The Light in the Hallway
by Amanda Prowse
Amanda Prowse is a bestselling author of twenty-one novels. She writes stories that feature real-life characters, challenges, and is considered the “most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK.” Her latest “The Light in the Hallway” is one of her best.
Like a beacon that calls them home, Nick and his eighteen-year-old son Oliver always return home to the light in the hallway. After Nick’s wife, Kerry, dies of cancer, Nick and Oliver find themselves free-falling and at a loss of where to go next. Oliver is due to leave for college in a few months and Nick focuses on working for the local Siddley Company producing party lights. The debt over the last year with Kerry’s illness has devastated their finances.
Nick is fortunate to reflect on his own perfect childhood where his parents treasured their children and taught them how to work out problems. But how do you work out the death of your wife and mother of your only child? As Nick and Oliver trudge through each day with the occasional contact with Kerry’s family and Nick’s mother, life continues. Oliver finally leaves for school with little grieving for his mum.
But he stays in contact with his father; the father who has always been there for him and his grief begins to bubble. Will Oliver finally mourn?
As the months go by, Nick struggles to provide a Christmas for Oliver and make the best of the situation. They get a laugh when Treacle, the dog, eats the roasted turkey. Little by little, they manage to regain a normal life without Kerry.
Then something totally out of the ordinary happens. Nick accepts an invitation to a New Year’s Party from a coworker, Beverly. He has been drawn to Beverly, but also realizes there are unknown landmines he must maneuver as a grieving husband with a deceased wife of only a few months. Oliver sees Nick kiss Beverly and the father/son relationship teeters.
It is a long road to a new normal, and Amanda Prowse takes the reader through the grieving process to that point. It is a well-versed novel, and once again Prowse has written some powerful dialogue. It makes one wish for such a childhood that Nick experienced to make him such a sovereign father figure. Enjoy!