The novel Shades of Light and the companion study guide draws readers into a discussion of how God walks with us through dark times.

In August, Sharon Garlough Brown follows up her Sensible Shoes series with Shades of Light (Formatio). The novel follows a social worker struggling with anxiety and depression who finds relief in art and faith.

Sharon Garlough Brown’s novel Shades of Light is an exploration of depression, anxiety, caregiving, and the healing journey. In particular, it offers windows into the power of art as a spiritual practice.

From the novel:

I was desperate…. I couldn’t turn off the dark thoughts, no matter how hard I tried or how much I prayed. And then I spent a whole weekend in bed, and the crying wouldn’t stop, and I got really scared. I’ve had bouts with depression before—it’s kind of a cloud I’ve learned to live with—but this time was different. I felt like I was going under, like I’d never feel hopeful again, and then that just made my anxiety worse and it all spiraled from there.

Wren Crawford is a social worker who finds herself overwhelmed with the troubles of the world. Her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression are starting to overcome her. She finds solace in art, spiritual formation, and pastoral care along with traditional therapeutic interventions. But a complicated relationship from her past also threatens to undo her progress.

Fans of Sharon Brown’s bestselling Sensible Shoes Series will be delighted to discover some old friends along the way. As Wren seeks healing in Shades of Light, readers are invited to move beyond pat answers and shallow theology into an experience of hope and presence that illuminates even the darkness.

The author says:

The book explores issues of mental health, grief, loss, sorrow—with the center question being, if the Lord does not remove our affliction from us, how does He keep us company in it?

The novel’s release coincides with the publication of a companion six-week study guide from IVP Books that serves as an opportunity for readers to reflect on how the experiences of the characters in the novel resonate with their own experiences. Daily Scripture readings and reflection questions are accompanied by an invitation to explore creativity through art and prayer collage. The guide also offers an introduction to the practice of visio divina (meditating on art) through a weekly link to a piece of art by Vincent van Gogh.

Shades of Light: A Novel
By: Sharon Garlough Brown
Buy it from our store!

Shades of Light Study Guide
By: Sharon Garlough Brown
Buy it from our store!


Shades of Light – Sharon Garlough Brown from IVP on Vimeo.

[Sponsored] Sharon Garlough Brown—Traveling Deeper Into The Heart Of God
Contemporary Q&A: Sharon Garlough Brown (An Extra Mile)

Check out more great articles