Melody's Reviews > Lighthousekeeping

Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 02, 09

bookshelves: third-thursday-bookgroup
Recommended to Melody by: Bryan Johnson
Read in May, 2009

I know - I'm "currently reading" 3 books already. But only one of them is fiction - so that's really the only one I count. And it's 892 pages long! I'm enjoying Shadow Country , but its work to read. This book is play. I'm not very far in Lighthousekeeping. In fact I picked it up just for a little distraction from the weight of Shadow Country, just planning on reading the book jacket and putting it right back down. Then I moved on to the first page ..."My mother called me Silver. I was born part precious metal part pirate." (Aren’t we all?) I started feeling a little breathless and mesmerized and swirly eyed and moved on to the next short section. I'm a sucker for a book broken into short sections and this one just flows from one little tiny section to another. I'm not sure how I'll pace myself between this book, Shadow Country, the Total Immersion swimming book and the Chi running book (which I haven't touched in so long I'm not sure where it is). But I know which one of this reading stack will make me get that calm little smile of pleasure when I'm reading it.


I have zigged and zagged about this book: It’s a story within a story within a story. It’s about the power of stories. It’s a fable. It’s poetry. It’s about light and dark. It’s about Jekyll and Hyde. It’s about Pirates and Silver. But finally I have to say it is what it is. It’s whatever you get from it. You can just sit back and enjoy the language and the salty, fuzzy images Winterson creates for you:
Railings Row is a terrace of houses set back from the road. They reared up, black-bricked and salt-stained, their paint peeling, their brass green.

Or you can appreciate the subtle humor in the dialog between Pew and Silver:
Miss Pinch says you came from the orphanage in Glasgow.
There’s always been a Pew at Cape Wrath.
But not the same Pew.
Well, well.

You can count the references to the dark and light, good and bad, this and that, here and there, then and now – and get a rather large number.

You can furrow your brow and wonder when the heck the story took place since there are both references to lighthouse keepers and Starbucks coffee.

Or you can just enjoy Lighthousekeeping like you would a painting or a nature walk or a lovely Pinot Noir from the Oregon coast. And that’s what I finally settled into.

5 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lighthousekeeping.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Jamey Yes, I'm reading it too. Have almost put it down but somehow it just keeps drawing you closer - kind of like a lighthouse to the ships at sea. Since it's written in short sections - it makes good reading before going to sleep or even good bathroom reading. HA!

Melody I just finished it and need to review it. One of my book groups will be discussing it later this month and I'll enjoy hearing comments from my friends as well as hearing our leader's critique.

message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara Melody, I love your comments. In fact, i might have to go out at lunch and pick up a copy.

Melody You just want to get swirly-eyed.

message 5: by Sara (new)

Sara How did you guess?

Jamey I finished it, finally, and don't know where to begin. I'm not sure what the author is trying to convey - but the book left me with questions. Is it saying we all have a little Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, sanity/insanity in us? Was Silver insane? Who was Pew or what did Pew represent? Were the related? What did you get out of it?

back to top