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As I was watching this film I realized once again how lucky we are to have other sources of film than Hollywood. The plot repeatedly comes to a stop, in order to allow the full development of a moment - a child listening to the sounds of a new born baby in the night, the long wait by fisherman families at a dock for the return of a capsized boat along with the discovery of who perished - the repeated view of the great mountain above the village, the perilous threat of the sea, the family breakfast and bedroom moments, So much interior development.

Which is where it occurs, right? The film passes a key test of quality for me - one week after viewing I am still thinking and remembering it with interest and pleasure. I'm Icelandic myself i. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!

Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. What could be better than knowing your future? And what could be worse? A love-filled childhood abruptly ends when catastrophe descends. One that the child had foreseen yet failed to act upon. Related News The Simpsons: And I know who it is. This is the tale of two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, and one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion ended in tragedy more tangled and evil than a tight-knit community can possibly believe.

A dark tale with a surreal edge, Jenn Ashworth's gripping novel captures the intensity of girls' friendships and the dangers of a predatory adult world they are just grown up enough to think they can handle. And it shows just how far that world will go, sacrificing truth in the name of innocence. Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Cold Light , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Aug 16, karen rated it liked it Shelves: View all 24 comments. Sep 28, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it liked it Shelves: This one smells like teen spirit.

I'm okay with that, but I'm becoming increasingly irritated with book marketing schemes that mislead readers by not tagging a book as a young adult selection. Not that it's unsuitable for adults. It's well written and the plot is intriguing, but it's heavy on the teen hangout scene, with kids trying to be cool and ganging up on the weak.

This is a story that starts off dark and becomes darker and darker still. It made me glad I don't have childr 3. It made me glad I don't have children, because it relies on realistic scenarios for its creepiness. If I had a teenage daughter, I'd have chained her to the bed frame by her chastity belt after reading this story. It revolves around a precocious and manipulative fourteen-year-old girl, shoplifting, pedophilia, lots of underage drinking and smoking, and deaths under suspicious circumstances.

I may write more later if the hand will cooperate View all 15 comments. However, when you start reading, you realize that you are in the hands of an evocative, acutely observant writer who may, in the not-too distant future, pen a novel that earns a spot on the Booker long-list. She can turn a phrase, spin raw into bold, scour us with prose. Ashworth writes searchingly, hauntingly, and meticulously about teenage restiveness and jealousy; growing up with a mentally unstable parent; how the media erects false monuments; predators and predatory nature; and the inner lives of people short-circuited by guilt and shame, shut down by life at a young age.

Her narrators are unreliable, abject, contrary. Laura, now twenty-four, lives in the council flats and works as a cleaner in the local shopping center. Everything in her flat seems coated in a furry substance. Being dead has turned her into a final draft. As the cameras roll on the ribbon-cutting with the mayor, a piece of earth is dug with a spade, and another body is unearthed, temporarily taking the limelight off Chloe. Emma lives on disability and volunteers at a pet shelter.

Emma and Laura have a tenuous bond now, meet for coffee sometimes, and speak dartingly of Chloe. Through these circumspect conversations and inner dialogue, the reader slowly, gradually begins to piece together an accurate picture of the past. Although the unreliable narrators are integral to the reconstruction of events, at times it feels protracted, and you just want the story to get on with itself.

cold light

The casual pacing falters at intervals. Predators skulk the woods, a person goes missing, shadows lurk. But it is primarily about the accretion of psychological blows, the small bruises and bitter inflictions, and the skewed perceptions of the media, which glimmers on everything but the truth. The book's cover and description strongly evoked the ever so good Jennifer McMahon's work and yet ultimately the comparison has only served to highlight the disappointment. I can't possibly explain all the accolades and praise this book has gathered.

The Times comparing it to Ruth Rendell is downright criminal. One doesn't expect a font of originality, this is a fairly standard formula of childhood friends sharing a secret that comes up to haunt them as adults some years later. One expects a dec The book's cover and description strongly evoked the ever so good Jennifer McMahon's work and yet ultimately the comparison has only served to highlight the disappointment. One expects a decent amount of drama and, ideally, a decent amount of mystery.

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To be fair, this book did have both, sort of, but the drama was so uninteresting and so heavily set during the early years of teenagerhood, it made one feel like reading a YA story about an uneasy friendship triangle of three young girls and the mystery was just not particularly mysterious and, again, quite uninteresting, so when the grand reveals would come up, it was just kinda blah.

It might have been more compelling condensed into a novella then stretched out into a novel, the plot was just too thin for the volume.

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth - review

The main flaw though was probably the author's failure to make any of the characters as kids or adults particularly charismatic or compelling and so for a reader it was really difficult to care about their story. This wasn't a terrible book by any means, for the most part it was perfectly readable, it just offered nothing new, original or exciting in a genre where there are so many infinitely more impressive entries. Cold Light is both a coming-of-age story and a murder mystery of sorts. Our protagonist, Laura, is a lonely year-old cleaner in an anonymous Northern city, and we meet her as she sits down to watch the televised unveiling of a memorial to her former 'best friend', Chloe, who died ten years before.

The story then spools back to the events of that winter, with Laura - who then called herself Lola - narrating her story as a confused teenager. She is caught between a depressing life at home with Cold Light is both a coming-of-age story and a murder mystery of sorts. She is caught between a depressing life at home with her distant mother and mentally ill father, and her all-consuming idolatry of Chloe, who in fact is often manipulative, spiteful and cruel. Chloe, in turn, is under the spell of her menacing older boyfriend, Carl. We know the story is progressing towards some sort of tragedy, as the fact of Chloe's death is made plain from page one, but Jenn Ashworth does a good job of keeping the reader guessing about how and why this happens, with various secrets staying under wraps right to the very end.

You can certainly tell Ashworth is a child of the early 80s, and she's got many of the details of teenage life in the late 90s spot on. Even the names - have you ever met a shy or geeky Chloe?

cold light

The name practically exudes a uniquely teenage kind of glamour. I laughed when, for example, Lola described Chloe's hairstyle on a date with Carl; 'Her hair was scraped back into a scrunchie, apart from two long strands at the front. She'd wet those with spit and curled them around her finger. Lola isn't a hugely likeable character, but her narrative voice is wholly believable as that of a year-old. The style often recalls The Tulip Touch , one of my favourite children's books, with the twisted relationship between Lola and Chloe mirroring that of Natalie and Tulip and as Ashworth is a similar age to me, I can't help but wonder if she read this book as a child too, and might have been influenced by it.

The blurb for Cold Light says there's 'a surreal edge to its portrait of a northern town'; it's surreal all right, but whether it's successful in this is another matter. There's the odd detail of a local newsreader who mysteriously exerts a powerful influence over the community, which feels like it would fit more comfortably into a US-based story and doesn't ring true of an English town.

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Similarly, the idea that the streets would be completely empty at night because of a flasher exposing himself to teenage girls would make far more sense if the story was set in a small, isolated village is this mass reaction really plausible for a city? It doesn't add up that Lola is so prejudiced and ignorant about Wilson's disabilities, given her own father's significant mental health problems.

And I also found it hard to believe that the entire city would still be so obsessed with Chloe ten years after her death; I know some tragedies linger in the public consciousness longer than others, but if the people of the City were so keen to turn vigilante against a flasher, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't romanticise a relationship between a year-old girl and a year-old man.

I'd been looking forward to reading this book for months, and was delighted to find a copy in the library. Given my anticipation, I felt somewhat let down by it. Aside from the last few chapters, it often reads like YA fiction, as opposed to adult fiction about teenagers, which might be an advantage for some readers, but wasn't what I was looking for Mary Horlock's The Book of Lies did it much better. It has all the right ingredients for something darkly intriguing, but somehow, all the interesting elements never quite come together and in places it feels dull and flat.

That said, there was something about it that compelled me to read on, and I'm no less interested in Ashworth's other work - I still think her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy , looks potentially excellent. Cold Light , meanwhile, is a good - but not great - read with a lot of weak patches and some solid redeeming features; not brilliant, but certainly worth a look.

Oct 20, Sara Strand rated it did not like it. Ok, so I was absolutely intrigued by this book because we've all had that one really best friend who we've done everything with and the thought of not having them is devastating, especially when you're Plus, when you have a tagline like "They found a body. I know who it is. But I was disappointed. I have a really hard time when the writing is so lofty. I mean, to explain one scene takes pages and it makes it really hard for me to continue, let alone care. Di Ok, so I was absolutely intrigued by this book because we've all had that one really best friend who we've done everything with and the thought of not having them is devastating, especially when you're Did I finish the book?

I absolutely did because what I discovered is that I didn't like Chloe one bit and not to be cruel, but I kind of wanted her character to be killed. That sounds so totally wrong, but really. Bad egg from the start. But everything about this book is bizarre. You have a teenager with clearly low self esteem Laura , you have a teenager who is clearly misguided and a bad influence Chloe , and then you throw in this insane cast of characters- the family, Carl, Wilson, Emma, etc and it's just too much. Did I see the ending coming?

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OK, I will admit it and say no, I didn't. I didn't love the ending, but I guess in hindsight it all kind of made sense. It doesn't change the fact that this book was so hard for me to read just because it's written so difficult. Does that make sense? It's like all of this added time was given to lofty paragraphs and drawn out passages that I was so frustrated within the first pages. Then I thought once the story got rolling it would flow better but it didn't. I really wanted this to be like a Jennifer McMahon where nothing is really what it seems and it blows you away at the end and it just wasn't.

It took me three weeks to read this book and that tells you something considering I can get through about books in a weekend. I'm a fast reader but I kept losing interest in this one and that was probably the biggest disappointment to me. I am still going to encourage you to read it because I've seen some other readers rave about this book so maybe it's just me. Maybe I'll feel differently if I read this one in a year, maybe I'd love it then. Check out Jenn's webpage HERE too because there is a lot more book information that will likely sway you to read this.

Jan 22, quinnster rated it did not like it. If I could have rated this 0 stars I would have. This review was originally posted on my blog at http: I did not like one character, except for maybe Donald. Though, I didn't really like him, I mainly felt sorry for him. This is truly one of those times when my judging books by their covers utterly failed me. Her mother is a complete and utter horror, her 'best friend' could care less about her and her father suffers from some sort of dementia. Something awful does happen and in a painfully slow pace we get to that part.

And when you think that the horrible thing is ultimately as bad as it would seem you learn something else that erases any sort of sympathy you might have had for Lola. There are no redeeming qualities of Lola. She is utterly disgusting. At times I thought she wanted to do the right thing, but she didn't. She only wanted to make her life better.

She was only ever thinking of herself. There was no one to root for. Even the 'famous' talk show host is disgusting and self-serving. I couldn't give two shits about anyone in this book.

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

For all I cared they all could have drowned in that lake. That might have made a better story. This book just made me angry. Cold light - definition of cold light by The Free Dictionary https: Light producing little or no heat. References in classic literature? The blinds were drawn, and the room, in the cold light of a January afternoon, was dark. The darkness lasted two hours longer; then by degrees a cold light crept through the Venetian blinds, until at length it revealed the objects in the room.