Light Keeping by Adrienne Jansen
Creative writing teacher, novelist and poet Adrienne Jansen releases her sixth novel, Light Keeping, a moving and tender novel that draws you in from the beautiful cover to the poignant end page.
In 1977, Robert and Jess are suddenly orphaned. Finding refuge with their lighthouse keeper grandparents, they begin to navigate their loss and rebuild their lives. Their grandparents, Annie and Bill, do their best to give the two children the love and security they need, each child dealing with their grief in different ways. Jess cries but then emerges to each new day with hope, but Robert retreats from everyone. Annie wraps them both in many hugs while Bill takes them into the lighthouse and shares stories of the sea and sailors. But while they care for their grandchildren, Bill and Anne’s way of life is threatened by lighthouse automation, and it seems it is not just a case of if but of when their way of life will come to an end.
In 2019, Robert is troubled and disconnected from life; the early grief in his life has cast a long shadow. When not drinking, his solace is creating architectural models. Jess is doing better but has had her share of additional heartbreak as an adult, and she now spends her time repairing old clocks. As Jess tries to help her brother through this difficult period in his life, they find themselves talking about their losses and the lighthouse that featured so prominently in their past. Could the past hold the key to their future?
Light Keeping is a subtle and beautifully written tale that explores loss, the importance of family, storytelling and the sea, and stays with you long after finishing the final page. And always, there is the lighthouse itself, with its beam of light providing safety when things are dark and uncertain.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Quentin Wilson Publishing