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After Light spans four generations of the Garrison family, over the course of the twentieth century. Irish Deirdre, forced into marriage at sixteen, never stops trying to regain her freedom, though her ruthless escape attempts threaten to destroy her family. Her son, Frank, raised in Brooklyn, is a talented young artist, until he's blinded in WW2. With fierce determination, Frank forges a new life for himself, but the war has shaken him deeply. His two daughters, rebellious Von and sensitive Rosheen, grow up as isolated as the hothouse roses their mother breeds on the frozen Canadian prairie, and like the roses, they have scant protection against the violent elements that imperil them. Rosheen's son, Kyle, raised without his mother, knows nothing of the family's history until 1999, when he and Von gather Rosheen's art works for an exhibit at a Brooklyn gallery. The story of the Garrisons is shaped by powerful forces - -a rogue north wind, a vengeful orphan, a sugar-dust explosion, an airborne jar of peaches, a scar that refuses to heal, a terrible lie, an unexpected baby, and a desperate drive across treacherous ice. Despite all the their tragedies, the creative fire that drives the Garrisons survives, burning more and more brightly as it's passed from one generation to the next, into the twenty-first century.