Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman

Lighthouse Bay features two love stories separated by 100 years. In 1901, Isabella Winterbourne is the sole survivor of a ship wreck off the coast of Queensland, Australia. With her she carries a jewelled mace, a gift for the Australian parliament. With her husband drowned, she's free to start a new life. That is, until the rest of Winterbourne family catches up with her. In the present day, LIbby returns to her home town of Lighthouse bay after the death of her lover. While there, she tries to reconcile with her sister, Juliet. Because of a tragic event, the two haven't spoken 20 years. Libby meets a man that is Juliet's sworn enemy. That doesn't make their reunion any easier. In order to move on, both Isabella and Libby have to let go of the past.

One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is that Kate Morton, who is one of my favourite authors, is a close friend and supporter of this author. Morton's recommended carried lots of weight for me. I'm so glad I decided to follow her advice, because I really enjoyed this one.

With books like this, I sometimes favour one story over the other, but in this case, I liked both equally as much. The whole book was well written and filled with great characters and interesting storylines. I really liked reading about Australia in the present and the past. It sounds wonderful.

My favourite character was Isabella. I really felt sorry for her before the shipwreck. Her first husband was horrid! Matthew, the older man who takes her in in Australia, was a much better match for her. However, I didn't get a really good sense of who he was. He figured prominently in the story, so I should have been able to figure him out. I guess he just didn't grab me.

I also liked Libby, but her estrangement from her sister hit too close to home for me. It brought back some unpleasant memories and made me a little uncomfortable. It made me realize, though, that family estrangements aren't uncommon and that life does go on.

I have two minor complaints about the storyline. First, I really wanted the stories to be more connected. Without that strong connection, either story could have stood on its own. Second, I thought Libby was supposed to be looking for the Winterbourne mystery, yet she didn't do much to find it. I know she was focusing on starting over with her life and Juliet, but the mystery part, the part I found really interesting, sort of got lost. I guess that ties in with my first complaint. Had she done more to solve the mystery, it would have tied the two stories together more. So, perhaps I only have only complaint. ;)

I encountered some new-to-me words while reading the book. Here they are:
slattern (page 56): an offensive term that deliberately insults a woman's standards of hygiene and grooming
unctuous (page 56): creepy
venality (page 199): corrupt

Highly recommended. I'd definitely read another book by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit Simon & Schuster's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Simon & Schuster for this review copy.

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman, Touchstone (Simon & Schuster) ©2012. ISBN 9781451672794(Advance Reader Copy),415p.


  1. I was excited to see that you reviewed this one. It's sitting in my bedroom waiting for me to get around to it. Was on my summer reading list, but summer's nearly over and I haven't gotten there yet. I'll move it higher on the list now that I've read your review.


  2. This sounds interesting. I'll have to keep an out for it as I pass the library shelves. I like the idea of a shipwreck changing Isabella's future.


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