Out of the Darkness author David A. Jacinto is a civil engineer by training and a family history buff as a result of finding a 200-year-old trunk filled with artifacts, archives and journal writings of his ancestors.

Out of the Darkness: A Novel by David A. Jacinto is historical fiction that is so interesting this reader could not put it down. I was learning as I was simply interested in following the story.

Jacinto took his own family history and combined it with massive research. The book begins with a family in South Yorkshire England in the early 1800s. Grandfather and then father work in a coal mine with 12-hour days and danger at every turn. Son Tommy, whose life is at the heart of the story, at age 12 joins his father in the mine. The work, endured by whole communities, is described in detail.

While work in the mine is hard and dangerous, family life, though spartan, is full of love. Fortunately for Tommy, his self-taught mother believes in teaching her children to read, something that later helps Tommy leave the work in the mine for an inside job as a technician.

The book follows Tommy’s life through ordinary and extraordinary happenings at that time in Yorkshire, Yes, the miners’ health is affected by the work they do; yes a big disaster calls on Tommy to perform heroics; yes, Tommy falls deeply in love and has to endure the loss of his love to illness and a deep depression that follows. And yes, ultimately a recovery and a new love follow. More mining problems come calling and the new couple’s dream of emigrating to America seems to be on hold.

Even the less dangerous aspects of work surprise 12-year-old Tommy.

Papa, did you see that?” Tommy pointed as a dark streak flashed between the legs of the stool, scurrying away into the darkness.

“Those be rats, son, young’uns I ‘spec to greet ya,” Joseph chuckled. “Papa rat will be along shortly. They be some big ones.” He laughs. “Some more than two-foot tall standin’ on their hand legs.”

“I don’t want to meet them, Papa.” The thought of being in the dark alone with rats made him shiver.

“What am I supposed to do about them?” Joseph laughed. “Just keep your lunch up on the shelf so’s they can’t get at it.”

The details in the book make it seem so real. I recommend the book to anyone who loves to read.

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