Book Review – The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

Synopsis:  In 1972, a relief boat arrives at a lighthouse located miles from shore to bring a keeper to relieve one of the three men on duty – Arthur, William (Bill) and Vince.  When the boatman and his crew arrive at the lighthouse no one answers their calls, and the door is locked from the inside.  When they gain entry, they find the table set for two, the clocks stopped and no sign of the men.  They have simply vanished.

Twenty years later a writer is speaking with the three women that were left behind that day to get their opinions and thoughts as to what happened to their men.  It’s now the women’s turn to tell their side of the story.

My Thoughts:  I struggled a bit with this book at the half-way point.  While the mystery aspect of the story was intriguing, I found it difficult to connect with the characters.  The book is almost 350 pages long and each chapter is dedicated is one of the characters’ stories.  As the chapters proceed, we get more of the truth but in effect there is very little character development.  We discover what their lives were like and their truths are unveiled but we really don’t get to know the men.  We don’t know what their values are, what brings them happiness, who they are deep in their soul, etc.  For me, they felt two dimensional.  I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads for the mystery aspect, the descriptions of the lighthouse and what being a lamplighter really entailed.   If you are a plot-centric reader rather than character-development, and you have an interest in lighthouses, this may be the book for you. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins Canada for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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