Ellen Trawton is overcome with a feeling of being trapped. Trapped by her well-to-do family’s expectations, and trapped by her impending marriage to a man she doesn’t love. So, in an impetuous moment of defiance, she runs away. She quits her job and without a word to anyone except her friend Emily, she escapes her hectic life in London to the one place she know her domineering mother won’t suspect – to her aunt’s house in rural Ireland. Her mother never speaks of her family or her past in Ireland and of course this has always made Ellen curious. Once there, she discovers an extended family she never knew about, a feeling of homecoming and belonging – and a future with possibilities beyond her expectations.
Caitlin Macausland has died tragically under suspicious circumstances. She died five years earlier in a fall from the local lighthouse as she jumped to her death to escape the fire that was consuming it. Now, according to her own wishes, she is stuck in a limbo. She wants to stay near her husband Conor and her two beautiful children. The mystery of her death is the subject of village gossip and speculation. Her widower, Conor -who many of the villagers believe is to blame for her death – is wracked by grief.
One day, while out on a walk exploring the beautiful and rugged Irish countryside, Ellen meets Conor, and both their lives are irrevocably changed. Over time, family secrets and “The secrets of the lighthouse” are revealed.
Told in alternate chapters, by two young women, one dead and one very much alive, “The secrets of the lighthouse” is a love story both metaphorically and in the traditional sense. Set in rural Connemara, Ireland, the story is infused with a love of place that few novels have managed to secure.
Santa Montefiore has skillfully captured the essence of Ireland and its’ people. Anyone who enjoys a gothic love story or a ghost story will appreciate the novel with it’s overriding message of ‘love is the only thing that is important’.
I would read another novel by this author with pleasure.
Also, I wish to thank her for including the full version of the traditional Irish Blessing which – until now – I had never read.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this title.