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The Lighthouse Sisters by Gill Thompson
Many thanks to NetGalley and to Headline Review for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The Lighthouse Sisters.
The story opens in 1996 with an apparently elderly lady reminiscing about her early adulthood during the war years on Jersey. She is having her daily chat with the photographs she cherishes before being whisked back to 1940.
We are then introduced to a family of five, the Robinsons, and what their life was like immediately before and then during the German occupation of the Channel Islands through the eyes of sisters Alice and Jenny – the ‘lighthouse sisters’ of the title – and their friend Pip.
I loved how Jersey was brought to life by the author, how she described the sights, sounds and smells, and how she used several viewpoints to tell the story. The location, for me, was another important character in the novel, which means the location was very well written with lots of historic detail.
Mr Robinson, the father, did come across as quite old when compared to his wife and children, especially the youngest child, and I would have liked to know more about how the marriage came about in the first place. It reminded me of Mr Chips a little, as well as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I also would have liked to see more of the family enjoying their time at the lighthouse when the girls in particular were younger, as the lighthouse does become quite significant in the later chapters.
But it’s a lovely story, another I’d like to give 4½ stars to, and I’ll certainly look out for more from this author.