This charming adult novel debut by Canadian author Jean E. Pednziwol takes you to a beautiful setting at Lake Superior and a captivating story of two sisters and a lost teenager.
Elizabeth is an old woman, when we meet her. She lives in a retirement home, no longer capable of living on her own after going blind. Morgan is a teenager, living in foster care after loosing her grandfather and only family member a couple of years earlier. She has completely lost her way and after vandalising a fence at a retirement home, she is forced to work there to repay the damage.
There she meets Elizabeth and together they embark on a journey into Elizabeth’s past. Elizabeth and twin sister Emily’s past to be exact. As the daughters of the lighthouse keeper on an small island at Lake Superior. What they don’t know, is that their stories are intertwined. Elizabeth’s past is also key to Morgan’s past and maybe even to Morgan’s future.
The Lightkeeper’s Daughters is captivating from the get go. It all has to do with Pendziwol’s incredible way of describing everything. It’s like she is painting a picture with her words. I have never been to Canada or Lake Superior for that matter, yet after reading the book I can picture it. I can picture its beauty and the rough waves crashing at the shore. Safe to say, Lake Superior is on my bucket list now.
I read the book in German, so the long sentences are quite normal for me. I was interested in finding out how the original was and whether it was the translation or really Pendziwol’s style. After reading an excerpt of the book online, i can confirm. It is her style and I really enjoy that myself. I could understand though, if other people do not like it that much. For me it is something pretty normal, as it is quite usual in German. Sometimes you can read really long sentences in my reviews and other posts as well. Although I try to minimise it as much as I can.
The story is absolutely mesmerising as well. The mystery about what happened at the light house with Elizabeth and Emily is gripping. I tried and failed to guess a couple of times how it would turn out. It was certainly not what I expected. And I really like that. Especially the ending, which I will not reveal here. It would spoil the fun off reading The Lightkeeper’s Daughters. I could have never guessed the ending. Morgan and Elizabeth’s connection I was actually pretty sure about. At least somewhat.
What irritated my a little bit at the beginning was that the synopsis at the back of the book never mentioned Morgan. So when she was introduced I was confused. The confusion was gone soon after, as only one chapter later Elizabeth appeared. The book has a first-person narration by both Elizabeth and Morgan. Perspective switches pretty much every chapter. This helps to keep the suspense up and sometimes makes you wait even longer for the revelation of the mystery.
Oh, and have you seen the cover? The German one is simply gorgeous and I actually fell in love with it way back in November when I went to the lit.Love in Munich. That session in the beginning where they talked about covers, The Lightkeeper’s Daughters was actually one of them. Ever since I couldn’t forget about the book and I am glad I never did. I can’t wait for Pendziwol to publish her next adult fiction novel.
Have you read the book yet? And what did you think of it and the twist at the end? I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
Title: The Lightkeeper’s Daughters/Das Licht der Insel
Author: Jean E. Pendziwol
Publisher: HarperCollins/Penguin Verlag
Publishing Date (first publication): 04-07-2017/16.10.2017