Although Light From Other Stars includes plenty of science fiction elements, it’s also a coming-of-age story, as the young Nedda gains a new understanding of her parents and then works to rescue them and the rest of her town. Juggling dual timelines, wonderful mid-1980s period details and a large cast of secondary characters, Swyler has set herself an ambitious task. But the novel is well-paced, with a satisfying twist near the end that readers are subtly prepared for but that still feels surprising.
The book’s science fiction elements scratch at the barriers between nightmares and dreams ... Both external and internal landscapes—including Florida orange groves in sweltering demise, the constrictions of womanhood, and deep space—are rendered with precision ... In the glorious and singular adventures of Light from Other Stars, such small pains may be as innumerable as the dots of fire that light our universe, but so, too, are possibilities. As the novel wends its way toward a Hawking-esque ending, it elicits wonder and sadness in turn.
... [will] appeal to those who don't usually read science fiction. There's also plenty of science for the faithful fans of the genre ... As a non-sci-fi reader, I found pleasure in Swyler's writing as well as her story.