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Afraid of the Light by Douglas Kennedy


Meet 56 year old Brendan, who lives in Los Angeles and has remained married, because it was expected of him. After losing his sales job in a corporate downsizing, he resorts to the gig economy to make ends meet. Meanwhile, his wife has been developing increasingly extremist tendencies.

Driving for Uber, he meets Elsie, a retired professor who now volunteers at abortion clinics, spending time with women who have no one to support them. When she asks to be dropped off outside a clinic, Brendan literally drives into the epicentre of one of the major social issues of our time.

While Afraid of the Light isn’t a novel solely about abortion, it explores the complexities of family, morals and improbable friendships. It’s a stunning social thriller set against the self-righteous tone of our time.

“When I started writing ‘Afraid of the Light’, I knew I was driving right into the middle of the entire abortion miasma. And as I researched the novel, talking with people on either side of the divide (and I’m very Pro-Choice) I became ever-fascinated by those who hold such diametrically different views to my own, and never debated them… but instead just wanted to hear their thoughts on this thorny subject,” says Douglas.

His novel cleverly explores what it means to disagree profoundly with close family, plus religion and reproductive choices.


“The truth is when it comes to abortion there are no easy answers, no right or wrong… except that it is right that a woman has the choice to decide what to do with her body. But as we all know, there are many state and ecclesiastic forces out there who think otherwise. And one of the subtexts of the novel is the thought - why, twenty-one years into this new century, are there so many among us calling for social regression?” he says.


Douglas Kennedy is the best selling author of numerous fiction and non-fiction titles. He has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Follow Douglas Kennedy online.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Hutchinson, RRP $37.00