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The Lighthouse Road (Eide Family #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,024 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
Against the wilds of sea and wood, a young immigrant woman settles into life outside Duluth in the 1890s, still shocked at finding herself alone in a new country, abandoned and adrift; in the early 1920s, her orphan son, now grown, falls in love with the one woman he shouldn’t and uses his best skills to build them their own small ark to escape. But their pasts travel with ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Unbridled Books
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Aug 09, 2016 Marita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moving to and fro amongst various pivotal years between 1893 and 1937, The Lighthouse Road tells the story of Thea Eide, of Odd, Rebekah and Hosea. It is set not far from Duluth, Minnesota, on the banks of Lake Superior. The scenery is magnificent, the climate is harsh, wolves are howling and bears are hibernating with their young.

Thea is a young Norwegian girl sent by her parents to America for a better life. And so she arrives in Gunflint at the age of seventeen. In order not to give away too
Aaron Cance
Sep 20, 2012 Aaron Cance rated it really liked it
Set at the cusp of the Twentieth Century, The Lighthouse Road is a masterfully reconstructed landscape that has long since been washed away by passing time. It is generously haunted by a broad cast of very real, old-world souls who inflict love and pain upon one another with the acuteness possibly only in the closest of human relationships. A study of human nature as stark as the frigid landscape upon which it is set, it's thoroughly engaging from the very beginning and Geye tells his tale with ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing
I have mentioned in the past that I am too literal a reader for literary books but every now and then I am offered one that strikes my fancy and I take a chance. The Lighthouse Road was one of those books and I was very glad that I did decide to read it. It made me think and I am finding that more often than not I want a book that makes me think. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy fluff but one cannot live on a diet of sugary sweets alone now, can one?

This book is more about relationships and the p
Laura (booksnob)
Apr 04, 2013 Laura (booksnob) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature, 2013
A journey across the ocean,
A young woman on her own,
A stark wilderness in northern Minnesota
in 1896.

Gunflint Trail.
The beginning of a small town, Grand Marias.
The Lighthouse Road.

A logging camp in the deep woods,
an apothecary in town
a fish house on Lake Superior.

Dogs. Wolves. Bears.
Oh boy.

Thea alone, pregnant, lost.
Rebekah found, transformed, hidden.
Hosea inventive, wealthy, deceptive.
Odd, hardworking, misunderstood, loved.

A motherless child.
An incestuous affair.

Boat building.
Sep 12, 2015 Joe rated it it was ok
When you travel down The Lighthouse Road, you may notice warning signs. 'Warning, slight turn ahead', 'Be generally careful', 'Try not to kill pedestrians'; that sort of thing. You might think these warning signs unnecessary; what with the limited traffic, low speed limit and lack of recorded accidents. But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little advisory heads-up.

Because you can't warn motorists (or readers) enough. Say you're writing a light period novel about hard-working folk in the cold Am
In 1896 a young Norwegian immigrant woman dies shortly after giving birth in a small town in the northern wilderness of Minnesota. 25 years later her surviving son will discover the truth surrounding his mother's death - a truth that has been shaping his life and destiny - a truth that will destroy everything he believes about those he loves.

I became a huge fan of Peter Geye when I read Safe From the Sea last July. In The Lighthouse Road Geye once again displays his talent for creating realisti
Nov 27, 2015 Wayne rated it really liked it
Peter Geye's 'Lighthouse Road' has been on my 'to-read' list since giving away a box of free copies to random strangers on 'World Book Night' a year ago. An experience that is always surprising and interesting, I look forward to the books that are chosen each year and the chance to do a little shilling for literacy. Giving away free books isn't the easy 'slam dunk' it would seem to be though. I was asked to leave a shopping mall for 'unlicensed solicitation' by the mall cop - what, the books are ...more
May 26, 2012 Laura rated it did not like it
Without the constant juggling of the timeline this book would have been a better read. Moving from Odd's birth through his life in flashforwards and flashbacks meant the narrative thread was often confused - what age was he? where was he living? what was going on? The prose also was erratic, ranging from beautifully sparse to nearly Melville-esque detail (as when Odd bought tools to finish his keel). Again, that's jarring for a reader.

Sadly, as much as I would have enjoyed reading about the Norw
Erika Robuck
Nov 08, 2012 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
Set in the 1920s and the 1890s in Minnesota, THE LIGHTHOUSE ROAD is the multi-generational story of a town of immigrants, orphans, and outcasts trying to make good lives against tough odds in the unforgiving wilds of a young country.

Thea is alone, pregnant, and scared until she finds love in her newborn son Odd (pronounced ‘Ode.’) Rebekah sells a piece of her soul for a place in the world, but can’t resist the lure of personal happiness. Hosea’s pride and intelligence fool him into believing he
Feb 21, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was ok
I read this as part of the World Book Night Challenge. It was a story told in different times - of a young woman newly immigrated to the US from Norway in the 1890s and of her son, over 20 years later. It involves some discussion about boat building, not something that interests me or that I know anything about, but this wasn't a large part of the story. But I just never really got very caught up in the story.

I didn't feel very invested in the characters, although I was more interested in the st
Nov 09, 2012 Su rated it liked it
A blurb on the cover of this book refers to it as "A cinematic thundercloud gusting across the northern landscape". I don't know, but to me it just seemed, to use the same metaphor, as a lowlaying dark cloud that meandered through the sky. In other words, pretty boring. I am usually drawn to Minnesota authors and those that write of Minnesota landscapes and people. But I couldn't wrap around any of these characters. There were no big surpises, no gasps of disbelief, no realizing that I didn't se ...more
Nov 16, 2016 RK-ique rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It could have been four stars but there were problems.

First, I need to say that the book is well structured and the story was gripping. The development of the plot was excellent through numerous jumps through time from chapter to chapter. So what were the problems.

Simply put, the writing itself was lacking. As friend Joseph subtly points out in his review of the book, author Peter Geye has trouble keeping a secret. He feels the need to tell the reader what's going to happen before it happens.
Jennifer Spiegel
Oct 18, 2012 Jennifer Spiegel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books
I feel like gushing, letting the clichés unleash in a flood of unholy praise. Using “unleash” like that? Cliché?

This was a great book. I loved it. First, the setting is novel. As a city girl who (tragically, inevitably) lives in the desert, I found myself wide-eyed and dazzled by Peter Geye’s snowy wilderness in the Midwest. Boats! Apothecaries! People named Hosea and Odd! A fish house! What’s a fish house?

But it’s the story, which is ultimately about survivors. People who make it. Though there
Laura de Leon
Oct 07, 2012 Laura de Leon rated it really liked it
I found The Lighthouse Road to be an unusual, compelling book, with a setting that grabbed my attention and characters that made me think.

The best parts of this book for me were the characters of Odd and his mother, Thea. Odd's an unusual man with an unusual life, and that's fine. He'll do what needs to be done, but he'll put his own spin on it.

His mother's story was even more compelling. Thea left behind everything she knew to come to America. Unfortunately, she did not arrive to see the situa
Aug 09, 2016 Annie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free
A most excellent 5 star read
Leif Enger said it best..."The Lighthouse Road is like a cinematic thundercloud gusting across the northern landscape"
I very much wanted to read this book as it is set very close to where I live and I love nothing more than to read about places that I have lived.

Like a snowstorm seen in the distance rolling along the land this book starts out slowly, letting you get to know the characters and the landscape, as the words drift around in your head you become enmeshed
Melissa Klug
Dec 17, 2012 Melissa Klug rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I was introduced to Peter Geye's first book, SAFE FROM THE SEA, a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with the story of an estranged father and son, set on the stark shores of rural Minnesota. I was thrilled that he had a new book (and I'm fairly obsessed with the books from his publisher, Unbridled--they always work for me, period.) THE LIGHTHOUSE ROAD is another story featuring the wild terrain of the state I now call home--back in the late 19th and early 20th century. Like SAFE h ...more
Michele Yates
Oct 25, 2012 Michele Yates rated it it was amazing
There are books you pick up and read when you have a moment here and there. And then there are books that beg to be anticipated and planned for. You can't wait to get to it, but you plan for a large block of quiet time, find your favorite reading nook, and block out everything else so you can savor every sentence. The Lighthouse Road is such a book.

Themes of family, abandonment, betrayal, immigration, wilderness. In particular, Peter Geye is masterful in creating very real characters and bringi
Oct 11, 2012 Sonya rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Peter Geye successfully weaves three timelines (late 1800s and early 1900s) and four distinct characters to tell the story of a family of sorts in a small town perched on the edge of Lake Superior. Most of the novel hinges on one-eyed Odd, an orphan, and the people who care for him, or try to. There is lots of trouble in this story, wolves and illness and pervasive melancholy, but people cluster together to fight against the dangers of animals and weather, as well as the internal forces that urg ...more
Oct 31, 2012 ChrisGA rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
Lives of quiet desperation in cold, harsh Minnesota in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Four sad, depressing characters have their stories slowly revealed as the author takes the reader back and forth from the 1890s and the 1920s. There is a claustrophobic feel to the book as the characters struggle to live within very restricted geographical and emotional boundaries. Definitely atmospheric,moody and haunting. I received the book as a Goodreads giveaway, but try as might, I just couldn't ...more
Marie Zhuikov
Sep 01, 2013 Marie Zhuikov rated it it was amazing
I read Peter Geye’s other book, “Safe from the Sea,” and I liked it, so I thought I would like this one. It did not disappoint. I’m not going to get into the plot (you can read that in the book’s description on this site) but I will tell you what I liked and what gave me pause.

The storytelling in this novel is wonderful. Event the “bad guy,” Hosea Grimm, is crafted with a complexity of character that shows the author’s deep understanding of human nature. The same goes for another potentially uns
Oct 23, 2012 Ti rated it really liked it
The Short of It:

Geye has hit it out of the park again.

The Rest of It:

The story begins in the late 1890′s at a Minnesota logging camp. Thea Eide, an immigrant from Norway lands herself a position as a cook and after being raped by a visitor of the camp, finds herself pregnant with few prospects for raising the child. Hosea Grimm, who runs the apothecary and functions as the village doctor, gives her a place to stay and promises to help her with the child. Rebekah Grimm, also “saved” by Hosea some
Margie Nash
Dec 06, 2012 Margie Nash rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting and unique book set in northern Minnesota on Lake Superior mostly in the winter. It begins in Nov. in 1896 with a young, innocent Norwegian immigrant, Thea, victim of a rape after she arrives, and now gives birth to a son, Odd. The aunt meant to greet her died, and the uncle was mentally unstable, so she was on her own--not speaking English. The story shifts back and forth between 1896 and 1920 as Odd becomes a young man,a skilled boat maker and fisherman. It's about T ...more
Rob Slaven
Feb 12, 2013 Rob Slaven rated it it was amazing
Like many of my recent submissions this was a GoodReads giveaway. Unlike many of my recent submissions this book is wonderfully and carefully crafted not only in language but also in storyline.

Previous reviewers have complained that the timelines in this book are too complexly intertwined and hard to follow and while I will admit that there is a lot going on, the book very handily states the month and date of each chapter in the page heading. Any reader finding themselves confused can merely con
Nov 02, 2012 Serena rated it really liked it
The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye feels like the frozen tundra and the heat of the tropics all at once as his eccentric characters hack their lives out of the wilderness outside Duluth, Minn., between the 1890s and 1920s in Gunflint. Odd is a young fisherman with his own small boat, whose mother died soon after he was born. Raised by the local apothecary owner, Hosea Grimm alongside his daughter Rebekah, Odd strives to make his market in the rough-around-the-edges town.

Geye’s narration shifts be
Jan 23, 2013 Bobby rated it it was amazing
I really like when an author can combine different time periods and stay consistent and "fill in the blanks" of the story as we drift along. Peter Geye does a magnificent job with this style of writing in The Lighthouse Road: A Novel. Odd's story was perfectly communicated even though we went from birth to adult to teen back to before his birth, etc. and it was never confusing. The prose and narrative ranks right up there with the best of them. Heart breaking, then mended and then broken again. ...more
Mary Aalgaard
Sep 05, 2016 Mary Aalgaard rated it really liked it
The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye is set on the Gunflint Trail in Northern Minnesota around the turn of the Century, late 1800' early 1900's. It is about the struggle for life and love and a sense of belonging. The book is populated by loggers, crooked salesmen, a sketchy apothecary, orphans, immigrants, secrets, and dreams. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, MN history, stories of community and survival, and reading about the challenges of life.
Jan 11, 2013 KWinks rated it really liked it
I found this very enjoyable. I love a good historical novel about a time and place in American history of which I know nothing about. In this novel we have two entwined tales of Odd in the 20's and earlier, his mother who works at a logging camp as a cook. I have to admit that I was more engrossed with Thea's story than Odd's, but neither were uninteresting. What really drove the story for me was the little details. The tale of the dogs and Riverfish's ride was, I think, one of my favorite parts ...more
May 21, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I am going to get the negative stuff out of the way first, and say that both of Geye's books lag at times and are at times weighed down by his use of jargon. Also, in this latest book, there seems to be some difficulty with dialect, e.g. there were moments toward the end when Odd seemed to start talking with a Southern twang.

With that said, Geye is one of my favorite authors. His books are filled with captivating imagery, intense vulnerability, and unapologetic tenderness. In his second book tho
new author does a very nice historical, family saga. hooo but what a family: hosea who moves to the north woods to start an apothecary, his first step....buying a 13 year girl from a whore house in chicago, then there is the young and innocent norwegian immigrant who gets to the north woods to help her uncle and aunt on their find aunty has just hung herself and uncle has went round the bend, oh but then she gets raped so has a baby but then she dies and baby is raised by hosea and hi ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it
I’m always a sucker for a good northwoods story and Peter Geye’s The Lighthouse Road certainly qualifies. Straightforward yet stylish, Geye carries us back and forth through the years of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as smoothly as his protagonist Odd Eide’s home-crafted boat plies the waters of Lake Superior. While Odd is most definitely central to the story – the heartbreaking circumstances of his birth, his childhood, his secret love – the other characters who populate the icy roads ...more
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Peter Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PHD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and continues to live there with his wife and three children. This is his first novel. "
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