Friday, June 19, 2015

Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore.

Paperback: 453 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction
Publisher:Simon and Schuster Paperback 2014 
Source: Tywyn Public Library

First Sentences: It is autumn and yet it feels more like summer.

Favourite Quotes: It matters not that they have known each other little more than a few days,for love is not of the earth, but of the eternal present that cannot be measured. It is timeless. If their love is true, they might as well have known each other forever. (Page 226)
But I realise at this moment that our earthly sojourn is a learning experience and that we are always evolving, always moving towards a greater love. (Page 430)
Review Quote: 
'As well as hot men, her books are full of ghosts too. Secrets of the Lighthouse has a strong supernatural story-line' --Belfast Telegraph

Literary Award: Specsavers National Book Award Nominee for Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year (2014)
My Opinion: Families, love and a beautiful setting.

As is always the case when I pick up a Santa Montefiore novel to read I was guaranteed to have a relaxing read. Families love and a beautiful setting, with a touch of the supernatural that took me away from the winter weather for a few hours. The author writes in a very atmospheric style and I soon became immersed in rural Ireland. In her now I feel signature style Santa has written, another enjoyable novel.

There is a strong spiritual leaning to the storyline as of the two main protagonists one is already dead. Ellie Trwaton is very much alive but at thirty three running away from a privileged lifestyle and an impending marriage that she has suddenly found claustrophobic.
Retreating to Ireland, to find herself amongst her Mother's Irish relations, she meets a mysterious widower and of course they suddenly finds themselves in love. Yes it is rather predictable, apart from the interesting device that there are chapters narrated by Connor's dead wife Caitlin. 

Recommended to fans of Rosamunde Pilcher, especially as she is often referred to as the author who took over her place in writing contemporary fiction. By coincidence Rosamunde Pilcher retired from writing in 2000 not long before Santa Montefiore's first novel was published. She has just published her 14th so plenty to read if you have not yet discovered her writing and are a fan of contemporary romantic fiction. The storyline may be seen as somewhat clichéd but to be honest this is what I think the author is aiming to achieve. She is writing for the mass market and her novels are not going to appeal to those of you looking for a great literary read. 

My Previous Reviews:

The Swallow and The Hummingbird    The French Gardener    The Summer House

Author Profile

Santa Montefiore was born Santa Palmer Tomkinson in 1970, either in January or February, the websites I used for research differ on this point! Growing up on farm in Hampshire and educated at Sherborne School for Girls, she went on to study Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. She later spent time in Argentina where her mother grew up, giving her inspiration for her early novels.  She now lives in London with her husband, writer and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and their two daughters.

She has fourteen published novels to date, the first one published in 2001 and the most recent was published on July 17th 2014.
  • Meet Me Under The Ombu Tree(2001)
  • The Butterfly Box (2002)
  • The Forget-me-not Sonata (2003)
  • The Swallow and the Hummingbird (2004)
  • The Last Voyage of the Valentina (2005)
  • The Gypsy Madonna (2006)
  • Sea of Lost Love (2007)
  • The French Gardener (2008)
  • The Italian Matchmaker (2009)
  • The Affair (2010)
  •  The House By The Sea. (2011)
  •  The Summer House (2012)
  •  Secrets of the Lighthouse (2013)
  •  The Beekeeper's Daughter (2014)

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.

Goodreads - Santa Montefiore    Santa Montefiore Official Website     Wikipedia - Santa Montefiore

Twitter - Santa Montefiore    Facebook - Santa Sebag-Montefiore   Amazon - Author Profile