Dawn’s Light is the fourth and, I believe, final installment of the Restoration series by Terri Blackstock which focuses on the effects of a global blackout on one community and particularly one family.
The subject matter of this series normally would not have drawn me to it, because I am afraid I like my creature comforts all too well, and I know how I am after even a few hours of no electricity. But, this is Terri Blackstock. And I love Terri Blackstock. I think I have read every novel she has written. So I knew it would be good, suspenseful, and convicting. And it was.
I am not going to say much about the plot beyond what you would find on the first few pages so as not to spoil it, but I can’t say the same for the comments. If you’ve read the book, let me know what you think — I’d love to discuss it.
In the previous books we’ve seen the struggle and growth of various members of the Branning family. Thirteen year old Beth has witnessed a lot of trauma which has caused her to be fearful of “The Next Big Thing.” So when she begins to exhibit even more fearful behavior, her family thinks she is just having further trouble handling everything that has happened emotionally. She won’t open up to them or to a counselor. What no one knows is that she has witnessed a double murder: she got away from the scene, but the killer saw her and threatened her and her family.
Meanwhile the pulses from a dying star which caused the blackout have finally stopped, and the massive effort to get electricity flowing again begins. Terri did a lot of research into the technology behind what this would mean and does a good job giving enough information to make it plausible yet not so much that the book gets bogged down.
Oldest daughter Deni had left her high-powered Washington career and fiance behind and fallen in love with a friend she had known for years, but her fiance comes back into town, not only to help with the electrical situation but to win Deni back.
One of the things I love best about Terri is that her characters are so real, so genuine, you feel like they are your personal friends, and they struggle with exactly the same issues I would in their place. When a family tragedy occurs, they wrestle with all the questions and issues almost any Christian would in the face of seemingly unanswered prayer.
A blurb on the front page says, “Terri Blackstock weaves a masterful what-if series in which global catastrophe reveals the darkness in human hearts — and lights the way to restoration for a self-centered world.” I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until I read that sentence that I “got” the symbolism of the darkness and the restoration — not just of electricity, but more importantly, in hearts. Though perhaps much of what I have said about it focuses on the “darkness,” the series ends with restoration and hope.