Those lights on the beach have no idea I’m watching them. Wanting them. Plotting against them. Ignorant, every one of them—they dance; they sway. They’re just far enough away that I can’t enjoy their music or eavesdrop on their conversations.
Right now, I hate them more than anything
Author: Saundra Mitchell
When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.
Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.
Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself.
Oh! I’ll be honest, nothing much happened in this book. This was a book without a plot and maybe that explains the low rating on goodreads.
If you look past that, you’ll notice this book has depth. It has longing. It has guilt. It has regret. It has selfishness. This is a book you read for the characters.
I almost didn’t care about the lack of plot because I fell in love with the characters and their stupid, selfish, pained lives. I fell in love with the despondency of a cursed fishing town past it’s hey-day. And I fell in love with the Grimms fairy-tale like fog that shrouded it all.
I fell in love with a girl who was responsible for her brother’s murder; drowning in her intense guilt and (what she thought) were her petty, selfish thoughts. I fell in love with her silent, taciturn father who took everything upon himself and did his best to protect his daughter. I loved the confused, complex dynamics of the family.
I cheered for Seth as he realised that he didn’t want to marry Willa and fish for the rest of his life, even though he cheated on her. And I fell in love with Bailey and her mania to get into the Ivy League and keep her relationship with her girlfriend going strong.
I fell in love with Grey, all alone without even his memories to keep him sane on the sea he hated. All alone, collecting souls lost at sea, afraid of himself and frustrated that he got all that he wished for but not what he needed. Selfish, willfully blind and falling in love (or lust) with the wrong girl- twice. Girls who couldn’t love him, wouldn’t love him.
The characters in this book are flawed. Irreparably screwed up. And the best thing is there is no talk of ‘fixing’ someone with ‘love’. The book is faultlessley honest when it tells you that love can screw it all up- but sometimes it’s the only thing which makes everything bearable.
This is not a love story. At least, not in the ordinary sense. This is a story of guilt, of family, of blame and despair. And no matter who you are, there will be at least one character you feel for and relate to.
The ending…bitter-sweet but mostly salty, like the sea. Or like tears.
Should you read it?
Only if you want to get lost (and I mean really lost) in words. And then cry.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Books like this: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Genies took your wishes the worst kind of literal. Faeries were monsters; I needed a piece of iron. I needed to get myself together.
Old rituals we kept to guarantee the impossible: all good weather, no bad days.
But in our bones, we knew it was blizzards and nor’easters and squall lines that sank ships. Draggers and trawlers and people from away stealing our catches and leaving nothing for our pots. Government dopes making us trade float line for sink line, twice as expensive, lost twice as much.
A curse is a curse—the trappings are beautiful. They have to be, to tempt the eye, to sway the heart. The gilt packages, the plates that fill with any delicacy I like, they’re the sugar in the poison. The way I look—the way Susannah looked—ethereal monsters. I’m a devil with an angel’s smile.