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The Lightkeeper's Daughter
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The Lightkeeper's Daughter

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Three years have passed since Squid McCrae last saw her parents and the remote island where she grew up. She returns now at seventeen, a young woman with a daughter in tow. The visit, she knows, will be rough. Lizzie Island- paradise to some, a stifling prison to others- brings an onslaught of memories. It is the place of Squid' s idyllic childhood, where she and her broth ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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80th out of 192 books — 91 voters
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8th out of 10 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

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I listened to this on CD. While I listened, I kept waiting for something to happen. The description of the book described it as eerie, with the character of Elizabeth wanting to confront her father about the tragedy and hearing ghosts of the past. Which made me think it would be a kind of spooky ghost story, perhaps, and it is not.

Elizabeth's brother committed suicide when she was 14. She, then pregnant, left the island to have her baby and has been gone for 3 years. She comes back to visit her
Rachaelbg Bertos Haviland
A young adult book. I thought it was well written, but seems a bit sad and dark for a young adult. I don't think I would have kept reading this when I was 13 or 14. But, I liked the way the author portrayed the family dynamics with it's little nuances, and the way memories of past events can be completely genuine from each person involved, yet still not add up to the same story. The characters were very realistic, though the daughter was never very likeable to me, even though the story is mainly ...more
Shea Straus
This book I thought was not good especially for my age people. I did not like how the book kept going back from past to present. It just wasn't my type of book that I like reading. This book was about a light keeper who lived on an island named Lizzie Island. He had a wife and two kids. The wife's name was Hannah the daughters name was Squid (real name was Elizabeth) and the sons name was Alastair. They all lived on that island for so long and that is where Squid grew up. The son died on that is ...more
This was a very strange book. I picked it up on a whim for some light reading and because I was attracted to the cover. It's considered a juvenile fiction book, but I've found some very entertaining and well written books in that section so I wouldn't consider it a reason to not read the book if you are an adult.

Seventeen year old Squid (real name Elizabeth) is on a boat with her three year old daughter Tatiana traveling to an island that was her home for thirteen years. She's very apprehensive
An interesting look at a lighthouse keeper's family life. I liked it, but I don't know that young adults would really would. The daughter, who is about 17, is a mother herself, but you can't really figure out her age. It would be difficult for a typical teenager to put herself into this character's shoes. She didn't come alive for me.
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Oh the pain between parent and child - and to complicate the situation with the isolation of living on an island, a light house no less. Ian Lawrence's Lightkeeper's Daughter is a masterful tale of love and loss, of the mysteries of family and of the deep. Particularly struck with Murray McRae's inarticulate strength and love, and the incredible sensitivity of Alastair, lost at sea by chance or intent, his fullness of being among the whales. Also loved the historic nature of light houses, the mo ...more
Appreciate what you have now and be content.
I found this treasure of an audio in our collection at the library. The reader (Ed Sala) had such an interesting style of presentation with meaningful pauses and breaks in his narration. The story is about a mom, dad, son, and daughter living in isolation on an island off the Western coast of Canada. We are introduced to how they spend their days, ("Work first, play later."), their months, and their years. All four characters deal with the loneliness in different ways. Squid (the daughter) looks ...more
Mrs. Shmoopie
Meh. My opinion of this book may be colored by the fact that I didn't read it. I listened to the audio version on CD during my commute. So, to be honest, the book didn't always get my 100% attention. Although, if it hadn't been so darn... meh that probably wouldn't have been much of a problem. I read a review here on Goodreads that seemed to agree w/some of the things I disliked. If you read the Goodreads synopsis you may think the main character is "Squid" the teenage girl who grew up isolated ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Johnp rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Welcome to Lizzy Island, home to the Lightkeeper and his family. We meet his daughter, Elizabeth (a.k.a Squid), who comes home after a few years away and brings a LOAD of memories (not many of them fond) with her. Her reunion with her parents dredges up flashbacks of her life growing up on the island. Missing is her older brother, Alastair. There is a hint of something sad and painful regarding Alaistair, and his story unfolds in memories from Squid and secret diaries of his that get discovered. ...more
When I started the Lightkeeper's Daughter, I didn't know what to expect. I found Lawrence's writing beautiful. It is very lyrical, and I found myself rereading sentences simply because of their beauty. I also liked that he played with time in the novel. The novel wasn't told in a linear fashion instead he moved back and forth between past and present almost seamlessly. The novel examines family dynamics - what it means to be a sibling, a child, a parent, and spouse. It is complex and gripping. A ...more
It was good. But so sad. I really enjoyed it. The story revolves around a family of a lightkeepeeper in the Pacific Northwest, the suicide of their son and the unexpected pregnancy of their daughter. The daughter has returned after a few years' absence with her young daughter to allow her to meet her grandparents and to try to expell demons of the past. It was a sad and hauting tale.
I thought this book was horrible. Not only did I have a hard time reading it but thought this book was ill fitting to be listed as a teen/YA book. All the stuff about incest, sex, and suicide was absolutely horrible and a not a single positive thing. It's as if the author is saying incest, teen sex, marital separation, and suicide are perfectly fine.
Melissa Mahle
This book goes into my top ten of the year. What a great story, seamlessly moving back and forth in time to develop the story of a family living in isolation on an island in British Columbia. The characters are so rich, so complex, so real. And the I highly recommend this story. I have a new favorite author...
Mrs Mac McKenzie
This was an emotional ride through a family's life as they repair relationships, past mistakes and sorrows. It was wonderfully written, with an interesting back drop of an isolated island where the family lived and the children grew up. Highly recommend it to people who like books about relationships.
The tone of the book was gloomy and made me incredibly uncomfortable for the entire read. It was written well, I guess, but it was also not very dramatic, more subtle in terms of conflict and plot. It was just awkward and uncomfortable to read.
This was my favourite book as a teenager. Mysterious, lyrical, a bit angsty... but totally frustrating as an adult. Much eye-rolling. I can see why 14 year old me liked this, but 26 year old me? Not so much.
Sandra Pinney
I don't know, this might be a good book. But I just wasn't feeling it, and didn't want to waste my time anymore when I have a stack of books I'm excited to read. So I gave myself permission to not finish!
Kelsey Christensen
This is a melancholy book about a family living isolated on an island maintaining the lighthouse. I thought the mystery of the son's demise was interesting. There's a little bit of matter-of-fact ual talk.
Shar Wallis
I chose this book because of the setting; a remote island off the coast of BC. The synopsis made it look good, and I tried to like it. However I found it to be a slow, strange little YA book.
Relfective, artful, and realistic. It portrays just what coming home can be like--the impossibility, the saddness, and the never-ending, desperate hope that things will be different.
Young teen book. Bought it for my daughter ages ago and decided to read it. Pretty disappointing considering the premise of the book. Kept thinking it would get better but alas, no.
A novel that both my husband and I like, which is a somewhat rare occurrence. Excellent writing--weird but good.
This book was possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. It was creepy and really confusing.
Emily Michelle
I read this when I was a young teenager and I still think about it. This book sticks with you.
Overly descriptive. Didn’t like the use of the present tense for telling the story.
Emma Lairson
This book is so heartbreakingly sad. The main character squid gets on my nerves though.
The story was okay, but the writing was a little bit cheesy.
Incest and the search for truth :)
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