Responses to Uncertain Light

from readers around the world:

Australia – Pip Cotton
I am in awe – have been totally absorbed every spare minute over the past week with Uncertain Light. It has resonated on so many levels. Firstly just in the sheer experience of being taken into a new geography and the difficult lives of its people – Written by someone who is intimately aware of their day to day existence and able to communicate something of what they live with and without.

Bulgaria/UK – Jivko Hristov
A riveting story, passionately tender and disturbing. Will stay with the reader for long. A novel of poetry.

Canada – Marie Struthers
Enthralling, beautifully written, and a page-turner. I felt as though I was right there, inside the pages, living all of those characters’ worlds.

Cyprus/UK – Bambos Charalambous
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It deals with issues of bereavement, heartache, bravery, idealism and love. It also has some wondrous Persian poetry, stunning descriptions of the central Asian countryside and a brief history of Tajikstan. This summary barely scratches the surface. Beautifully written and at times incredibly moving.

Czech Republic/Central Asia – Bruce Pannier
The descriptions of Central Asia were spot on – I almost felt like I was back there.

Denmark/UK – Anne Kristin Arbon
A rare gem – one of those rare books where the story and characters will stay with you long after you have finished. Beautifully written and captivating story. The only advice I can give: read it!

France – Martine Billanou
I spent the whole week-end with this book, and loved it! It is both a page turner and a beautiful read! Marion Molteno’s delicate writing, profound humanity and wisdom all come through in this delightful novel. The characters are both larger than life and very real, touching, human beings. I sometimes cried and most of the time marvelled at their depth and humanity. The ex-‘expatriate development worker’ I am could relate so well to the mixture of dedication, imperfections, frustrations, many questions and sometimes, this acute sense of inadequacy that has gripped everyone of us.

Germany – Wolfgang Beyer & Ann Waters Bayer
This engrossing story gets you reading late into the night! A gripping story with characters that are true to life – we recognised so many people we had known in our research and development work in different countries in Africa and Asia – including Tajikistan. We loved the power of poetry (and poets) throughout the story.

India – Manju Kapoor
It was so tender, so finely felt, so sensitive – and yet so gripping that I couldn’t rest till I finished it.

Ireland – Michael Etherton
The political and poetic strands in the overall narrative are finally woven together and utterly compelling. I was totally immersed in it. The grand narrative becomes the humanising hopefulness of poetry in the historical realities of Central Asia now, just as much as in the centuries before. But it is primarily a significant love story,

Italy/USA – Dario Longhi
Great book about life, passion, empathy, commitment, faith, adventure and risk taking — set in a context of world wide struggles – very close to current ones, where people had to choose sides. The evolving dialogues and discussions between good friends and love partners, deepening their understandings of themselves and life, as the narrative progressed, made me cry.

Kenya – Tashmin Khamis
Am thoroughly enjoying it as my first book on the kindle…can’t put it down…or switch it off!

Malawi/UK – Jenny Marshall
Marion Molteno’s latest brilliant novel, Uncertain Light, has just been released! A superb capturer of people, fascinating places (in this case Central Asia), the intricacies of relationships, and work & lives in international development.

Morocco/USA – Jamil Salmi
This is a great novel. Intriguing and inspiring, full of important questions about poverty, development work and cultural differences, interlaced with friendship, love and poetry.

Netherlands – July Leesberg
This book is a wonderful surprise. A poetic story of love that knows no boundaries. Beautiful authentic characters. It took me some time to become familiar with the setting, but once I arrived, I could not stop reading and finished the book in one single day. Captivating.

New Zealand – Carole Beu
An extraordinary novel – I loved it. The characters and their relationships are wonderfully realised. I became totally involved with them and with the moving and truthful way they related to each other. Marion Molteno is very good on human relationships in all their complexities – and also on grief.

Norway/UK – Kari Shah
A wonderful read introducing me to a part of the world I knew nothing about. Great story. Beautiful nature. Interesting characters. True to life by not tying up all ends. A book I can read more than once. Highly recommended.

Pakistan – Sughra Choudhry Khan
I was immediately drawn into the landscape and before I knew I was drawn into the characters. It felt really real. The same goes with the emotions- what it is that draws us to people – that makes them ‘special’ to us whether as lover, friend , colleague etc. The emotions of lovers re-finding each other after an absence and nothing changes despite everything else around them changing rings so true.

South Africa – Laura Czerniewicz
I was completely engaged from the first page. It is not simply that it is very well written – what I particularly like is Marion Molteno’s refusal to simplify issues, her insistence that “obscure” places are valid places for important (and universal) life dramas; and also the sheer humanity of the characters with their quirks and their potentially unusual but completely plausible relationships.

Switzerland – Dominique Perrot
I really loved reading it, being immediately caught by the story and by the style of telling it. One gets carried by the substance of the different characters, and by the story, the evocation of that part of the world. Marion Molteno has a very special kind of empathy with each of her characters.

Tajikistan – Zainab Boboeva
I just felt I was reading about myself at that time. She describes the same feelings I had when I used to travel all over the regions affected by instability, while leaving my two small children behind in unsafe Kurgan Teppa. She also gives the sense of noticing everything, especially nature – that in times of difficulty all feelings become particularly acute.

Tajikistan/UK – Bronwen Lewis
I loved this book from the opening page, which swept me off to the heart of Central Asia, in the company of people I believed in and cared about. There’s a love story at the centre of the book, but what bowled me over were the descriptions of intense and abiding friendships. And there’s a deepening mystery in there too, in case the reader needs any incentive to keep reading on.

UK – Linda Wright
This is a wonderful read. Beautifully crafted like a Bach fugue, the power of human relationships its leitmotif. From the very first page the words flow effortlessly as the reader is drawn in to the dramatic setting of the high mountains and the story that unfolds.
The characters develop real depth as the story progresses.

UK – Susan Chernaik
I found it exceedingly hard to put down. The language is just exquisite, like reading poetry, but in prose. The characters are all so finely developed, even the minor ones, that not only could you picture them, but you feel like you’ve met them.  So much subtle reading of character and what makes people tick. I love the way that the story is structured, building it up gradually, dipping in and out of different times of the characters’ lives. It really is very wonderful book that deserves to be read widely.

USA – Christina D’Allesandro
I was completely engaged – loved the character development. Part of what makes this book so engrossing is the tangled stories and the slow reveal.

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