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An Accidental Light

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  43 reviews
“Why didn’t you have your headlights on?” . . . I couldn’t tell him about the light in November. When it’s easy not to notice the first signs of dusk. When shapes suddenly lose their edges and a girl moving quickly from behind a stationary bus, moving in the fading light, in the rain, in the November gloom, may be a ghost, a spirit, something from the Underworld, a phantom ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Other Press (first published April 29th 2008)
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This book had its moments. Nothing too fantastic, but it had some interesting aspects.
Eric Klee
The death of one person can change another person's life. The death of a child can change the lives of that child's parents. In this novel by Elizabeth Diamond, the lives of two families are forever changed when the man from one family accidentally hits and kills the daughter of the other. And while, yes, it is a sad, sad moment, it's also the spark that ignites both couples to finally start living and do what makes them happy instead of remaining stagnant.

The story takes place in England, but
Barbara Sissel
Sep 04, 2011 Barbara Sissel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes literary suspense
AN ACCIDENTAL LIGHT, Elizabeth Diamond’s riveting debut novel begins: A life can change in an instant. That’s all it takes. She gives us that much certainty. What is uncertain, what plays tricks is the light--road light--especially at evening. Anyone who drives at that hour can be fooled for an instant, can misjudge the shape, the potential for hazard. Jack Philips is driving home in such vague light when his instant comes; he isn’t sure of what he sees when Laura Jenkins, a thirteen-year-old gi ...more
I picked this up at random, thought it might be a mystery. It wasn't, but it was a page turner. It had a strong portrayal of how accidentally killing a child affected the driver, Jack. Although told in first person from the point of view of two characters, the other, Lisa, being the mother of the child, the driver was the strongest for me. The accident kicked off a lot of feelings from the past, and I thought the encounters of both characters with family members was done well. Spouses were drawn ...more
Maya Panika
A single event, the death of a child in an accident, changes the lives of everyone involved as the story unfolds.

It’s a very smooth read, compelling yet very easy to digest; written in first person from the point of view of two characters, the dead girl’s mother and the policeman who accidentally killed her, both bound by the tragedy and the ghost of the dead girl who appears them both.

Their lives and the lives of those around them, amble along; nothing huge happens yet everything changes as th
A tragedy, a total accident, triggers a chain of events. Jack, a policeman, a married man with two girls, accidentally kills Laura, a 13 year-old girl. Jack cannot seem to get past his guilt. The accident also effects Laura's, parents, Lisa and Derek. It's a story about the journey from guilt to peace, from vengeance to forgiveness, and eventually to inner happiness. The one person I have to mention that I could not stand was Jack's wife, Sam. She had to be the most selfish person ever. Of cours ...more
Jo Barton
In the normal course of events Jack Philips is a good guy. A serving police officer with a good track record, he is happily married to Sam, and has two little girls.
When driving home one night he is involved in a road traffic accident, the consequences of which will have dramatic repercussions on the lives of two families.
This is a thoughtful and provoking read, ultimately heartbreaking and describing every parent's worst nightmare, but told with compassion and bravery.
It proves that life doesn'
Keri Jp
Easy enough to read...just didn't grab my interest & didn't felt as though the characters were developed well enough to feel any connections. 2.5 stars for me
Ev Bishop
Riveting story, wonderfully wrought characters, plus an interesting spin on paranormal and ghosts.

Thirteen-year-old Laura Jenkins, tragically killed in a car accident by off duty policeman Jack Philips, visits her mourning mother, her furious, revenge-bent father, and grief-and-guilt stricken Jack--but in such subtle ways that you're never sure whether her visits are literal or the figments of grieving minds trying to cope with their new realities. Makes you wonder (perhaps again!) about what g
An accident. One man runs over and kills another man's daughter. Both men take self-destructive courses. Both their wives leave them and move on. The story is told from alternate points of view: Jack, the man who killed the little girl, albeit accidentally, and Lisa, the mother of the dead child. Well written and fascinating with ghostly influences of the child, their story holds us through the upheavals of two families. we watch as lives are examined, best friends betray, and insanity threatens ...more
Really enjoyed this book - well-written and good story. Losing a child is a horrible experience and Lisa Jenkins pulls herself together and goes on in spite of that - in fact, her dead daughter inspires great courage and compassion. Jack Philips, the police officer who drove the car which killed Lisa's daughter, goes through hell and becomes a stronger person too. Both of them experience the dead child, Laura, as a sort of guardian angel who helps them move toward healing.
The one moment that changes everything...this theme is explored expertly in Diamond's novel. What I particularly enjoyed about this riveting story is its realism. The author could have written a very different book and made everything turn out in ways that are not real. Instead she writes truth about tragedy - it's lasting consequences, its impact on victims and bystanders, its bitter reality. This is a hard book to read in some ways but definitely not to be missed.
This novel is probably deserving of more stars, but I couldn't bring myself to give it three. It is a story of a man who accidentally kills a young girl while driving home one night. What follows is the effect this event had on both he and his family and the mother and father of the dead girl. I guess it explained all their feelings in great detail, but still left me wanting more out of the book. At the end of it I was just relieved that it was finished!
Amanda Ishtayeh
I wish I could have given this a 1/2 point more but did not want to give it the full 4 stars. The characters in this book were very well developed from the main characters to the smaller characters. The more I read the more I find this is not always the case. The only one that did not was the dad but then I also think he was not supposed to be. It just got too slow for me in some points.
May 27, 2009 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
One day Jack Philips, a police officer, accidentally hits and kills a 13 year old girl (Laura) with his car. This event changes so many lives.

How will Jack live with himself? What will happen to his family (wife & 2 young girls)?

What will happen to Laura's parents, Lisa & Derek?

This novel explores the past of each of the main characters; it is a good read.
This is a difficult book about a man who accidentally kills a young girl and how that incident changes him forever and allows him to confront his past that he has chosen instead to bury deep within. The book always looks at the girl’s mother and how she too is able to find the positive in a horrible situation.
This was a very touching book to read, it was about a girl who accidentialy got run over and died.
This book looked at both the family whose family member it was who died and then the other family of the person who ran them over.
This book felt very real to me and I would recommend it to other people.
This is one I should have stopped after about page 50. It didn't get better as it went along. I was intrigued about the idea of a mother being visited by her dead daughter's spirit, but this author couldn't pull it off and make the story interesting. I liked some of the characters, though.
Enjoyed this one. It's a really moving read looking at how an accident impacts the lives of the people left behind, and I thought the supernatural element played just right. Not a depressing read at all, but a well written look at grief and its effects with an uplifting conclusion.
This book was beautifully written, just a bit more depressing than I thought it would be. It feels like a very personal account of grief, and I enjoyed the story and stuck with it until the end, but I probably just wasn't in the right mindset because I was expecting something else.
I just started this book and I really like it. It's very well written and is about a police officer who accidentally hits a girl who ran in front of his car. The writer is from the UK and she writes very well...she has another book coming out soon !
I really enjoyed the prose, well written--made me think about if I accidently killed someone while driving (or any other way) long it would take to get over that type of thing. Enjoyed going through the grieving process with both characters.
The view was complicated. The story was told from one character's view and then the exact same story told from the second characters view. It was a good story but it got a bit boring reading the same thing twice over.
Well worth the read, nothing to heavy but beautifully written. Diamond is able to make even the mundane captivate. Poetic writing that draws you in. I did a lot of self reflection whilst reading this.
Good. Jack Philips, a copy in England, hits and kills a young girl Laura. Lisa is the mother - Her and her husband Derek get a divorce. He tries to run down Jack's daughter.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters' responses to tragedy were very interesting - some I expected and others I did not. The relationships also were interesting.
This is well written especially its detail expression of the main characters feelings.. However.. it is quite slow towards the ending..
Sally Boocock
Started off well and covered some very emotive subjects well but the ending was a bit disappointing and predictable.
galley copy.
horrific and glorious, full of heartache and returning to living. almost a ghost story.
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Positive Thought Leader and author of 7 Mindsets to Master Self-Awareness, Elizabeth Diamond was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. In 1996 she received a B.A in Communications at Canisius College after which she immediately moved to San Francisco, CA. In 1998 she enrolled into a hypnotherapy certification program and became a Certified Hypnotherapist. She spent the next few years deepening her ...more
More about Elizabeth Diamond...
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