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Publisher's Summary

A compelling and provocative debut novel told in intersecting timelines over a tumultuous, defining year in one woman’s life.

Simone is trying her best not to think of what she’s lost. Diagnosed with MS, she awaits the results of another anxiety-inducing MRI. She’s just walked away from Connor, “a fixer” but possibly the love of her life. And nearing the holidays, the sights and sounds of winter in South Dakota only prick memories of better years gone by. Then, on a December morning at the university where she works, jarring gunshots pierce the halls. In a temporary safe place and terrified, Simone listens and pretends this will all be over soon.

As she waits for silence, her mind racing, Simone’s past year comes into focus. Falling in love and missing it. Finding strength in family and enduring friendships. Planning for the future, fearing it, and hoping against hope in dark places. Her life has been changing at the speed of light, and each crossroad brought Simone here, to this day, to endure the things she can’t control and to confront those that she can.

©2021 Elissa Grossell Dickey (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Christine Williams gives a compelling and affecting narration of this #disabilityawareness novel.... Williams powerfully delivers this complex story and presents the multidimensional characters with nuance and depth. The narrative has multiple storylines, and Williams keeps listeners on track as the plotlines slowly converge.” (AudioFile Magazine)

“Thrilling as it is heart-felt, The Speed of Light drew me in from the first page. While its newly-diagnosed heroine struggles with life’s unexpected twists, Dickey delivers a story about family, friendship, and the kind of love that truly makes us feel seen.” (Elle Marr, bestselling author of The Missing Sister)

“Compellingly readable, Elissa Grossell Dickey’s The Speed of Light takes readers on a harrowing journey through the storm that is Simone Archer’s life, starting with her diagnosis of an unpredictable, incurable illness. With the stakes high, the wry and quick-witted Simone discovers hidden inner strength that drives her forward even as she comes face-to-face with her own mortality. The Speed of Light is a suspenseful tale about overcoming illness and fear, and discovering the untapped powers we have within ourselves.” (Meredith O’Brien, author of four books including Uncomfortably Numb: A Memoir)

What listeners say about The Speed of Light

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    4 out of 5 stars

This gutted me and made me hopeful.

New author and narrator for me. Had to listen this at 2x speed because I knew it was going to hurt.
It hurt like hell. The most accurate portrayal of someone with RRMS with symptoms, fears, outlook, behavioral changes, those bitter thoughts, doubts, acceptance of your future, neurologist issues, medication choice, and how to continue. MS support groups are just pits of depression imo, so I avoid them like the plague. It's not easy, with MS, and it's harder when you're alone.
The back and forth between the present and the past is intense and is kind of uplifting.

2 people found this helpful

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Idk

I imagine if there was a different narrator, I would have been able to get further than 10 minutes into the book…

1 person found this helpful

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Great story for anyone with chronic illness

what a great story this was. I love that chronic illness (MS) is a topic of this story. I have EDS and this story hits a lot of those what if points for chronic illness patients.

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MS diagnosis

good book to learn more about the diagnosis MS and the feelings that come along with it. could have been more detailed

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Delightful

I loved this one. It made me laugh and cry a lot. And it gave me hope.

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Good but....

First off I loved all the Star Wars references! The story was good, pacing was good, the characters were believable, and the writing was good. I appreciated the look at MS from the authors point of view and I agreed with many of the thoughts and feelings (as a fellow MS warrior) but there was just too much self doubt/deprecation and foul language to give it 5 stars.

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5 stars

I loved this book! I can't believe this is a debut novel. I seriously can't put into words how beautiful this book is.

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Lovely story

It’s a moving story. The author shows us real challenges in life and the importance of friendship, love and positivity in dealing with them. Heartwarming 😍

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Not for me

The title sounded interesting and the story began with an urgent attention grabbing event. Then the author leaves the listener hanging with few details as she moves to an earlier time and place.... and then another and then revisiting the first traumatic episode again with no resolution. There seems to be three separate stories that don’t quite weave into one cohesive story. I gave up.

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Great Story

There are few stories that carry me through but this one did. Well told and the format worked really well.

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  • Phoebe, genuine purchaser
  • 03-17-21

Good concept, well executed but too slow for me

It’s a good story but the pacing was at times frustratingly slow. Partly due to the deliberate pace of the easy-on-the-ear narrator but mainly the basic flaw in having only 30 second updates on a very exciting situation (which quite frankly was the bit I wanted to stay with) bracketing a much more leisurely romance story.