Name of the book: Secrets of the Lighthouse
Name of the Author: Santa Montefiore
Year of publishing: 2013
The publisher: Simon Schuster
Number of Pages: 448
33-year-old Ellen Trawton thinks she doesn’t fit in with her posh family and fiancee anymore and runs away to the only maternal family member she knows- Aunt Peg. One fine morning she arrives in Connemara, a serene Irish town, to stay with her aunt only to realize the family secret which her mom never told her!
Meanwhile, in Connemara, the locals can’t get over the tragic death of Caitlin, the wife of Conor Macausland. However, her restless spirit watches over her children and the devastated husband to make sure that her husband won’t fall in love with anybody.
The author narrates the story between two women and the secrets in their respective families.
Having read 4 books of Santa, I am pretty much sure about what to look for in a Santa Montefiore novel: Love, mystery, family secrets, and a stunning setting.
The book had a great start. Caitlin the spirit’s love for her children and husband gives the impression of a great mystical or gothic novel. I grew impatient to find out the reason behind her death.
On the other hand, the scenes of Ellen at her new home (at her Aunt peg’s) was rather cozy and refreshing. Ellen was beyond surprised to see her big family in Connemara. And I was curious to know how these two distinct stories can fit in
Santa gives the readers every possible detail of Ireland. The blackened ruins, Pot of gold -the local bar the hub of all local gossips, the gorgeous sea, and eerie lighthouse. All of these utterly contributed to the mood of the story.
At the same time, I wouldn’t say the main characters were as compelling as the setting. Ellen escaped to her aunt’s in order to transform herself into a writer. Nonetheless, she hardly finds the time to write anything and once she meets Conor, Caitlyn’s ex-husband, she mostly thinks about him and their affection towards each other. But as a reader I couldn’t find anything extraordinary about their romance. I would say the story was less impressive in terms of romantic elements.
Earlier, Caitlyn, the spirit seems like a loving wife and mother instead, it turns out that she is rather selfish and self- centered. The romance of Ellen and Conor make her furious yet there isn’t any supernatural encounters or events that you would expect to happen in a novel like this.
More than the main characters I was impressed by the others such as Aunt Peg, Dylan Murphy- the songwriter in Connemara, Ellen’s mother Madeline Trawton. All of them were dwelling in their past yet I find them rather strong
In my opinion, the story would have been enthralling if it had more focus on Caitlyn and Conor’s life. Caitlyn’s beauty and character are praised by everyone on the island even after her death. Nevertheless, there are only a few glimpses of her life on the Island.
For me, this is the story the people of Connemara and their lives. I loved the beautiful town and the Irish family gets together in the evenings. I am sure the pets in the house of aunt Peg bring a bright smile to the readers’ faces.
Would I recommend the book? Well, I would if you are looking for a simple story set in a beautiful Island and lovely people. But if you would love to read an extraordinary love story you would probably want to skip this one!