Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An Accidental Light” as Want to Read:
An Accidental Light
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An Accidental Light

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  45 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about An Accidental Light, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about An Accidental Light

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 341)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 20, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
This book had its moments. Nothing too fantastic, but it had some interesting aspects.
Eric Klee
Apr 12, 2010 Eric Klee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 it was amazing
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
Jul 04, 2013 Solla rated it liked it
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
Dec 08, 2008 Maya Panika rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2011 Pamela rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Steph Dinning
I could have possibly managed to give it 2 stars or even 2.5 if I'd actually finished it. A really deep topic but it was so boring or perhaps the character of Jack was just boring, such a bland person and I couldn't read past page 61,it was dragging along.
Jo Barton
May 02, 2010 Jo Barton rated it really liked it
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
Mar 17, 2014 Keri Jp rated it it was ok
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
Jan 22, 2016 Joni rated it liked it
Not an uplifting topic, but an interesting account of how people grieve and how their lives can be forever altered.
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
Nov 14, 2009 Wyma rated it liked it
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
Apr 20, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it
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.
Aug 06, 2009 Clare rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2009 Su rated it it was ok
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!
Oct 10, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
Amanda Ishtayeh
Sep 20, 2009 Amanda Ishtayeh rated it liked it
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 liked it
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.
Aug 17, 2009 Shari rated it liked it
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.
Jul 21, 2009 Nancy rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 16, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 23, 2013 Ashley rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 28, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
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 !
Jan 26, 2010 Klynn rated it liked it
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.
Dec 01, 2009 Ty rated it liked it
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.
Jun 23, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
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.
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 17, 2012 Sue Kozlowski rated it liked it
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.
Jul 11, 2009 S rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 18, 2010 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is well written especially its detail expression of the main characters feelings.. However.. it is quite slow towards the ending..
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Mistress
  • Hens Reunited
  • The Truth
  • Shannon: Betrayed from Birth
  • Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
  • The Pi**ed-Off Parents Club
  • Baby X: Britain's Child Abusers Brought To Justice
  • Abducted
  • The C-Word
  • Girl A
  • Keeping It In The Family
  • Bob: No Ordinary Cat
  • Love Sick: One Woman's Journey through Sexual Addiction
  • Treasures from the Attic: the Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family
  • One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley
  • Forgotten
  • Revenge
  • Never Can Say Goodbye
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...

Share This Book