make in her life and the journey back to herself. The overlying theme of this heavy subject matter being… it’s not how much time you have that really matters in the end, it’s what you do with that time.

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“What I had done was extreme, but like a wild animal stuck in a trap, I knew the only way to survive was to relinquish my own limb. It was the last frantic vestige of my attempt to keep on living, despite there being nothing left to live for. I was hollowed out. Only tender bruised bone remained as I followed the endless white line of the highway.”
Lara is running from a fractured marriage, and an unfathomable loss that consumes her.
Drawn to the beautiful, open expanse of sky and the possibility of a new life, Lara finds herself working on a secluded property in Montana caring for horses. There she meets Peter, a man trapped in the darkness of his disability and closed off from the world around him.
Together, they forge a connection that is tender and fervent as the walls they have built around themselves begin to crack. But can two broken people truly find healing in each other? Or will the wounds they carry be too deep to repair?
Light Among the Shadows is a journey of love and redemption, of choices that define us, and the delicate dance between the past that holds us back and the future that beckons us forward.

Light Among the Shadows

Light Among the Shadows by [Jennifer Leigh Pezzano]

Lara is grieving the death of her son but feels suffocated by her failing marriage. She constantly tries to run away from confronting her own emotions and is unable to make peace with her loss. She is afraid of facing the harsh reality and questions plague her mind. But when she stops in Montana, she is offered a job by Miriam at the local cafe. Lara impulsively agrees to be a live-in help for Miriam’s brother, Peter, a blind young man who lived on a farm with his three horses and a dog. What they don’t know is how this sudden encounter would drastically change each of their lives, inspiring them to ultimately let go of their past traumas and begin life anew with Hope.

Written in a sensitive and empathetic voice, the story grabs our attention right from the beginning as Lara mindlessly speeds over the freeway towards Montana late one night, desperate to escape the stifling emptiness that grips her soul. Her grief is introduced to us in patches of flashbacks and random anxiety attacks that leave her feeling numb and drained. The trauma of losing her son to a car accident, sits heavily in her heart. The wound is still fresh and the fear of experiencing such agony once again makes her build a wall around herself. But when she meets the roguish young man, Peter, with a tragic backstory of his own, she finally discovers true love and with it, her walls come crashing down.

This book can easily make a reader cry because of the heart wrenching emotions described within it, especially the overwhelming sense of guilt that Lara feels when she is happy with Peter after a long time since losing her son. It makes her question her own right to be happy in the first place. It is wonderful to watch how the characters grow and evolve in the span of the book but the author ties off all the loose ends, creating an ending that’s almost too perfect. However, it is significant to note that the protagonist remains disabled until the very end which ensures that there is no kind of appropriation of the identity of Peter that could compromise his personality. It is also important to note that there is a conscious effort and decision behind the representation of marginal figures in this book.

What remains in our mind after reading this story are the lines quoted from Cohen, that reflects its core theme, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Light Among the Shadows is a heartwarming story about overcoming anguish and letting go of pain, and to re-embrace life with new vigor.

Pages: 274 | ASIN: B09B6HNTC5

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