Monday 30 April 2018

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford #BlogTour @CherryRad @urbanebooks @LoveBooksGroup

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt's converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.
Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.
Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father's but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.
Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford was published by Urbane Books on 5 April 2018 and is the author's third novel. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and to Kelly from Love Books Group who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

The cover for The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter is beautiful, it's incredibly alluring and fits so well with the story.
This is a novel in two definite parts; we have Imogen's Beachy Head based story; she's escaped a disastrous marriage and is staying in her aunt's converted lighthouse. Across the bay, she can see another lighthouse; the place where her father worked, all those years ago, before he was tragically drowned.
Imogen's aunt is sending snippets from her late father's diary; a diary that Imogen was unaware of before now. Through his writing, she is discovering a man that she didn't really know at all. His innermost thoughts and long-buried secrets are slowly revealed to her.

The author has also set some of her novel in Spain. Imogen makes contact with a musician called Santiago when she discovers a CD of his in the car. They chat via Twitter and eventually they meet. Imogen tutors Santi in the use of English, as he wants to audition for a part in an upcoming production, they get closer and closer, and learn more about each other.

I was intrigued by the story of Imogen's father; the introduction of the extracts from his diary were really well done, and kept me guessing.  However, I was detracted from this part of the story by Santi's story, and that of his immense group of family and friends in Spain. I have to be honest, and admit that the Spanish part of the book did nothing for me at all, except to frustrate me and annoy me.
I feel that this author could have really expanded on Imogen's own family history so much more, especially when she discovers something that was such a shock to her and would change her family dynamics for ever. The revelations felt rushed and there was no depth to the feeling around them, I wanted to know more and felt as though Imogen, and her family, just accepted things, with no question at all.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter is well written and I loved the descriptions of Beachy Head and the lighthouses. I could have done without Spain, and Santi though!

Cherry Radford was a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet Junior School, a keyboard player in a band, and then a research optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. She now lives in Eastbourne, UK and Almería, Spain. Her third novel, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, publishes April 2018. 

TWITTER: @CherryRad

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