Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

Ellen Trawton is running away from it all - quite literally. She is due to get married to a man she doesn't love, her job is dragging her down and her interfering mother is getting on her nerves. So she escapes to the one place she know her mother won't follow her - to her aunt's house in rural Ireland. Once there, she uncovers a dark family secret - and a future she never knew she might have.Meanwhile, Caitlin Macausland is mourning the future she can never have. She died tragically in what the village thinks is suspicious circumstances, and now she is stuck in a limbo, unable to move on.

And between the two of them is an old lighthouse - the scene of so much tragedy. Can each woman find the peace she so desperately longs for? And can they find the way to live again.

Hardcover, 464 pages
Published April 24th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Ltd
Terri's Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the publisher Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

I have a mixed opinion about this story and I do not know how to start explaining it.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of Ireland and the descriptions of it's landscapes and the dynamic of strong family bonds within its small towns.  This was the highlight for me experiencing how everyone looks out for each other and family comes first at all times.  Coming from a small town myself I could appreciate how fast the rumour mill worked.  With Peg and all of her brothers I was thoroughly entertained.

The love story was also interesting.  While I felt it happened too fast I am always a sucker for an instant attraction love story.  Add in a couple of cute children and there you go.

What I struggled with was the story of Caitlin.  This was the part that I was most excited about originally as I love a good ghost story but her role in the story fell a little flat for me.  She simply did not win me over and I couldn't really understand her role in the story other than to move things along.  Her story lacked the tragic aspect that I look for in a good ghost story.

I also found the book a little bit long for what it offered.  I felt it took me too long to get through it and I had to stop myself from skimming in spots.  I think the same story could be told with more impact by knocking fifty or more pages from it.

Overall I would give it a four star for the story of Ellen and her journey to discover her roots and a two star for the story of Caitlin.  I will meet in the middle giving this a three star rating.

About the Author

Born in England in 1970 Santa Montefiore grew up on a farm in Hampshire and was educated at Sherborne School for Girls. She read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University and spent much of the 90s in Buenos Aires, where her mother grew up. She converted to Judaism in 1998 and married historian Simon Sebag Montefiore in the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha in London.

Santa Montefiore's novels have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than three million copies in England and Europe.


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