Thursday, June 12, 2014

Secrets of the Lighthouse - Santa Montefiore

It is a long time since I read a story that I didn't want to end (The last one was The Book Thief which I read a couple of years ago). I always get stuck between wanting to read faster to find out what happens and wanting to slow down the reading pace to savour the story and the characters. Secrets of the Lighthouse was one of these books.

Ellen Trawton is running away from her life in London, domineering mother and impending marriage to William. She heads to her aunt Peg's home in Connemara, Ireland, the one place she knows her mother will not dare to come for her. Her mother has been completely estranged from her sister, Peg, since she left her hometown over thirty years ago and has never returned. When Ellen arrives she is surprised to meet uncle's, auntie's and cousin's she had no idea existed. Her mother has kept so much from her and everyone else Ellen meets seems to be covering something up. It is inevitable that as time unfolds Ellen learns many things about her mother's family, secrets about her mother's past and secrets about a great tragedy that happened to a beautiful young woman, five years previously, at the derelict Lighthouse on the beach, close to her aunt's house.

This book was an absolute joy to read and as well as a few tearful moments and several laugh-out-loud pieces of dialogue the descriptions of rural Ireland are breath taking. The Byrne family, Ellen belongs to, are loving, protective and caring and I loved the way their characters were drawn.

There are very few books I read more than once but this will be one of them.


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