THE LIGHTHOUSEBook - 2017
Futh, a middle-aged, recently separated man heads to Germany for a restorative walking holiday. During his circular walk along the Rhine, he contemplates the formative moments of his childhood. At the end of the week, Futh returns to what he sees as the sanctuary of his hotel, unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.
Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards, winning the McKitterick Prize. Both The Lighthouse and her second novel, He Wants (Biblioasis, 2015), were Observer Books of the Year. A third novel, Death and the Seaside, is forthcoming in the US from Biblioasis. Her shorter fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies and is collected in The Pre-War House and Other Stories. Moore lives in a village on the Leicestershire-Nottinghamshire border with her husband and son.
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The trick of a good irony (a mythos characterized by failure and stasis) is to drag the reader in a circle without them realizing the goal is neither "home" nor "success." Alison Moore manages to do this in spades in The Lighthouse. As middle-aged Futh bumbles through a German walking tour, the reader is apprised of how ill-prepared he is to navigate anything at all, how oblivious he has been to all the lighthouses of his past. At the same time the wayward Ester is on her own journey, caged in a hopeless marriage and doomed to the thankless job of cleaning the rooms of holiday trekkers. When their paths come close to crossing the result is both a whimper and a bang. The steady, piercing drip of Moore's sparse prose is absolutely perfect for this story—and make no mistake; this may not be a happy or heart-warming or inspiring story, but it is a story, a story of momentous proportions, a story that should stay with its readers long after the brief time it takes to read it. Brava, Alison Moore!
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