Ryan and Amy are sympathetic characters whose grief makes them relatable, and their tender, supportive relationship is the story’s heart. Still, Parker does not shy away from highlighting the ways trauma and loss can change a person’s personality for the worse. Parker also proves adept at crafting a moody, possibly haunted milieu, as his leads live among vicious winter storms, miles of forlorn farmland, and of course the lonely lighthouse, on its “outcrop of jagged rocks,” to which Ryan and Amy find themselves drawn.
Several exciting revelations come at the novel’s end, but the beginning and the middle of the story by comparison at times lacks momentum. Some subplots are dropped or not fully realized, such as Amy’s father’s detective work. The Lighthouse is not a full-fledged fantasy, yet does contain magical and spiritual elements, which can be tricky to balance. For some readers, there may not be enough magic, and for others, there might be too much. Still, readers who follow its mysterious light will be rewarded with intriguing twists and lovable characters.
Takeaway: A mysterious lighthouse, compelling surprises, and a meditative look at moving through grief.
Great for fans of: Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, Erin A Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B