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Lighthouse Bay: A Novel Paperback – April 9, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1901, Isabella Winterbourne survives the shipwreck that claims her unloving husband, who refused to let her grieve the death of her infant son. She walks 50 miles to Lighthouse Bay, carrying only the priceless jeweled mace intended for the new Australian Parliament as a gift from the queen. She is found by Matthew Seaward, steady lighthouse keeper, but her husband’s brother may not be far behind. In 2011, Libby Slater reluctantly returns to Lighthouse Bay after the death of her married lover, unsure of her reception from her sister, Juliet, who runs the family B&B. Then a developer starts to show interest just as a young man from Libby and Juliet’s past unearths Matthew’s journals. The plot may sound complicated, but Freeman (Wildflower Hill, 2011) weaves the two time periods together so seamlessly that it zips by. The secondary romance plot for Juliet is adorable. The book definitely contains some of the hallmarks of women’s fiction—sisters with a painful past, loveless marriages, handsome men in convenient places—but this story contains enough adventure and villainy, especially in Isabella’s story, to avoid cliché. --Susan Maguire


"The author’s description of the beautiful Australian coastline will linger with readers long after they finish the book." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Freeman skillfully unites the stories of two women who live a century apart but both face the challenge of overcoming difficult pasts, and both under the lighthouse’s watchful presence...Freeman’s moving tale gives her two heroines the unique chance to make a fresh start in life." (Publishers Weekly)

“Freeman weaves the two time periods together so seamlessly." (Booklist)

"What a perfect beach read. A sunken ship, buried treasure, a home on the beach by the lighthouse, sister relationships, adventure, and romance. Lighthouse Bay packs a lot into its two-pronged story." (

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451672799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451672794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kimberley Freeman is an Australian author of contemporary women's fiction, who has an alter-ego as a fantasy writer under her real name Kim Wilkins. She has a PhD in English and teaches on faculty at the University of Queensland. When she's not writing, that means she's asleep.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A light read, with beautiful scenery, in true Kimberley Freeman style.
I would definitely read more of Kimberley Freeman's books and would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a touch of history, adventure, mystery, and romance.
N. L. Passmore
Enjoyed every page...Characters well defined and story line enthralling...Would highly recommend this book!!!
Evelyn F.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen B on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When you pick up a Kimberley Freeman novel, there's a sense in which you know what you're getting: a wonderful few hours in which to lose yourself in a marvellous time and space, where there's romance, secrets, mystery, broken hearts and souls and the tools for characters to mend these if they so desire. Her books are like the best comfort food there is. Lighthouse Bay, a tale that takes place in two different time frames and explores the lives of three very different women who are connected by the vagaries of life, men, and place, is no exception. It is a gorgeously woven and cleverly plotted tale of loss, desire, memory and its power to render an individual static, and the incredible might of forgiveness to facilitate change, especially, self-forgiveness. It commences with a shipwreck in 1901, when commissioned with making and transporting a gloriously jewelled parliamentary mace to Australia for Federation, the callous, unemotional and aristocratic Arthur Winterbourne, insists his wife, the grieving Isabella, accompany him. When the vessel they're on is shipwrecked on the north-east coast of Queensland, not too far from the Sunshine Coast, and Isabella is the only survivor, not only must she brave the natural elements to survive, but human ones and the memories of her tragic past as well.
Switch to current times, and we're introduced to the Libby Slater, a web designer living in Paris who, having lost the love of her life, decides to return to the place of her birth, the imagined Lighthouse Bay, to grieve, recollect herself and, possibly, face some dreadful demons - including her estranged sister, Juliet, who cannot forgive her sister for the terrible thing she did twenty years earlier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. L. Passmore on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
In this intriguing novel, Kimberley Freeman weaves together two stories. After the death of her lover in Paris, Libby Slater returns to her childhood home of Lighthouse Bay on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. She's been away for 20 years after a tragic event that put a wedge between her and her sister Juliet. Can the sisters forgive each other and move on from the past?

In 1901, Isabella Winterbourne is the sole survivor of a shipwreck near Lighthouse Bay that claimed her husband and thus freed her from a loveless marriage. The treasure she holds in her hands could help her build a new life with her sister in America, but she is torn by her growing love for Matthew the lighthouse keeper and her unresolved grief over the death of her infant son three years previously. Can she escape her grief and find the happiness that has eluded her?

In this book, Kimberley Freeman expertly weaves the two storylines together. The prose is beautiful, the characters are well drawn, and there are lots of interesting twists and turns. There are also some moral dilemmas, especially regarding some of Isabella's actions. However, the flaws in her character also draw sympathy.

I found that I was more engaged with the 1901 story. It wasn't that the present day one wasn't well written, but I didn't gel with the modern characters as much. This was probably just a personal preference. I felt the storyline with the young boy Xavier went on a bit long, though the extended time was probably necessary in order for other plot developments to occur. I also thought both stories were wrapped up a bit too quickly at the end. However, I did enjoy the book and thought the ending itself was very satisfying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By VicG on May 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
Kimberley Freeman in her new book, "Lighthouse Bay" published by Touchstone brings us into the lives of Libby Slater and Isabella Winterbourne.


In 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Lighthouse Bay in Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne--escaping her loveless marriage and the devastating loss of her son--who clutches a priceless gift meant for the Australian Parliament. Suddenly, this gift could be her ticket to a new life, free from the bonds of her husband and his overbearing family.

One hundred years later, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay. Living in the cottage that was purchased by her recently passed lover, she hopes to heal her broken heart and reconcile with her sister, Juliet. Libby did something so unforgivable twenty years ago, Juliet is unsure if she can ever trust her sister again.

In this adventurous love story spanning centuries, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future.

It could be me however I have not found many stories that take place in Australia and I find that this is a shame. Australia seems to have so much to offer in terms of Geography and History that it seems to just lend itself to great stories. Case in point "Lighthouse Bay". Ms. Freeman seems to understand Australia and focused on the coast in this little town. In 1901 Isabella, due to shipwreck, comes to Lighthouse Bay with a secret. One hundred years later Libby is out to unearth it.
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