I’m delighted to be sharing my review of The Lighthouse Bookshop today and rounding off the blogtour. I love books about lighthouses and I love books about bookshops
so this was always going to be a winner for me!
About the book
At the heart of a tiny community in a remote village just inland from the Aberdeenshire coast stands an unexpected lighthouse. Built two centuries ago by an eccentric landowner, it has become home to the only bookshop for miles around.
Rachel is an incomer to the village. She arrived five years ago and found a place she could call home. So when the owner of the Lighthouse Bookshop dies suddenly, she steps in to take care of the place, trying to help it survive the next stage of its life.
But when she discovers a secret in the lighthouse, long kept hidden, she realises there is more to the history of the place than she could ever imagine. Can she uncover the truth about the lighthouse’s first owner? And can she protect the secret history of the place?
I absolutely loved this book. I’ll admit that in my photo I have given the impression that the lighthouse is by the sea but as you’ll now have read above, this is a most unusual lighthouse. It was built in the early 19th century, miles away from the coast in the small village of Newton Dunbar and never intended to be a lighthouse. Instead it’s a bookshop and I do love the idea of a bookshop in a lighthouse.
The characters in the book, with one exception, are just wonderful. That’s not to say the author has written badly about one of the characters but that this particular character is truly awful! Sharon Gosling has written her characters so well that you can’t help but take them to heart, from grumpy artist Edie, to young Gilly, from Rachel who found a home in this community to Cullen the elderly owner of the lighthouse who took her in, from Toby the journalist with his own demons to face to Sylvie his ex-wife. Every single character found a place in my heart – well, apart from one. Even the goat provided some smiles though not always for Edie!
The various different love stories in the book were a joy to read about. There’s a slowly developing romance, hints at a missed opportunity and regrets and a love match that needed a large shove in the right direction! I loved the Much Ado About Nothing thread that ran through the book – one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. There’s a historical element to the story too as Rachel tries to uncover more about the lighthouse. Some big issues are dealt with very sensitively in the book and the community at the heart of the book are by and large welcoming, caring and supportive.
I loved this book from the first page to the last. It’s a beautiful story of secrets, community, friendship and love. The setting of Newton Dunbar and the lighthouse is wonderful. Sharon Gosling has written such a beautiful and memorable story. The Lighthouse Bookshop is a heart-warming and uplifting book and is one of my favourite reads this year.
My thanks to Laurie at Simon & Schuster for having me as part of the blogtour and for sending a copy of the book for review. The Lighthouse Bookshop is available now in ebook, audio and paperback.
About the Author
Sharon started her career as an entertainment journalist, writing non-fiction books about film and television. She is also the author of multiple children’s books. Sharon and her husband live in a small village in northern Cumbria. She can be found on Twitter @sharongosling.