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The Lightkeeper's Daughter

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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  259 Ratings  ·  40 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 brother, ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published September 10th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarai
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
...more
Melissa
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
...more
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
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Toni
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
R2b
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Appreciate what you have now and be content.
Elizabeth
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Johnp
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rogue Reader
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-canada
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
Cherylann
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
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
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.
Kate
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.
Casey
Aug 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dianna Shimizu
I was surprised that this book is considered to be young adult fiction. It's a dark story about a dysfunctional family and includes a teen suicide, a teen pregnancy (at 13!) and even a hint at incest. Not something I would have wanted my teens to read. And the ending isn't any happier than the book.
Melissa Mahle
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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 ending...wow. I highly recommend this story. I have a new favorite author...
Kristin
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.
AM
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books. I found myself thinking of the story long after I finished reading it. A quick and easy read, but a little dark. I wish there was some more conclusions and answers, but I think the author wanted us to draw our own conclusions.
Melissa Rakestraw
Read this book when I was about 12-13 and loved it. Returned it to the library and was unable to find it again or remember the title as an adult. After searching and searching finally found it and it is just as good as I remember! A perfect rainy day read
Sandra Pinney
Jun 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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.
Jennifer
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overly descriptive. Didn’t like the use of the present tense for telling the story.
Rebecca
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
elissa
Dec 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel that both my husband and I like, which is a somewhat rare occurrence. Excellent writing--weird but good.
Adz
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
Incest and the search for truth :)
Karin
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Liz
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yawn.
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