And Now the Light is Everywhere

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Pub Date 7 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 7 Mar 2024

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'A vivid, involving and beautifully written story.' JOSEPH O'CONNOR
'A book that draws you in and holds you till the very end' ANNE GRIFFIN
'Sensitive and accurate . . . A page turner' JAMES ROBERTSON
'An eloquent novel . . . I was captivated' MARGOT LIVESEY

For fans of Ann Patchett, Maggie O'Farrell and Louise Kennedy comes And Now the Light is Everywhere: a breath-taking mystery and a soaring, beautifully written examination of love in all its guises.


Where does a story end and the truth begin?

Argyll, 1998.

Stories run deep in the MacArthur family, passed from generation to generation. Tales not just of selkies and changelings, but of the lives and deaths of the family themselves. Anna MacArthur has heard how her beautiful grandmother Netta boarded a ship for Canada after the war, leaving behind her young son Donnie, and was never seen again.

Now, fifty years after her disappearance, Anna accidentally pulls a loose thread in the story of Netta's fate, causing the tale of her vanishing to unravel completely. As Anna pieces together a far more disquieting version of events, she is also forced to examine her own memories of her father Donnie's death.

Yet the truth is sometimes bent and buried for a reason. And bringing to light what some have concealed for years may not be free of consequences . . .

'Classic story-telling bathed in a generous light . . . it moves so confidently between lives and epochs it easy not to realise at first how cleverly it's put together, how effectively the different stories intersect and echo. It's poignant and funny, and marks Lucy out as an exciting and ambitious writer of real talent.' ANDREW MILLER

'A vivid, involving and beautifully written story.' JOSEPH O'CONNOR
'A book that draws you in and holds you till the very end' ANNE GRIFFIN
'Sensitive and accurate . . . A page turner' JAMES ROBERTSON

Available Editions

ISBN 9781399707473
PRICE £22.00 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

A multigenerational family narrative in which we learn about the MacArthurs, their lives, loves, and losses, as well as some very dark secrets. I believe it is a book in which the less one understands before beginning, the better the reading experience.

I will say that there were more people than I would have recalled without taking off-book notes, and I'm not sure whether all of the subplots were required. There was a lot for this reader to remember between the several timeframes, people, and tales. I can definitely see it being fantastic if adapted for the film, and given it's the author's first, I am greatly astonished.

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And now the light everywhere is a remarkable narrative and an impressive debut. This multi generational family saga weaves together perspectives from three significant time periods, with a diverse array of characters to engage with, making it a compelling and intricate read.

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L.A MacRae’s debut novel is absolutely stunning. Her writing style is so readable and yet it is laced with such unique and complex imagery which makes it a pleasure to read. I feel that stories set in Scotland often either stay firmly in the countryside, folksy, mythical space or in the gritty underbelly side of things. Writers tend to explore one of these spaces in a way that almost denies the existence of the other. In my opinion neither space is more real or relevant than the other and both are valuable and deserve to be explored. Scotland like any other country has both a rich history and wealth of folk culture that continues to be relevant today but coexists with issues such as poverty, crime and dysfunctional families. I really enjoyed the way MacRae displayed elements of both these things and shows how the existence of one does not stamp out the importance of the other. And Now the Light is Everywhere explores the twisting family history of the MacArthurs and anchors itself with Anna MacArthur in the ‘present’ time line which is set in 1990s Argyll. Anna is feeling lost and very much in the dark about what her next steps might be, so with the passing of her great uncle she decides to go and stay with her great aunts to hide from the world. It is there at Crois na Coille that she starts to dig through the past. The stories of the MacArthur family tangle like the roots of a tree, with each new discovery threating to untether the Anna in the present day.

Folk stories are at the heart of And Now the Light is Everywhere and the novel itself unfolds in a similar way. Many threads of stories are weaving together and unfurling with questions and answers rising to the surface in equal measure. As this is a story that has POVs from three main time periods, many members of the MacArthur family and some other key players it might seem a bit overwhelming at first but once you get into the flow you end up desperate to hear from all of them. Every time a chapter ends, you’re so keen to get back to that character’s tale. I don’t think the story would be the same without each thread spinning from start to finish. I loved MacRae’s exploration of folk collecting with Bella as a tradition bearer. I studied that at university, so it was so lovely to be reading about it again. I admire the way folk stories were shown to be a thing of the people, with lasting relevance through the generations. It really added another layer of intrigue to the story.

And Now the Light is Everywhere is ultimately a story of bonds stretching across the years, sometimes weathered and worn, but enduring nonetheless. It is about finding your way forward by opening up, reaching back, and untangling the mysteries and unasked and unanswered questions of the past.

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