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This Impossible Brightness

By: Jessica Bryant Klagmann
Narrated by: Caroline Hewitt
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Publisher's Summary

Taking refuge on a remote island, a grieving woman develops unlikely connections with the community and the wild in this haunting novel of hope and perseverance from debut author Jessica Bryant Klagmann.

After the mysterious disappearance of her fiancé, Alma Hughes moves to a remote island in the North Atlantic, where she hopes to weather her grief and nurture her ailing dog. But the strange town of Violette has mysteries as well.

Townsfolk say that the radio tower overlooking their town broadcasts messages through their home appliances, their dreams, even the sea itself. When lightning strikes the tower, illuminating the sky in a brilliant flash, Alma finds herself caught in the unexplainable aftermath of one of Violette’s deadliest storms.

As the sea consumes the island, threatening its very existence, the deaths and lost memories of the recently departed also devastate the community. Alma, with a unique link to the lost, may be the only one who can help them move on. But to do so, she must confront a tragic loss of her own.

On this doomed island haunted by echoes of the departed, Alma searches for meaning in her future—and dares to discover the power of hope among the living.

©2024 Jessica Klagmann. (P)2023 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“An original and inherently fascinating novel by an especially gifted author, This Impossible Brightness by Jessica Bryant Klagmann will have a particular attraction for readers with an interest in family life/women's domestic life novels whose deft crafting raise them to an impressive level of literary excellence.”Midwest Book Review

“At once haunting and visionary, Jessica Bryant Klagmann’s This Impossible Brightness asks us to consider ghosts in their many forms—literal ghosts, the ghosts of grief that follow all of us, and the ghost of a present-but-disappearing earth amid climate devastation. In the face of sweeping loss, this novel resists despair by weaving an expansive web of interconnectedness and also of hope. Klagmann’s debut is both wildly imaginative and gorgeously moving.”—Anne Valente, author of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

“In the eyes of This Impossible Brightness, humans bear a particular mark of distinction, one that’s spiritual or psychological rather than physical. We are the species that tries to change direction in midair; we attempt, impossibly, to take our fall and transform it into an ascent. Jessica Bryant Klagmann’s writing seems motivated by this same desire. Everywhere in her novel’s pages, you sense some force yearning to turn the future into the past—to forestall the autumn of the world, spin it around, and allow it to burst into spring. Through her focus on this effort, she produces a feeling that’s sustained and powerful, a clear-eyed grief leavened by a mad hope.”—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Ghost Variations

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.