Pushing Through the Darkness
Linette Arthurton Bruno
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 16) for Reader Views Kids (01/14)
“Pushing Through the Darkness” by Linette Arthurton Bruno is a collection of three short stories about a family who must come together after a series of unfortunate events. Years after a set of natural disasters (Hurricane Hugo followed by the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano) forced Marguerite and her family to flee Montserrat, they were still coping with the tragedy. Years later, Marguerite’s daughter Clementine and her husband go back to the Caribbean island and its vicinity on their honeymoon and talk about the history of the islands.
All three stories in the book had a central theme of family bonding: how cooperation, love, and faith could bring people together. For example, when the newlyweds’ hotel room was destroyed in a fire and the two were presumed dead, family members who previously held grudges against each other came together to support one another until the lovers announced their true location.
While the book didn’t have much in the way of a plot, it was still fascinating given the world history and geography content. The characters went back to Montserrat and its vicinity, and while discussing life, they effectively gave history lessons about the isle. It seemed as though the author was trying to convey an air of darkness related to trauma or difficult family relations in the book. However, most of the trauma and inter-character relationships seemed very superficial and unconvincing. While these things did accomplish the task of bringing the family closer, they didn’t feel like legitimate dangers. All of the history was quite interesting.
I would recommend Linette Arthurton Bruno’s “Pushing Through the Darkness” to people who like books about family relations or Caribbean history. This short book had heavy Christian overtones. I think this book would be much more meaningful to people with more life experience than the typical teenager.