Jenna Moquin's Reviews > Then Came Darkness

Then Came Darkness by D.H. Schleicher
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really liked it

A couple months back I ran a poll on Twitter asking people what the most important thing was in a novel. The response with the most votes was: The Characters. And D.H. Schleicher created some great ones in his novel Then Came Darkness.

The setting of The Great Depression and a harrowing opening set the mood for the book, and it's dark, which is right up my alley. One of my favorite characters was Evelyn Kydd, because in many ways she was so real. Many authors (especially male authors) tend to divide women into two categories: good girl or bad girl. Evelyn Kydd was a little bit of both, like real women tend to be. She fell for the wrong men, made some bad choices, but she did the best she could for her children with the means she had. And I sort of liked that she wasn’t some helicopter parent, which would make it too hard for the kids to develop as characters anyway.

One of my favorite sections in the book was when Evelyn was hanging out with Odette, a mischievous but troubled woman. Part of me wanted to see the two of them take off Thelma-and-Louise style! And Evelyn's daughter Sally, who we saw more of toward the end, had unexpected traits that I loved as well. I wished we'd seen things from her POV more often throughout the story. Same thing with Myra, who was brought into the story early-on and I liked her, but we didn't see much of her again which was a bit disappointing.

On that note, there were some parts that I felt were glossed over a bit too quickly, and I thought they warranted more time such as the early romance between Joshua and Evelyn. It would've given more depth to Joshua's character and more sympathy toward Evelyn's choices. Joshua didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities, which made it odd that Evelyn was attracted to him, and that Tyrus trusted him so easily.

There were some romantic scenes between the deputy and his wife, who weren't central to the plot, that I didn't feel were necessary. And there were several POV shifts within scenes—third-person omniscient POV is a literary choice that works great for character development, but I personally prefer to have each POV shift occur in different scenes/sections of the story, instead of jumping back and forth between POVs within the same paragraph. I have seen other authors do this (Alice Hoffman comes to mind), and it’s just a literary choice that works for some readers but not all.

I was somewhat disappointed with the ending, I guess I was expecting something different (but that happens to me a lot when I read novels). There was a suspenseful build-up throughout the story and I wasn’t sure what was about to happen, and I had imagined a bunch of different scenarios for a climax but none of them panned out, so in that regard bravo author—I didn’t see the ending coming.

Overall, it was definitely a page-turner with a dark slant, morally gray characters who were flawed yet likable, realistic and multi-faceted with certain twists I didn’t see coming.
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Reading Progress

May 1, 2019 – Started Reading
May 1, 2019 – Shelved
May 2, 2019 –
page 27
10.31%
May 3, 2019 –
page 80
30.53%
May 4, 2019 –
page 109
41.6% "Evelyn Kydd is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite characters in literature. Strong, resilient, intelligent, and morally gray - my favorite type."
May 5, 2019 –
page 141
53.82%
May 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

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