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REVIEW: All Is Bright by Sarah Pekkanen

Dear Ms. Pekkanen:

According to the Amazon bio, you are an acclaimed fiction writer which would be why your name is unknown to me. I rarely read outside the romance genre. Your publicist sent this to me and as I do with all books sent to me, I opened and read the first page. The story isn’t very long. Only 25 pages and a little over 5,000 words so by the time I was finished with the first page, I figured I had nothing to lose by continuing on. I know that this might sound cold and a little blase, but this is how I ended up reading the entire short story.

All Is Bright by Sarah PekkanenElise Andrews never could bring herself to marry her high school sweetheart, Griffin, despite dating him on and offer for over a dozen years. The last time he proposed the idea of marriage and Elise decided she wasn’t ready, Griffin moved on. Elise didn’t realize how serious it was until she ran into Griffin’s mother Janice during a holiday break. Griffin had gone to spend the holidays with his new girlfriend’s family, Janice reported.

Elise isn’t struck with longing for Griffin, exactly, but longing for everything that Griffin represented and, of course, Janice. As a motherless child, Janice filled a space in Elise’s hungry heart and that, more than anything kept Elise’s feelings for Griffin alive.

This story, despite it not being a romance and not having a romantic arc worked for me because it was a short story, it had authentic characters, and a hopeful ending. It was a satisfying read and did make me interested in reading a longer work by you. It’s hard to grade a work that is short but at the $.99 price point, it is a definite recommend for me. At a higher price point, I think I might hesitate because of its length. One reviewer on Amazon said she hoped that this was a precursor or teaser for a more fully developed book and I wouldn’t be adverse to a romance between Elise and the grandson who sends Beyonce dance videos to his grandmother. It’s somewhere between a B and B- only because it really is so short.

Best regards,


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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. sarah pekkanen
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 14:58:46

    Thanks so much for this review, Jane! I’m happy to say I’ve written a short story follow-up to ALL IS BRIGHT that my publisher is releasing for e-readers on Dec. 15. It’s titled LOVE, ACCIDENTALLY … and here’s the twist. It takes up where ALL IS BRIGHT left off, but it is narrated by a new character (Ilsa!) It’s also nearly twice as long. Hope you get a chance to read it. If you’d like for me to send you a complimentary copy, I’d be happy to.
    Best wishes,

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