Tag Archives: Lighthouse keeper

Book Review: Kiss River by Diane Chamberlain

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From Goodreads:
In the anticipated sequel to KEEPER OF THE LIGHT, award-winning author Diane Chamberlain takes fans back to the sea-swept place called KISS RIVER. Ten years ago, a hurricane caused the upper half of the Kiss River lighthouse to crumble into the sea. Deemed beyond repair, the remaining 100-foot brick shell of the lighthouse and its spiral staircase have been cordoned off and left for nature to finish the demolition job. Sister and brother Lacey and Clay O’Neill live in the keeper’s house next to the Kiss River lighthouse. When stranger Gina Higgins arrives in the area, she joins them in their bid to restore the decrepit beacon. But all three are hiding secrets from their past, and Gina’s arrival puts in motion a chain of events sure to change their lives forever.

This title is the second in Diane Chamberlain’s Kiss River trilogy. I had not read the previous title, Keeper of the Light, but when I saw Kiss River at the used bookstore, being a big fan of Diane Chamberlain, I decided to pick it up.

I had no trouble diving right in and, although this is part of a trilogy, it made a great stand alone story. Ms. Chamberlain’s books always get me hooked. She creates great drama with a hint of mystery and her characters are always down to earth and realistic. They’re characters you can invest in. Kiss River has a great cast of characters.

The main drama of the story comes from Gina Higgins, a teacher on summer break, who has headed east for the sole purpose of getting an up-close look at the Kiss River lighthouse. She soon befriends a brother and sister duo, Lacey and Clay, who live and are currently restoring the keeper’s house. Gina hides her true purpose under the pretense of being a lighthouse fanatic who is intent on preserving the Kiss River lighthouse beacon. What Lacey and Clay don’t know are that Gina has more than one motive and the lighthouse mean more to Gina than they could ever have imagined.

The best parts of this book lies with a more subtle drama brought to light through diary entries made by the daughter of the lighthouse Keeper during WWII. I loved these parts of the book! The two stories, past and present, come together in a surprising way.

Parts mystery, drama, romance and historical fiction, this book offers something for everyone.

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Book Review: The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

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Sad and tragic, The Light Between Oceans, is a story of how love can move mountains and yet also be the bane of our existence.

From Goodreads:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

This was such a tragic story for all the characters involved. A no win kind of story. A snowballed lie, born out of love, but a lie nonetheless, takes center stage and grips you though the whole book. The author allows us to see the story through many points of view. This has the effect of skewing our take on right and wrong. We can’t hate or dislike Tom and Izzy, even though they’ve essentially taken someone else’s child, because we know what they’ve been through and we know what they do is out of love and want and need. They are only able to carry out the lie because they are on an island and only return to the mainland every 3 years or so. Upon returning to the mainland, they continue the lie even though they know they are depriving others of their happiness in order to satisfy their own. Such heavy guilt can’t be contained forever.

The author does a wonderful job taking us back to the 20’s and life on the Australian coast. Let’s face it, life on an island that contains only two people is boring and although some of the entry’s in the book seem tedious, I think the author did a great job making it interesting enough to get us through to the better parts of the story.

The ending was beautifully done and had me in tears. Heart strings beware!

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