Saturday, March 30

Book Review: The Lighthouse

Title: The Lighthouse

Author: Alison Moore

Pages: 183

Summary: The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on whose blustery outer deck stands Futh, a middle-aged, recently separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday.

Spending his first night in Hellhaus at a small, family-run hotel, he finds the landlady hospitable but is troubled by an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman.

In the morning, Futh puts the episode behind him and sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood; a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour; his parents’ broken marriage and his own. But the story he keeps coming back to, the person and the event affecting all others, is his mother and her abandonment of him as a boy, which left him with a void to fill, a substitute to find.

He recalls his first trip to Germany with his newly single father. He is mindful of something he neglected to do there, an omission which threatens to have devastating repercussions for him this time around.

At the end of the week, Futh, sunburnt and blistered, comes to the end of his circular walk, returning to what he sees as the sanctuary of the Hellhaus hotel, unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While the book had a lot of elements I usually appreciate and love in a book, I found that this was book I couldn't warm up to and call it book that I really enjoyed. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it either. The author's writing style was very well done. It did initially capture m and it kept me reading the book. Because the book is a very character driven one, I was impressed with how the writing kept the plot and the character's development moving forward - and just how strong and well written the book was. I find a lot of character driven books similar to this, the writing is good, but it doesn't carry that same strength this one did.

The main character was likely the reason why I didn't fall in love with the book. While he was a well written, complex character. Who at times I did enjoy reading about, particularly his past. I just couldn't connect to him. I never felt that need to want to keep reading, because I wanted to see what would happen next and how his journey would turn out, how the events in the past would influence the present, and how the present day events would affect him by the end of the book. There was a few spots I enjoyed, and everything came together well in the story, but I found that there was always something missing for me to truly enjoy the book.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. While I didn't love the book, I think there are a lot of readers out there who would enjoy the self-exploration the main character goes through.

What to read next: The other Booker shortlisted books. The Song of Kosovo

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, New Authors Challenge

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