The Light in the Wound
(The Light in the Wound #1)
by Christine Brae
Published: July 23rd 2013
Genre: New Adult
Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes.
When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.
Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.
The Light in the Wound by Christine Brae is an emotional book that perfectly captures the realities of life, in every aspect of it. It narrates the story of Isabel Amarra’s life from childhood till womanhood. It was very realistic because every joy, sadness, insecurity, fear, heartache, pain, regret and success of hers were bared in this story. It doesn't just focus on her romantic relationships but it also delved in into a picture of what some families go through.
This book is one of those books which have a prologue that will definitely astound your entire being, leave you hanging and definitely be begging to know more. Well, that's what I felt when I flipped and read that prologue! I was just eager to read more about this story. It's the type of prologue that'll immediately spur questions inside your head and you'll be wanting for it to be answered ASAP. Nicely done, Ms. Brae.
As a reader, it's a lovely and very inspiring experience to grow alongside a book character and that's what happens here in this book. As I've already mentioned earlier this book spans out from the childhood days of Isabel Amarra's life till she reached her adulthood. There’s a very personal touch with Isabel’s voice all throughout the book because it feels like she’s personally speaking to you and telling you her story. But there were certain points in this book where I don’t feel that connected to her character. Maybe because of the actions and decisions she made won’t coincide with the way I was thinking and my way of making decisions in life.
The experiences she went through when she was a kid weren’t something a normal kid goes through. There’s a highly publicized divorce going on, her mother jumping from one husband to another, Isabel living with her grandparents instead of her siblings and other family drama-rama thrown into the mix. And that’s bound to affect her personality and how she responds to affection coming from other people, right?
I actually love and hate Isabel’s character. First, I would just love to commend on how she handled her family situation. Teenager Isabel is so focused and determined to become successful and not to be the spitting image of her mother. She did everything in her power to stray away from that path. She focused her time into her studies and caring for her siblings. As she grew up and learned to commit into relationships, her character frustrated me. Oh, young and first love. She morphed into someone who’s very passive and just follows through the whims of the people around her. She lost herself into the relationship she’s in.
In more than one situation, I strongly disagreed with her decisions. There were moments where I would love to enter the pages of this book, shake some sense into her and clear out her foggy vision. But I think everybody's entitled to do something stupid or those “head over heels” actions just for the sake of one's first love, right? It’s also depicted in this book how intense and consuming first loves can get and those situations and emotions between the characters were very realistic. You can also feel it draining your emotions and consuming you.
But when you pause and think of it … would you really trade every bit of who you are just for the sake of being with your first love? Would you really allow something like that to happen to yourself? I think, there will always be a limit when it comes to loving someone. Especially, if that kind of love and relationship tends to bend towards the unhealthy side of relationships. The moment, Isabel came back to her sense and she decides to step out of that haze … Well, that’s what I’m waiting for to happen. I know her character can make it because she already suffered through so much pain with her family situation and it isn’t impossible for her not to come out it.
Jesse Cain is a real charmer and he was the first boy who had the courage to get close, show interest and affection towards Isabel. But he was also portrayed as someone who has these carefully laid out life plans and goals and someone who constantly feel the need to accomplish it. I admire his character for being so driven but not to the point that he can trade everything in front of him for the sake of accomplishing it. His character drove me nuts in the decision making department. I just can’t. I ended up being so annoyed with Jesse in the first half of the book and later on my heart ached for him. I genuinely felt his regret and his need to make up for the lost cause. But then, that’s just it. In life, we musn’t take everything for granted. We must always treasure and show our loved ones how much we appreciate them in being a part of our lives because there might come a time wherein we might regret of not being able to do those things.
Another man in Isabel’s life is Alex Ailey. Oh he’s been in the background of the story for several chapters already but now his character is dragged into the frontline. The first time we meet Alex in this story, I was already drawn to his character. He was entirely the opposite of Jesse’s character. Maybe that’s why, I was so drawn and constantly keeping an eye on his character. There were moments when Isa and Jesse’s relationship was completely on the rocks and I was rooting for Alex to make a move towards Isa already. Come on, dude! (LOL)
I love that Alex and Isabel’s relationship started out from being friends. It’s the playful and harmless type of friendship despite of Alex throwing in his affection. But then our main character is so blinded by her first love, so … *shrugs*. Alex was just always there for Isabel when she feels the need to rant out about her life and relationship. You can also see a tremendous difference between Jesse and Isabel’s dynamics with the one she has with Alex. With Jesse, she tends to be so dependent on him and with Alex she gets to speak out her mind – I can say that she has a backbone when she’s with Alex.
Though, I would love to comment towards Alex and Isabel’s romantic relationship. It was just so drastic that it didn’t give Isabel a breather from her past relationship. Despite rooting for Alex from the start, I also can’t help but think that their relationship kind of worked one way and is always working in Isa’s favor. Their entire situation got me into thinking: Would Alex’ love be enough to prevail over and heal Isabel’s terribly wounded heart and being? Would Alex be enough? Because I don’t really or I’m not quite sure how Isabel feels towards him. I can’t feel if her feelings are genuinewhich just scares me because of how this book is progressing. No worries, though, everything will be dealt with in the end.
Oh joy. Oh boy. I’m quite sure your heart will break once it gets to the climax part. Your emotions will pick up and you’ll be confused. Your heart will break for all these characters. I swear.
For me, Alex just seems to be the right choice but then I’m not the one who will be doing the choosing. The road to Isabel’s fulfilment of relationships isn’t an obvious and clear choice. You can feel the indecision towards her and it’ll add up to the tension that surrounds this book. On the one hand you have her first love (the one where she invested years in their relationship) and there’s this second great love. Who will she choose? The heart wants what the heart wants, right? Ha! You’ll find out who she chooses once you read this book. Sorry, guys!
Though, until now there are still questions clouding my mind towards Isa’s decision...
Let me talk shortly about Isa’s mother, Claudia. Her mother totally played the field when she was young. We see her jump from one faulty decision to another. She didn’t exactly take care of her daughters. She constantly relied to her parents. But as she grew older, you’ll feel the sincerity when she was making amends towards Isa. I wished there was still time for her character to be redeemed …
The Light in the Wound is just a very powerful book because of so many life-lessons meshed with it. And reading it made me ponder on many things about life.
- One of that is of how lucky I am for my family. We may not be the richest of the rich but we can manage, happily living and loving each other. I’m lucky to have my friends who are always there for me. These groups of people are my support system and I’ll be forever grateful to them. I’ll forever treasure them.
- Don’t take everything for granted.
- We can’t have everything exactly the way we’ve wanted it to be. We have the power over how our life will turn out in the end and nobody else can dictate where it’ll go, only ourselves.
- First loves will always be with us and it will always hold a special place in one’s heart.
- Don’t concede and feed your insecurities because they’ll forever be there and try to bring you down. If you constantly think of it and let it affect your emotions, I’m quite sure that it’ll defeat you in the process.
- In life, it isn't always rainbows, unicorns and all those bubbly little bits of it but there are also moments wherein we are thrown into shitty situations. There will always be situations that'll really test who we are and how we are going to surpass those hindrances.
I could continue rambling here in my review but then … I won’t. HAHA!
So, this is actually a duology and that fact alone scares the crap out of me already. This will certainly make it or break it. Though, The Light in the Wound already gave a good ending for Alex, Isabel and Jesse’s journey you'll feel that there's still an unresolved issue (or something's still hanging up in the air) that needs to be dealt with. I think, that's where the plot for this duology is going to take us. I’m scared to go through another emotional journey but at the same time curious as to how it will play out. Will Book 2 deliver the things that are currently brewing inside my head? Will it make my current fears surrounding these characters turn into reality?
PS. This review actually went through so many revisions because the others that I’ve written ended to be sooooo spoilery because of my ramblings (rants) about the characters and what I really felt towards them. I would love to ramble more about a lot of things about this book but it would just spoil your thoughts and feels. So yeah. I’m done here. :)
“I still don’t have all of you, I know that. I know it will take time.”
“Baby, how can you be with me if you feel that way?” I asked, terrified that he might suddenly decide to walk away.
“Because every so often, you give me a glimpse of what’s it like to have you. You unsuspectingly open up to me and I see your heart. Sometimes, you let your guard down through your laughter, your giggles, your tears, your touch … seeing you in those moments gives me hope that one day you’ll truly let me in.”
When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.