• A Sudden Light Interior

A Sudden Light

A family confronts long-buried secrets as it struggles for forgiveness and redemption in this breathtaking story set against the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But as Trevor explores the house’s secret stairways and hidden rooms, he discovers a spirit lingering in Riddell House whose agenda is at odds with the family plan. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

A Sudden Light is a spellbinding, atmospheric work rich with unconventional characters, scenes of transcendent natural beauty, and unforgettable moments of emotional truth that reflect Garth’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation.

Video Book Trailer

Garth Stein

For information about A Sudden Light and my other books, along with news and reviews, media, and events for A Sudden Light, please visit www.GarthStein.com. Your comments are always welcome.

— Garth


Excerpt from the audio book

Garth Introduces A Sudden Light

Buy the Book

Dear Reader,

I am a big fan of reading, first and foremost, so I encourage you to get your books any way you can and in any format you prefer: e-readers, hardcover, paperback, audio; your local independent bookseller, a global e-tailer, a library, borrow from a friend, read over someone’s shoulder on the bus. All are good.

That being said, I encourage you to support your local businesses. Sometimes we forget that the stores in our home towns weave together a fabric that enriches our communities; if storefronts on our Main Streets go dark, our towns will lose their vitality, and we will suffer as a society. So if you can pre-order my book from your local bookstore, you will be helping your community as a whole, and you’ll rack up double-bonus karma points which can be redeemed as soon as your next lifetime!

If you don’t have a local bookstore in your community, I would love it if you used the Indiebound website to find a local bookseller nearby that can assist you.

Or, of course, any of these wonderful retailers are fine choices as well:

amazon barnes-noble books-a-million costco
ibooks target walmart


Into the audio thing? Here ya go:

iTunes Audible SimonSchuster



  1. Barbara Beardsley
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I cannot WAIT to BUY and READ “A SUDDEN LIGHT”. Since I have proclaimed “THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN” to be the BEST book I have ever read, Garth’s work is eagerly anticipated. I have already told several friends and relatives, (whom I turned on to Enzo,) about the new book; they,too, are waiting to read “A Sudden Light”.
    Thanks, Garth, for being such an incredible story teller. Oh, did I mention my Cousin named his son ENZO????
    Barbara Beardsley

    • Sarah Cyr
      Posted September 21, 2014 at 2:33 am | Permalink

      Thanks Barbara for sharing with us your love for The Art of Racing in the Rain! I’ve passed along your comments to Garth. That is so cool that your cousin named his son Enzo!!! Be sure to pre-order A Sudden Light so that you get a signed book plate from Garth himself. Just let us know when you’ve pre-ordered here: http://www.garthstein.com/a-sudden-light-pre-order-bookplate-offer/.

  2. Fred Russell
    Posted September 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    As a life long local in the NW, a fan of history, a descendant of a powerful logging family, and a fan of all your books and stories, I am really looking forward to A Sudden Light. My pre-order is in and now I wait. So far your other books have entertained me, as well as motivated me to write more. Thanks Garth!

  3. Bobbi Cullinan
    Posted September 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Since the discovery of “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, I have anticipated Mr. Stein’s next/latest book ~ and now it is here! An advocate of history, I am intrigued that “A Sudden Light” processes some historical elements; seems as if the story to be unveiled has a cornerstone to a family’s existence and a house that has a vital role in the memories and ingredients of its foundation. Eager to completely forget time and start reading! The Webpage of the estate invites to “come into the pages” and savor the story; great marketing tool to stir the desire to another time and place, and glimpse at characters that are sure to come to life through “A Sudden Light”.

    • Sarah Cyr
      Posted September 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Great reflections, Bobbi! Yes, A Sudden Light weaves in lots of history, including the birth of the national parks and the U.S. Forest Service, the timber barons of the 19th and 20th centuries, Spiritualism of the 19th century, and much, much more. Enjoy diving into this book and be sure to share your further reflections here. Garth loves hearing from his fans!

  4. Ryan Figgins
    Posted October 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I got Racing in the Rain yesterday, and finished it yesterday. I’m not usually that type of reader, but it was great and just sucked me in. Today, I discovered that is actually the young adult version, so I ordered a copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain as well as a copy of A Sudden Light. I hope they arrive this week so that I can get them signed at the Seattle Costco this Saturday. Keep up the good work and you may replace Tom Robbins as my favorite author from the Pacific Northwest.

    • Courtney Williams
      Posted December 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ryan – did you get to have your books signed at the Costco event? If not, check out his calendar of events (http://www.garthstein.com/events/) – Garth’s frequently doing signings at other Seattle area venues. I know we have an event coming up at Queen Anne Books in the next couple of months. Enjoy the new books if you haven’t read them already!

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