Do you remember when Peter Geye won the Indie Lit award for Literary Fiction last year? Well, it was a well-deserved win because his first novel, Safe from the Sea, won me over despite the fact that I DO NOT LIKE books about sinking boats (no, I do not like them, Sam I Am). I’ve got this thing when it comes to sinking ships…my mind prefers not to go there. So when Geye’s second book, The Lighthouse Road, came out, I knew I’d read it no matter the topic (lucky for me, no ships were sunk in the writing of this book).
And once again, Geye’s book is totally worth reading. Even if it is set in the freakin’ frigid north (aka Minnesota) and all I wanted to do was shiver throughout the whole book.
And even though poor Geye seems to get stuck with dull covers (my deepest apologies if he’s the one who chose them and/or actually likes them…but dude…they need more oomph).
Okey, dokey. So this one is about immigrants. And orphans. And small towns where things might not seem to be what they appear to be. Also, love and overcoming one’s past, or not overcoming one’s past.
But mostly it’s about Odd. Odd Einar Eide (I love that name!), son of a Norwegian immigrant, and also orphan, and favorite child of the townsfolk of Gunflint, Minnesota. Geye moves around in time to tell the story of Odd’s mama, as well as key events in his childhood (BEARS!). And while it sounds like there’s a heck of a lot going on, it’s actually a quick read. Or maybe I think it’s quick because I gobbled it up. I actually read it on my iPad, and my sense of length gets all skewed when I read that way. I haven’t seen an actual physical copy of this one to figure how it compares in heft to other books.
I was just rereading my post on Safe from the Sea (because that’s the only way I can remember anything), and I wrote “The strength in this book is the characters. Well, and the writing. Okay, and the story, too.” The same is true for The Lighthouse Road. Geye has a knack for characters that you think you won’t like, but you do.
And then there’s the end. If you’ve read this book, we need to talk, because boy do I have a question for you. Not that there’s a cliffhanger or anything, I’m just wondering if anyone else is putting the same spin on a certain line that may or may not have just been a passing observation about nature.