Saturday, August 17, 2013

Julie's Review: Lighthouse Bay

Summary:In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Lighthouse Bay in Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne—escaping her loveless marriage and the devastating loss of her son—who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. Suddenly, this gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family. One hundred years later, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay. Living in the cottage that was purchased by her recently passed lover, she hopes to heal her broken heart and reconcile with her sister, Juliet. Libby did something so unforgivable twenty years ago, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again. In this adventurous love story spanning centuries, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future.

Review:  I love my historical fiction when it has dual time periods. What I love even more is when the time is split evenly between the two. Unfortunately, this didn't happen with Lighthouse Bay. For most of the novel we are back in 1901 during the wreckage and aftermath of the Aurora. We meet Isabella Winterbourne who is stuck in a bad marriage and is in mourning for the last three years due to her son's death. Isabella for me was annoying. I wanted to smack her most of the time and tell her to deal with the pain and move on. She dwells in the past instead of living in the future.

She is emotionally scared and takes a job being a nanny to a 3 year old boy named Xavier. Is this probably the best move? No and she becomes a bit too attached to him as a result of her emotional state. She also begins to rely on Matthew Seward, the lighthouse's caretaker and eventually they fall in love. The biggest question is will she stay in Lighthouse Bay or begin her travels to America.

In 2011 we meet Libby Slater who is mending a broken heart after her lover dies suddenly. Instead of facing the pain, she moves from Paris back to Lighthouse Bay. Here she is confronted with the guilt over an accident that happened 20 years prior and is trying to mend things with her sister, Juliet. I wanted more of their story. I wanted more of their life instead of Isabella's.

The mystery just wasn't mysterious enough for me. I thought there would be more of a connection with the past and present but it was tenuous. I always need a strong connection between the stories and I didn't feel that I got it this time.

I still have Ms. Freeman's Wildflower Hill on my TBR list and hopefully will get to it soon. I'm interested to see if her storytelling is the same or changed.

Final Take:  3.75/5

Thanks to the Touchstone Books for my copy of the novel.



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