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Lighthouse Bay: A Novel Paperback – April 9, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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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

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"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." (atravelerslibrary.com)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original ed. 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 (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two wonderful stories. One is modern day and the other during 1901. Both stories include tragedy, betrayal, romance, heartbreak, babies, mystery, and much much more. Highly recommended. Other great authors include: Laurie Graham for her humor, William Jarvis for his historical accuracy, Judith Lennox for her helping readers to understanding of social errors, Margaret Mayhew for her romances, Duncan Barrett for his understanding of women during WWII, and Sandra Dallas for her fascinating western stories. This book was great. This book deserves A+++++++
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE Kimberly Freeman's books and rate them 5 stars, however, this one didn't quite make the grade for me. I wish the two stories could have been more tightly-knit. There should have been more details tying them together, and Libby was not very likeable character. Her story became boring at times. I will definitely be looking forward to this author's next book and I hope it exceeds my expectations!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lighthouse Bay takes place primarily in Australia, in a beautiful area called Lighthouse Bay. There is love, happiness, tragedies, loss, terrible grief, even love and/or resolution for most of the main characters. The story is complicated as the author weaves her story around her main characters; all of whom have some sort of flawed pasts, which further enhances the story-line. Ms. Freeman was able to skillfully navigate each character through and around the sensational life events that each faced, one way or another. This included a shipwreck, where all passengers drowned, except for the main character, loss of spouses or loved ones, loss of a child, affairs, abuse, riches and treasure, depression, happiness. The Lighthouse, in essence, is the central symbol for each character, and ultimately, each of their lives, are touched it, or by some aspect of it. The heroine of the story, is Isabella who is initially a pathetic, abused woman, who survives a shipwreck, suffers tremendous loss, but later finds love and happiness, and from whom, all other characters are affected. There is great detail in some parts of the book, while in others, particularly in the present day of the story, the story-line flounders a bit. I do recommend this book for summer reading, or perhaps for a book-club to help sort through the rather complicated story-line and characters.
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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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