Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Book Review: The Lighthouse by Christopher Parker

Enchanting, mysterious, and deeply romantic, The Lighthouse follows a young woman's breathtaking journey far from home to discover where she truly belongs.

Something strange is happening in Seabrook. The town's lighthouse–dormant for over thirty years and famously haunted–has inexplicably started shining, and its mysterious glow is sparking feverish gossip throughout the spooked community.

Amy Tucker is only visiting for the night and has no plans to get caught up in the hysteria, but that changes when she meets Ryan, the loyal, hard-working son of a ranch owner who lives on the outskirts of town.

Their chance encounter turns into an unforgettable weekend, and against the backdrop of the lighthouse-obsessed town, the two of them forge a deep connection, opening their hearts, baring their souls, and revealing secrets long kept hidden.

But as they grow closer, and as the lighthouse glows ever brighter, a startling discovery about Ryan leaves Amy questioning everything she thought she knew. To uncover the truth about her new friend, Amy will need to enter Seabrook’s ominous tower, where waiting inside she will not only find the reason why fate has brought them together… but a shocking secret that will change the course of their lives forever.

The Lighthouse
is not my usual novel. It has a contemporary, American setting, there are no bonnets on the women, and the men do not wear cravats. Jane Austen is nowhere to be seen or heard. However, there was something about the book’s description (and I confess, the captivating cover art) which drew me in. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what was delivered is unique indeed.

Writing a review of The Lighthouse is no simple task, as its surprises are one of the reasons that the story is compelling and mysterious. To offer any spoiler material would certainly ruin the novel’s impact for future readers. I will submit that Christopher Parker has written an interesting story, one that I would almost categorize as a fairy tale, although no true fairies are involved. I did have to “check my theology at the door” a little bit, but I in no way found the story to be spiritually offensive. It’s a whimsical world in which these characters live. While it’s true-to-life in many senses, there are elements that take the narrative beyond the norm as well.

Author Christopher Parker’s writing is well done, and I must confess that for some time I wasn’t able to put a finger on the hidden aspect of the novel’s premise. It just felt like something was “off”, but it was an indeterminate quality. Eventually pieces began to fall into place, and it made for a compelling set of circumstances in the lives of the characters. The subjects of pain and grieving are central to the story, but such heavy matters are handled in a compassionate way.

I wish I could say more about The Lighthouse. In fairness to those who have yet to read it, I must resist the urge to reveal more. Christopher Parker has crafted a thoroughly original tale that I enjoyed very much. There is just a touch of colorful language and romance, but overall the novel can appeal to all readers. In conjunction with a print copy, I also listened to the audiobook presentation of the novel, and narrator Braden Wright offers an excellent performance. 

Although this review is short, I do offer an enthusiastic endorsement of The Lighthouse. Well-written and unexpected, it was a pleasure to discover and savor. 

About the Author

Christopher was born in Takapuna, a seaside suburb in Auckland, New Zealand, where he currently lives with his daughter. Having loved writing stories growing up, it was a walk along Takapuna beach and a chance glimpse at a distant lighthouse that made him want to revisit his childhood passion and try his hand at producing a novel. Nearly ten years on from that fateful stroll, he is proud to finally share his story. The Lighthouse is Christopher’s first novel.


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