Review No.122 – Lighthouse Bay

Lighthouse Bay – Kimberley Freeman

Hachette Australia, 2012

It is 1901, the year of Australian Federation, when a young woman is washed ashore after a terrible storm. The sole survivor of a disastrous shipwreck and keeper of a priceless treasure, with danger threatening on all sides, she is determined to live and wrest some kind of freedom from the debris of her life. Over a hundred years later, a very different woman arrives in the same place. She is returning to her childhood home after two decades overseas, hoping to make peace with both her estranged sister and the raw memory of the lover she has just lost, but she finds what was once familiar has grown strange. If she does not belong here, then where can she go to rebuild her world?

Lighthouse Bay is the fourth book Queensland author Kim Wilkins has written under the name of Kimberley Freeman, a standalone novel that is half historical fiction, half contemporary. It follows three female protagonists, each believably flawed and vulnerable in very different ways, through parallel storylines in the past and present. The balance is well maintained, the plot engaging, and overall the emotional resolutions are very well handled. Freeman’s fifth book, Ember Island, was released earlier this year.

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