Margot Hovley’s debut novel, Sudden Darkness, is a gripping story of a young girl, Amélie, caught in a world of terror and uncertainty. Since radiation is leaking from a nearby nuclear plant, Amélie, her immediate family, and her church family must walk to Utah from their home in Zillah, Washington. Not only is there physical danger lurking at every turn in the road, but personal struggle awaits— Amélie may lose her heart.
Margot says she had two ideas come together for her to create this book. She has always been fascinated with the idea of a trek. What would that be like? How would characters react to such an arduous task? Then one day, as she walked down the street, listening to Ryan Shupe, she knew the character in this book had to be drawn to people with talent. As these ideas formulated themselves in her mind, she wrote a short story about real versus fake.
The story grew into a novel-length chronicle when a friend, who did safety inspections for military installations, came to visit. He knew all about E M P, and as he told of his experiences, Margot began to write.
She finished the novel in about a year. The process from submission to publication took another two and a half years. She says she never guess the process from idea to publication would take so long.
This novel is not biographical, but she used a lot of situations from her early life in Washington to create a touch of reality in the book. There are even a few inside family jokes hidden in the plot that most of us will never find.
This well crafted, fast-paced novel will delight young and old alike, as they follow this tender story of personal determination to overcome physical challenges, heart-felt dilemmas, and societal trauma. The reader will relish the conflict and savor victory in the midst of defeat for a young girl and her stake in their modern day pioneer trek. Five stars, Margot! Great read!
Follow Margaret’s writing on her blog.