Keeper of the Light

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Author: Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 978-192179524-4
RRP: $29.99

Intense and engrossing this book grabbed me and what was supposed to be a short period of reading over my morning coffee turned into a totally lost morning because I couldn’t bear to put it down until it was finished.

Keeper of the Light was intriguing from the word go and the last hundred pages or so really started bringing it all together, putting all the pieces in their place to give the big picture. There was so much back story that you were made aware of slowly throughout the book that made the situations and relationships much more complex.

The story spans nine months but covers nearly 60 years when you consider all of the back story that sets the stage for the final climactic revelation. The back story that tells the story of where the characters come from and how they became who they are today, not to mention shows a side of them that you would never guess at.

Diane Chamberlain’s characters are woven with such care that it’s hard not to fall in love with them, all of them – faults and all. I think what I loved the most about these characters is they are all flawed. They all have major baggage they are carrying around and trying to compensate for and I love that. It beautifully demonstrates how we are all a product of our environment to a point and the face we paint on for the world often hides indescribable depths of pain that haunts every day and colours our every decision.

Christmas 1990 sees a gunshot trauma victim lose her life on the operating table which is a devastating loss to her small community as she was a much loved vibrant spirit known for her generosity.

keeper of the light

More devastating to the emergency room doctor on duty is that her husband is in love with the woman, a fact that she puts aside to give everything she has to try and save the woman’s life.

hmmm, interesting start and definitely the bones of a story with great potential. This is only the beginning and from here the characters get quite entangled, the further I got the more I was left wondering how those in the story managed to keep their secrets and not have the extent of their entanglements uncovered.

I really don’t want to have any spoilers in here because I don’t to take anything away from the story for anyone who goes out to pick this one up.

Annie Chase O’Neill is the vibrant essence of giving, generous with everyone and a much loved member of the community – by everyone. There is an adulation evident in everyone’s thoughts and comments about her and her generosity is what put her in the path of the bullet. As the story unfolds, in both directions, we get a much greater insight into the woman behind the generosity that the community have come to think of as Saint Anne.

Dr Olivia Simon is an extremely talented and confident emergency room doctor who is often referred to as a workaholic and as she looks down with Annie’s life literally in her hands she is hit with a need to discover what it was about this woman that was so much better than what she has to offer. What it was that inspired such love and adulation from everyone who knew her.

The centre piece this story revolves around is the Kiss River Lighthouse and it’s significance to all of the major characters, as well as the fight to save it! The importance of the Lighthouse to the story extends to the Keeper, Mary Poor, who is more than just the keeper of the light – she is also the keeper of all the important hidden details of the story…..

Diane Chamberlain’s Keeper of the Light keeps us in the dark almost to the end and then the illumination is a revelation that drops every piece into position opening up a whole new future. The characters have a depth that surprised me and really evoked an empathy in me that most books don’t. I can’t wait to add more Diane Chamberlain to my collection.

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