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The Light Never Lies

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As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.

354 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 4, 2014

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About the author

Francis Guenette

11 books42 followers
Hi – my name is Fran Guenette and I’m a writer! You can check out my author's facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/pages/franci...

I live in a small, off-the-grid cabin in a remote location, right beside a lake. My husband, Bruce and our elderly dog, Lawson keep me company.

Can you imagine a better setting for a writer? I can’t.

We have an alternate power system for our home –a combination of micro-hydro and solar electric panels. I write with a panoramic view of the lake every, single day.

Between May and September, Billy Bob the Bear drops over to graze on the green cover (we don’t have the nerve to call it grass) and eat huckleberries and salal berries. Now and then I spot the tracks of a cougar who has made his way across the property. Life is good here in the hinterlands.

I have a daughter and son – both happily married and pursuing interesting careers. I also have two beautiful and wildly funny granddaughters who constantly provide me with inspiration for writing.

For most of my life I have been an educator of one type or another. I have an MA in counselling psychology and an almost completed PhD in educational psychology. Enough said about that!

If you check out my blog you'll find out everything you ever might have wanted to know about me - from stories of my journey to self-publish my first novel to what kind of music gets me weepy.

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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
60 reviews2 followers
October 30, 2017
More, I want more!

This series has had a lasting effect on me. From the lush setting and complex characters to the brilliant prose of the author who has cleverly and intelligently woven the story from beginning to end. To me the characters are real and I can't wait to see what happens next. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Mari.
Author 5 books6 followers
November 18, 2015
Loved this book, the second 'Crater Lake' novel by Francis Guenette. This writer has a sure touch in this series she's creating, and she takes us along with her collection of very different characters who all have their part to contribute to a complex story played out in beautiful surroundings wonderfully described. Here she brings some mystery into the mix by way of the spiritual side of the Canadian' First Nation' characters, and develops a backstory for one of the main characters as we meet his Dad, young half brother and sister.

She also takes Lisa Marie, Izzie, and others further along their journey.

Recommended if you love complex contemporary stories which are 'character-driven' and have that little extra of opening up a culture you didn't know about. Can hardly wait for the next Crater Lake now!
Profile Image for P.C. Zick.
Author 55 books119 followers
May 23, 2014
The Light Never Lies is the second in the Crater Lake Series by Francis Guenette, and last fall I read the first in the series, Disappearing in Plain Sight (click here for the review).

What a pleasure to come back to the stars of that first novel and watch as they interact with each other and the new characters that come to Crater Lake and the secluded landscape of Northern Vancouver Island, Canada .

There’s so much to love about Guenette’s writing and storytelling ability, including landscape descriptions, characterizations, and diverse conflicts.

The characters are all my friends now even if I don’t really like some of them all of the time. They are flawed; they are immature; they are secretive; they are unkind; they are human. Somewhere along the way, Guenette manages to take their flawed personalities and turn those around into positive assets. The conflicts are inner ones within both of the novels in this series. If the characters can overcome the past traumas and neglect, they will be able to soar higher than ever before. But the tension of the novel throbs with questions about whether they can survive or not.

Within the characters, I find bits of myself and others in my life. That’s what makes The Light Never Lies so compelling. Even if I don’t like some of the behaviors, I still want to be a part of the book club and the baseball team. I want an invitation to Izzy’s house for a dinner prepared by Alex and Christina, both new characters who add another element to the whole concept of family as put together by Izzy and Liam.

Izzy is my favorite character, and even though on the surface she seems perfect—beautiful, smart, accepting—Guenette gives her insecurities as she deals with her father Edward who’s come to her to spend his final days. I want nothing more than to sit with Izzy in her garden and sip on a glass of wine as the moon rises above the lake.

In this new novel, Guenette adds another dimension through the child, Robbie, wise beyond his years, and in the baby Sophie who gives them all a touchstone. Robbie’s life hasn’t been easy thus far, but his internal understanding of the world and its tangled connections shows the reader how a soul at peace can be accepting of just about anything.

I’m in awe of this talented storyteller and the rich characters she has created. The Light Never Lies is definitely character-driven novel where seriously flawed people find themselves facing ordinary circumstances where they must cope or fail.

From the metaphysical abilities of Robbie to see light around and within people to the exploration of tribal rights and insights, Guenette has woven a rich tapestry using threads created from a variety of colors and textures. Learning to let go and love others unconditionally and without reservation stand as strong messages in this novel.

Even though she manages to find resolution for the major plot lines, Guenette leaves room for the next book in the Crater Lake Series.

If you enjoy character-driven dramas that allow characters to explore their flaws with the hope of redemption always a step away, then you’ll enjoy this second book in the series. While each of the novels can stand alone, I recommend reading both of them in the order written. Why deprive yourself of missing one single second of sheer immersion in life on Crater Lake?

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Light Never Lies in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Gaele.
4,079 reviews80 followers
September 10, 2016
I was fortunate to have reviewed the first in the Crater Lake series, Disappearing in Plain Sight, and I found a story that was rich in characters and characterization, grand vistas and the dramas that surround and often consume relationships. Guenette has returned with a second book set in British Colombia, in the remote area of Crater Lake. In this story, we continue to see relationships as they develop, clash and force growth from the characters as we now focus on a summer camp program for troubled youth.

Again, this story is almost entirely character driven and what a rich cast she has brought. Lisa Marie returns from the first book, still growing and causing some upheaval as she struggles to find her own place amidst the other lives that exist around her. Guenette doesn’t shirk from difficult topics: a gay teenaged boy who is frightened and angry because of his shame, a lesbian relationship that shakes the community and forces everyone to rethink their views on love, an elderly gentleman who is hoping to share his love of photography and how to find beauty in the smallest viewfinder possible, then to expand your sight, couples in turmoil after years together and even an eight year old boy who sees people in terms of their auras…the list goes on and on.

Characters are breathing entities in this book: there is drama and often it will frustrate you to the point of screaming, but that is quickly mitigated by a sweetly composed scene, and that balance of difficulties mixed with laughter and joy, despite the traumas sustained by all the characters is a true slice of life: not all is good, bad or indifferent, and all can be a revelation. Far from falling into the pitfall of a second installment not being as good as the first, this book is also marvelous and emotional, well-crafted and populated with characters that could be friends, family or neighbors. I would suggest reading the titles in order, if only to enrich your experience with this title, but it is not required: Guenette does provide background information and defines the setting with lushly descriptive phrasing that instantly gives readers a visual image, even those who have never been to the area.

I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Profile Image for Gloria Antypowich.
Author 8 books42 followers
February 18, 2014

When I read “Disappearing In Plain Sight, Book One of the Crater Lake Series”, I recognized that Francis Guenette’s work was solid, with a great depth and understanding of human relationships. I totally loved the book and looked forward to the next one in the series.

When the “The Light Never Lies” became available I downloaded it to my Kindle immediately. It was wonderful to visit with the cast of characters from the first book, plus a few new ones. Once again, Lisa-Maries arrival shakes up the lives of the regular inhabitants at Crater Lake.

Among the new comers in the cast, I particularly loved eight year old Robbie Collins. My heart ached for him when he was sent with his father-- Alexander Collins—a man who was a stranger to him, and began their journey across the country to Crater Lake. I think the only thing that saved Robbie was that he had a rare “gift” that gave him assurance and comfort.

This story covers a wide spectrum of personal emotions; teenage love, a tormented soul who needs guidance, the enduring love of a couple who stand together in the face of a devastating upheaval, a young boy who finds a family, a sexy, devil-may-care, fierce warrior who saves the day, a lesbian relationship that staggers under the weight of circumstances, a gay teenager who struggles with his secret, a middle aged author who finds unexpected love.

This is an incredible read, with the lives of many characters involved,but the core group was entangled in a heart wrenching drama, that grabbed your attention and held you transfixed to the end. There was mystery and murder, a peek into the traditions and family values of First Nations people, and a group that pulled together to love and care for a new born. It’s been said that it takes a community to raise a child, and at Crater Lake this was definitely the case.

If you haven’t read “Disappearing In Plain Sight, Book One of the Crater Lake Series” I would suggest you do so first. It’s an excellent book and it will give you the in-depth background for “The Light Never Lies.”

Do not miss out on Francis Guenettes books—I believe she crafts quality work and will reach great heights. Be sure to share her journey with her.
Profile Image for Debbie Young.
Author 35 books208 followers
March 3, 2014
Having recently read and very much enjoyed Francis Guenette's debut novel, "Disappearing in Plain Sight", and having been sad to leave the feisty characters behind, I was delighted to discover that the author had a sequel up her sleeve, though was a little nervous as to whether it could match the first book.

I needn't have worried - it was every bit as good, broadening the cast of characters to include all ages and stages of life, from the newborn to the dying. Like the first book, it's set in a small pocket of civilisation in the stunning rural wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, and revolves around Micah Camp, where troubled teens go to find new hope and purpose to relaunch them on life. But it's not just the teens who are troubled - the adults who work at the camp and those based around it have problems of their own to deal with, and the result is a complex mesh of interactions as they all work out their issues.

The many-faceted plot is told with clearly and compassionately without ever becoming sentimental or sensationalist - in fact the even tone of the narrative makes it all the more moving. As in the first book, the setting is almost a character in its own right, and feels real and vivid all through.

I particularly liked the introduction of new strands to this book, especially a frail old man and a lively young boy. They bring two different ways of seeing to the cast of counsellors - photographically (the old man is a career photographer, learning technical tips from a teenager and passing on his gift to her) and psychically, via the small boy who has an ancient gift of seeing "lights" around people that tell him more than rational observation about the characters.

A satisfying, moving and memorable book which, likes it predecessor, I'll be recommending far and wide.
Profile Image for Marti.
88 reviews6 followers
February 21, 2014
This is the sequel to Disappearing in Plain Sight, which I have not had the pleasure of reading. So I am happy to say that is is a stand alone book, but be warned: there are loads of characters, with what we might call an ensemble group as the main protagonists.

But holy patoly, what a read! It is all about the residents and staff in a Canadian summer camp for abused/troubled teens, and we are quickly caught up in the drama of their ongoing lives. It seemed to me like an awful lot of drama, having conveniently forgotten my own family and its theatrics, but then I got thinking that we all know lots of people with their dramas and tragedies, so this wasn't so rare after all.

If you like Maeve Binchy, I am sure you will like this book and its precursor as well, because everybody seems so real. You find yourself saying to one character, "Cripes. Get a GRIP." or to another, "She's the one for you. What are you waiting for?" You know, stuff like that. And then when your husband in the other room asks who you are talking to, you have to make something up, like "It was the TV."

The ending was satisfying, without being The End, if you know what I mean. Kind of like episodes in our lives that end, but are not actually finished. Does that make any sense? Just know it is one of those books that could have twenty sequels and still not get through everybody's lives.

Heartwarming, heartbreaking, all those kinds of adjectives. Now I have to go read the first book. I hate it when that happens.
5 reviews8 followers
April 10, 2014
I absolutely loved Francis Guenette's first book, "Disappearing in Plain Sight", where I first became acquainted with the visceral beauty of British Columbia's Crater Lake. After I read the first book in the series I found myself thinking about the characters and wondering how they were doing, thankfully I got to read more in "The Light Never Lies". This book is driven by the unique cast of characters; each one struggling with a profound challenge. This book addresses serious topics such as teenage pregnancy, the complexity of family and relationships, depression, trauma, loss and illness but also healing and redemption. Each situation is treated with honesty and I found myself relating to and pulling for each one of the characters. The way the stories thread together is beautiful and shows us how a new family is formed out of choice and the work that goes into relationships. My favorite character is young Robbie who sees auras and light and he is definitely a bright soul that I will carry with me. Thanks to Francis for transporting me to Crater Lake again.
Profile Image for Cleo deLancey.
Author 1 book12 followers
November 24, 2015
This, Book 2, did not disappoint. An enjoyable read as we follow the lives and memorable characters of Izzy, Liam, Beulah, Bethany, Lisa-Marie and Justin. We, the readers, are treated to the addition of a few new people: Izzy’s father, Edward, Liam’s father, Alex as well as his younger brother, Robbie and a new baby.

In this book we see how these people deal with the loss of loved ones, fear, guilt, murder and attempted suicide. The author, Guenette deals with these issues with sensitivity and aplomb. Through these tragedies, she tests the limits of her characters personalities, none of whom are saints. Kudos, that her characters behave realistically, both the adults and the teens.

This is a worthy book and a great series thus far. I am looking forward to book 3.
Profile Image for Gwen.
30 reviews
June 19, 2016
A terrific follow-up to the first book in the Crater Lake series, this story features a diverse ensemble cast of characters dealing with a wide range of life's problems. Beautiful description and characters that feel like old friends are some of its many strengths. Highly enjoyable summer read reminiscent of Susan Wiggs's Lakeshore Chronicles series.
Profile Image for Loren Robertson.
80 reviews
April 9, 2016
Another great book

I enjoyed reading this second book of this series. I found it a bit confusing though due to the timeline jumping around though. But overall it was lovely to revisit Crater Lake. Wonderful characters that continue to grow more realistic with each page.
40 reviews2 followers
May 6, 2016
I'm really enjoying this series. Just started the third book. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time putting them down so I'm mowing through them too fast!
Profile Image for Janice.
106 reviews2 followers
November 24, 2018
Second book in series

I was glad to continue in the Micah Cam series. There are still a lot of people so it’s sometimes a lot to keep up with, however, I couldn’t put this one down either. I think there are a couple of more books but you could end with this and be fine.
Profile Image for Anne Egbert.
830 reviews6 followers
August 6, 2020
This second in the series is even better than the first. The characters continue to grow, change, move on, return, all the things that mark phases in lives. Can't wait to start number 3.
October 14, 2021
Love the book and the series so far. disappointed that I have to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited to read next books in series
Profile Image for Cathy Ryan.
1,158 reviews64 followers
November 24, 2014
The Light Never Lies begins a few months after the end of Disappearing in Plain Sight, with flashback chapters to fill in the intervening time. The multi layered story and characters are complex yet realistic, identifiable and as totally engaging as the first time around. And revisiting Vancouver Island and the beautiful Crater Lake setting was a treat in itself, still just as appealingly evocative and visual.

Lisa-Marie returns to the Crater Lake complex with Justin Roberts, scared and with shock news that will impact on everyone’s lives. Liam especially has a hard time coping with the repercussions, afraid it’s affecting his newly formed relationship with Izzy Montgomery, the trauma councillor at Micah Camp, a refuge for troubled teenagers. There are new residents at the camp, one in particular whose presence facilitates a deadly confrontation which shatters the already fragile peace and tranquility of Crater Lake.

Bethany, Lisa’s aunt, struggling with issues after her near death experience, and Beulah, her partner, experiencing her own problems while trying to keep everything on track, are drifting further apart.

Alexander Collins, a native elder, and Robbie, his son, smarter than his years and with a fascinating gift (which relates to the book title), travel to Crater Lake looking for family. Edward, Izzy’s father, wants to spend his final days with his daughter. Cynthia St. Pierre, a mystery writer, and baby Sophie, all add to the dynamics and aspect of Izzy’s fast growing and extended family. Each personality is defined and as the intricacy of the relationships unfold sympathetically I was absorbed into the story and could picture it as if watching from the sidelines.

All the characters, old and new, are a great mix and Francis Guenette weaves a compelling and very well crafted story which tugs at the heartstrings and pulls out respect, appreciation and compassion. Each of them dealing with difficult situations which are explored with sensitivity, whether it’s the teenage resident at the camp who is angry and afraid because he believes he’s gay. Or the relationship between Bethany and Beulah. The convoluted connection between Izzy, Liam, Lisa and baby Sophie. And the terminal illness of a family member. They are all interwoven into the story allowing the exploration of individual weaknesses or failings. A wonderfully captivating and touching story with a very moving ending.

Profile Image for Sarah L. Minnich.
5 reviews2 followers
August 9, 2016
Love this book!

I love this series! It is interwoven with almost real life drama, and once I've started on this series, I've devoured the books!

GOOD read Mrs Guenette!
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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