Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Lightkeeper by Susan Wiggs

I had not read a Susan Wiggs book in a very long time. I scoffed down her titles like a madwoman when I started reading romance and collected everything in her historical genre (yes, even those VERY HTF and OOP titles) but I discovered other great historical writers and Ms Wiggs books sat forever in my TBR pile. When I had to make a list of books and authors I wanted to get back to for my challenges, Wiggs was on that list of "why did I stop reading her?"

Now I remember!!

The Lightkeeper was close to ending with a DNF grade (Did Not Finish) not because of bad writing or because of uninteresting characters but because the narrative went on forever! There was so little interaction from the characters for the first ¼ of the book it felt as if they lived mostly in their own little world. When Wiggs finally woke up and the interaction between Mary Dare and Jesse Morgan started I had almost lost interest.

Mary Dare is a survivor of a ship wreck who lands on the beach next to the Light house Jesse Morgan watches. He had lost everything in his life to the sea 12 years ago (wife and unborn child) and his guilt and remorse for their deaths has him commited to live without ties in the world. When a pregnant Mary washes ashore he is determined to shut her out but the feisty Irish woman will not allow it.

Both of these characters are damaged and they find strength and purpose in each other (in Jesse's case he finds it kicking and screaming). The book has great scenes that will stay with you for a long time, like a Norman Rockwell picture of early American life. The narrative that had me considering dropping the book in favor of another really made the book jump out.

The loneliness in which Jessi lived is brought into stark relief with his monologues. Mary's desperate attempts to attain some semblance of happiness and security is seem in her recriminations for herself and Jessi.

There is a villian in the story. The father of Mary's child tries to come between her and Jessi when they are close to finding peace. Because of who this man is, the threat he presents is credible and you don't roll your eyes when the villian drops in, although you know a HEA will arrive.

This one is recommended for those that can deal with a narrative tale. It is not everyone's cup of tea but if you can get past the first 100 pages, you will find a great story.

Grade: C+
Format: eBook


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