Sally Smith O'Rourke's enchanting debut, The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, established her as a gifted storyteller with an inventive imagination. Now, in her remarkable new novel, she brings to life a picturesque Rhode Island seaside town and an unforgettable heroine compelled to uncover the secrets guarded by The Maidenstone Lighthouse. — Nestled in a coastal inlet a few miles north of Newport, Rhode Island, Freedman's Cove is known for its superb seafood, its postcard-pretty waterfront, and its exquisite Victorian homes--a legacy of the town's past as a summer resort for wealthy families. Manhattan antiques appraiser Susan Marks inherited one of these ornate mansions from her great aunt. After suffering a devastating loss, she retreats to Freedman's Cove to nurse her grief.
Three months have passed since the corporate plane piloted by Susan's lover, Bobby Hayward, disappeared at sea, but still Susan dreams nightly of his safe return. Her days are filled with memories of Bobby's mischievous blue eyes, his sensual touch, and the sheer zest for living that he imparted to every moment of their time together.
Amid the bracing sea air and familiar surroundings of the town where she spent happy childhood summers, Susan starts to recover her peace of mind--until she awakens one night to see an ethereal figure standing at her window. More curious than afraid, Susan is immediately intrigued by the ghost of this sad and beautiful young girl who gazes out at the Maidenstone Lighthouse. Delving into the story of her ancestor's tragic death brings Susan into contact with Dan Freedman, a local historian and famed artist who was once the town's teenage rebel. But even as the hours spent with Dan awaken Susan's hope that she could someday find love again, the startling truth behind a century-old mystery emerges to shed a beacon of light on dangerous shadows in Susan's own past...and in her present.
At once moving and suspenseful, charming and evocative, The Maidenstone Lighthouse is a spellbinding story of mystery, secrets, and the power of love...
My Overall Feeling of the Book:
Not too long ago I read another book about a lighthouse, The Things I Do for You by Mary Carter, so I was primed to enjoy this book.
It grabbed my attention when Susan describes how she thinks she had been seeing her dead boyfriend different places throughout the city.
I was really excited when she went for her sabbatical to the shore and looked forward to all the decriptions of the area and also about her childhood.
FYI: This is a mainstream romance.
My Favorite Character:
I guess Susan was my favorite character. I felt drawn to her due to all the stress and heartbreak of the recent events. I also liked her attitude of moving forward which can be so hard to do.
My Favorite Scene:
I'm really not a ghosty kinda person, so it is surprising that my favorite scene is when Susan first "meets" Aimee Marks. The only reason I was able to keep reading was because it was not in any shape or form a scary experience. Otherwise, I would have been done, over, kaput! lol
My Favorite Sentence/Paragraph:
So I chalked up my vision of the lovely spirit to sheer exhaustion fired by my overly charged emotions and went downstairs in search of the thermostat.
Page 54 (Susan after above-mentioned scene)
It Would Have Been Better If:
Again, I'm not really into paranormal books or movies. In fact, I try to stay far, far away unless I'm certain I won't be feeling spooked for days. So, that didn't bother me about this book.
What did bother me was the fact that Susan was very nonchalant about sleeping around. Apparently, she spent the night with Bobby the first day they met. And it didn't take very long for her become "intimate" with Dan, a person she hardly knew at all.