Monday, July 15, 2013

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman

FROM THE AUTHOR OF WILDFLOWER HILL, THIS BREATHTAKING NOVEL TRAVELS MORE THAN A CENTURY BETWEEN TWO LOVE STORIES SET IN THE AUSTRALIAN SEASIDE TOWN OF LIGHTHOUSE BAY.

In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Lighthouse Bay in Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne—escaping her loveless marriage and the devastating loss of her son—who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. Suddenly, this gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family.

One hundred years later, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay. Living in the cottage that was purchased by her recently passed lover, she hopes to heal her broken heart and reconcile with her sister, Juliet. Libby did something so unforgivable twenty years ago, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again.

In this adventurous love story spanning centuries, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future.

Right from the start, there’s a cozy, but disconcerting feel to the story that grabs the reader’s attention. The details unfold slowly as you read along, evoking a touch of emotion and mystery.

The story takes place in Australia where a young woman named Libby flees to after the death of her married lover. There she runs head-first into a conflict with her sister Juliet that has kept them at arms-length from each other for decades. A hundred years previous to that, Isabella, a young woman trapped in a loveless married to the heir of famous jewelry dynasty is the sole survivor on a ship that sunk off the coast of Australia that carried a precious gold and jeweled ornament to be gifted to the Australian government by the Queen of England.

Through the eyes of these two women, the reader is swept into feelings of lost love, the mystery of the lost treasure, hardships faced by the characters, betrayal, bitterness, passionate love and forgiveness.  

The author has a lovely writing style, simple, unencumbered, but beautiful in description and spirit. The characters are complex and with plenty of conflict in their pasts to capture the reader’s interest and hold it to the end as the mystery of what happened to the treasure is slowly revealed.

It is a story about the choices one makes during a moment in time and the impact it will have on one’s future. There is plenty to contemplate and identify with along with the three women at the heart of the story. A deeply evocative story with plenty of passion to keep you turning the pages long into the night.