Book name: The Lighthouse Witches
Author: CJ Cooke
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Print, ebook, audiobook
Publication Date: 2021
Star Rating: 5/5
I was drawn to the location and the topic of The Lighthouse Witches when I encountered it on the shelves at my local library.
Right from the start, we know that a mother and two of her daughters disappear, never to be seen again.
It’s 1998, and Liv is a single parent to three daughters. She’s seriously ill and worries about who will take care of them if the worse happens.
When Liv is offered the chance to paint a mural in northern Scotland the money on offer is too good for her to pass up.
She and her daughters (Clover, Luna and Sapphire) head up to the far north of Scotland, to The Longing, a lighthouse.
Liv has some concerns about the design she is asked to paint, but beyond that the girls get used to the local area and the family ends up staying on.
The family learns more about the disappearance of local children over the years before they themselves fall prey to this mysterious force.
Meanwhile, in 2021 Luna is now an adult and is expecting a child of her own.
Her relationship with the baby’s father is ambiguous. She is haunted by the disappearance of her mother and siblings.
Then Luna suddenly receives a telephone call saying that one of her sisters has returned. Clover is up in northern Scotland and suddenly reappeared without any explanation.
Luna drives straight up there. When she meets Clover, she is astonished to discover that Clover hasn’t aged at all. She is still a child.
There is no explanation of any kind as to why Clover is still the same age as when she disappeared 23 year earlier, where she has been since or where the remaining two members of her family are.
Wow! I couldn’t wait to wait to find out what had happened.
The Lighthouse Witches draws upon Scotland’s history of witchcraft trials and persecution. It reminds us that the past has been a tough one for women who don’t meet societal norms. This is still true in different ways today, so a story like this is one that really needs to be told.
It also brings magic right into the modern world. The mystery of the family’s disappearance, and the explanations when members eventually start to return, become closely linked to the man disappearances of children that have taken place near the lighthouse over the years.
The location was a wonderful choice and very vividly described. The whole story felt like it knitted together into a seamless whole.
The Lighthouse Witches was incredibly moving and very satisfying. I really loved it.
Thank you for reading my review.
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