The Blurb (from Goodreads):
A compelling tale of love, secrets, and the power of forgiveness.
1901: Isabella Winterbourne has suffered the worst loss a woman can know. She can no longer bear her husband nor his oppressive upper-class family. On a voyage between London and Sydney to accompany a priceless gift to the Australian parliament, Isabella is the sole survivor of a shipwreck off the sun-drenched Queensland coast. But in this strange new place, she finds she cannot escape her past quite as easily as she d hoped.
2011: A woman returns from Paris to her beachside home town to reconcile with her sister. But she, too, has a past that is hard to escape and her sister is not in a mood to forgive her. Strange noises at night and activity at the abandoned lighthouse raise her curiosity, and she finds herself investigating a century-old town mystery.
‘Lighthouse Bay’ begins in 1901, with a woman – the only survivor of a shipwreck – dragging a chest full of treasure down a deserted beach. The narrative then moves to contemporary times, with a woman secretly grieving at the funeral of her married lover. These two women – Isabella Winterbourne and Libby Slater – are joined through time by a lighthouse and its secrets and mysteries.
Tightly plotted and quickly paced, I found myself quite unable to put the novel down, even reading it with one hand while I was cooking dinner with the other. It deftly weaves together romance, suspense, and adventure, all acted out by a cast of strong, defiant women and a suitably dastardly villain. Although it has various love affairs in it, this novel is not about love. It is really more about the relationships between women – as friends, as sisters, and as mothers.
I absolutely loved it! One of my favourite books of 2012.