A middle-aged Englishman suffers memories of childhood abandonment as he embarks on a walking holiday
Futh is an Englishman leaving his wife. He stands on the deck of a Ferry about to embark on a walking holiday around Germany. One of first things he tells us, the reader, is about a previous time he stood on this same ferry, that time with his father after the break up of his marriage. This is one of many replications or coincidences in the novel that have you wondering how much of what Futh says is accurate.
Much of the book concentrates on Futh’s memories of abandonment and familial tumult. There are a number of marriages and relationships within his blended family and some startling plot tendrils left dangling about who may have been having affairs with whom.
The Lighthouse‘s construction focuses on themes of grief and loss, of the cyclic nature of hurt and all the emotions that come to the fore when abandonment has taken place.
And Futh, looking at the lighthouse, wondered how this could happen–how there could be this constant warning of danger, the taking of all these precautions, and yet still there was all this wreckage.
The plot is more about the memories than the events of the walking tour, and it is quite unputdownable. The unfolding of events and truths is measured and creatively done. Suzy noted how Futh makes for an awkward protagonist and suited his uncertain setting. Rachel loved how there was a continual element of surprise, right to the very last page. One we both recommend.