Review: The Lighthouse Road

The Lighthouse Road

The Lighthouse Road
By Peter Geye
(Unbridled Books, Hardcover, 9781609530846, October 2012, 293pp.)

The Short of It:

Geye has hit it out of the park again.

The Rest of It:

The story begins in the late 1890’s at a Minnesota logging camp. Thea Eide, an immigrant from Norway lands herself a position as a cook and after being raped by a visitor of the camp, finds herself pregnant with few prospects for raising the child. Hosea Grimm, who runs the apothecary and functions as the village doctor, gives her a place to stay and promises to help her with the child. Rebekah Grimm, also “saved” by Hosea some years before, becomes attached to Thea and later to her son, Odd Einar.

Twenty years later, Odd is a young craftsman making his living building fine fishing vessels. Having known Rebekah all of his life, the two share an unusual bond; one that takes a romantic turn which forces them to consider life outside of the village. What begins as an adventure, quickly settles into worry for Rebekah as she begins to doubt the decisions she’s made.

A couple of years ago I read Safe from the Sea and was amazed, overwhelmed and touched by its beauty. Geye’s sense of place was remarkable and the ease with which he told the story, stayed with me for a very long time.

In his new book, Geye’s sense of place is still present as he takes us back and forth through time, weaving in and out of the narrative as nimbly as if he’s been doing it all his life. These characters struggle with place in the form of setting but also within themselves. Rebekah’s previous life shapes who she is and although she left her previous life behind, not all was left behind.

Hosea Grimm’s goodness is marked by something a bit darker and he too is not all that he appears to be. These characters are flawed by previous experiences or lack thereof and it makes for wonderful reading. This is a quiet, reflective type of read but it has some surprises too. It’s the type of book that you settle in with after a  long day at work. That’s how I enjoyed it anyway!

If you haven’t read any of his books, you really must. Simple stories, well told with beautiful writing. I’ve been a fan since Safe from the Sea and he did not disappoint with this one.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Net Galley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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23 thoughts on “Review: The Lighthouse Road”

  1. I loved Safe From the Sea, so I’m really looking forward to reading more of this one. I’ve started reading it and just met Odd. What an unusual name! Anyway, thanks for your take on this one.

  2. I have Safe from the Sea, and haven’t read it yet. If anything, now I want to read BOTH books! You have a way of making the books you love sound so powerful and elegant, as this one does. Nice job with this review today, Ti. I love the sound of this book!

    1. Well, I know how it is to want to read everything but there are limits. Especially for us with our stacks piled THIS high. You must promise me to read one of those books soon though.

    1. Ha! Yes, I was on a horror stint after American Psycho. You can’t come down from that high all at once. You have to ease yourself back into mainstream fiction.

      1. I would disagree – I appreciated my Beauty Queen jolt of cold water after reading AP. But maybe you are right since I jumped back into a zombie book after that?

  3. I don’t remember whose blog I read another glowing review on, but it’s only my reliable blogger faves who could get me to read a novel set in a logging camp in the 19th century.

  4. Geye has already reached the point with me where he could write a book about duck hunting and I swear I would read it!

    1. What’s even better is that he has no idea how good he really is. There is this humble quality to his writing that lends it a special, I don’t know what…but I like it.

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