A quick rundown… Gina travels across America to look at the famous Kiss River lighthouse lens. She claims she’s an amateur lighthouse historian, so why didn’t she know it fell into the sea years ago? What is her relationship to the lighthouse?
Strengths: Interesting story with a dual narrative between past and present.
Weaknesses: Wrapped up a little quickly at the end. The cover also doesn’t make much sense.
Why I read it: Sent to me by Harlequin – thank you!
Published: 2012 (originally published 2003)
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
When I heard this book was the sequel to Keeper of the Light, I was kind of worried. I’m one of those people who do everything to the nth degree. What would I be missing if I started at book two of this trilogy? (There’s a subsequent sequel, Her Mother’s Shadow).
I found I could rest at ease – Kiss River sums up succinctly the relevant events of the first book, but I don’t think you’d be disadvantaged if you went back and read the first book later. There’s nothing to be scratching your head about because this book stands alone very well.
Kiss River tells the tale of a lighthouse that fell into the sea years ago. Now Gina has crossed the country, wanting to look at the lens. She describes herself as a keen amateur lighthouse historian, but there are a lot of holes in her story. Why isn’t she telling the truth? Gina becomes friends with Lacey and Clay who live at the lighthouse keeper’s house but there’s things she’s not telling them. There’s also a second narrative set at the lighthouse during World War II – what role does teenage Elizabeth play in Gina’s story?
I enjoyed this book, not only because I’m a fan of dual narratives with a bit of history. This book really had a gentle, caring pace and characters that I cared about. Gina’s secret was sensitively played, as was Clay’s past. I thought it was also a strong idea of Chamberlain’s to portray Lacey with some faults that aren’t usually discussed in general. As the cover states, if you enjoy Jodi Picoult, you would like this. Chamberlain is not as brutal on her character’s fates though, nor is the ending so final. The ending of Kiss River is slightly complex, but it’s actually plausible – not to mention gripping. I simply couldn’t put this book down once I began to understand how all the stories linked. There is romance, but it’s a small subplot – the focus here is having people you can depend on, no matter what. Even though this is the second book in a trilogy, there are no cliff-hangers that force you to read the second book.
The cover is somewhat misleading as I can’t recall any children of that age playing a large role. I think a picture of the broken lighthouse would have been more effective or a woman near a lighthouse…you get the idea. Another thing to keep in mind is that this was published in 2003, so the internet portrayed appears to be dial-up and none of the characters own a smart phone. Strangely, they communicate face to face!
A lovely read that will restore your faith in others.