Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Hutt Recommends: Lighthousekeeping

Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson

Last time I mentioned this book I wrote that it's not what I usually read, because what I usually read is classic scifi (Adams, Henlein, Verne, Asimov etc) and fantasy of all sorts (Pratchett, Lynch, Rothfuss, Tolkien, Rowling etc). Tales of the supernatural.
But not this one. Not really.

It's difficult to give a short account of Lighthousekeeping.
It's about a girl named Silver raised in the 1960's, orphaned by a windy Scottish town called Salts. But it's also about a man called Babel Dark who built the lighthouse where Silver is taken in by the blind lighthousekeeper Pew. Pew tells Silver many things. Stories that will shape her and set her on a journey into life, trouble and love.
Pervading themes are light and dark, and the stark contrast between what is permanent and what is ever-changing and how to find meaning in balancing the two.

As far as storytelling goes, Winterson does a wonderful job weaving a tale over centuries. It immediately soared to my Top 5 Favourite Books and after reading it again I can honestly say that I will read it again.
Other people have called it extraordinary and so will I.
"Our business was light, be we lived in darkness./... /Darkness came with everything. It was standard. My clothes were trimmed with dark./.../The darkness had to be brushed away or parted before we could sit down. Darkness squatted on the chairs and hung like a curtain across the stairway./.../ I learned to see in it, I learned to see through it, and I learned to see the darkness of my own."

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