I thought this book was brilliant. And if you’re a regular reader of my reviews, you’ll know that I’m hard to please. This is a book about life. Also death, but mainly life.
The story follows the relationship between Jack, the egotistic son of a rock star, and Sarah, a teacher and the daughter of a vicar. Sarah is desperate to have a baby and her fixation on this is destroying her mental health and also her bond with Jack. She goes missing. Meanwhile, a man – the Keeper, grieving for his wife – lives a lonely existence in an old lighthouse. Every day, he sees desperate people on the cliff edge, about to end their own lives. Will Sarah be one of them?
I liked the writing style of this book. It was fresh, thoughtful, easy to read and lyrical without being over-descriptive. The length of the story seemed just right, the pace was good and there were some unexpected twists. There’s a strong sense of place and I could tell how connected the author is to the landscape of the South Downs. Although there were some heavy themes – suicide, grief, illness, abuse – I didn’t find the book at all depressing. It’s a real achievement.
This book is endorsed by Matt Haig. I think if you’re a fan of his work, you’ll like The Light Keeper.
Thank you to the publisher Marylebone House for the advance proof copy. The book will be published on August 15th.