The Lightkeeper's Daughter (A Mercy Falls Novel)
by Colleen Coble
Genre: Christian Romance
Published 2009, Thomas Nelson
Paperback, 306 pages
"At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger-and quite possibly the love of her life.
Growing up as the lightkeeper's daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she's immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.
As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs."
This is the first book I received from Thomas Nelson for reviewing, and because of shipping problems, by the time I recieved it I had forgotten why I originally picked it. I started reading the book out of obligation, and at first, had a hard time actually enjoying what I was reading. It felt a bit like a school assignment for the first 80 pages, which is generally how far I will go in a book before I decide whether or not I want to finish it. Luckily, at that point the book actually started to get interesting as Addie became snoopy around the house and began unearthing clues about her mother. I am not much for the mystery genre, but I found the detective-like aspects of this novel much more entertaining than the chaste romance between Addie Sullivan and Lieutenant North, which led up to a climax that was so exciting I chose finishing the novel to sleeping when I was sick with a cold.
Regarding the more religious aspects of the novel, I thought that the depiction of Addie's faith in God to be somewhat watered down and simplified with possibly not enough attention given to its place in her life. Often I find ithis is the case with literature in the genre of Christian fiction. The single time that scripture from the Bible is quoted, it's merely a few lines out of Psalms, and each time that we see Addie praying, she only spends a few moments in prayer before something else requires her attention. This is not to say that all Christian fiction - categorized works do this, as I have read some truly excellent portrayals of faith in Jesus, but this book certainly did.
Overall, I would recommend the book more for its plot elements of mystery and intrigue, not for its religious aspects.
The Cover: I love the cover of this novel. I know right away the general time period that the novel takes place in, as well as what the main character, Addie, is supposed to look like. I love the dress she is wearing, which I later find out she created herself. The lighthouse in the background lets me know a bit of her background and the suitcase she carries also tells me she is leaving where she came from. In this case, a picture holds a thousand words, just as any good book cover should do.
First Line: "The ship's deck rolled under his feet, and he widened his stance to protect his balance and the toddler in his arms."
A very intriguing first line, and I immediately wonder what a man with a toddler on a ship has to do with the plot of the story - effective, to say the least.
Favorite Quote: "Her life would mean nothing if she let the world creep in."
Read For: New Authors Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, Twenty-Ten Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*