After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to the coast to be alone – and to find out more about her lighthouse keeper father who mysteriously drowned there in 1982.
She starts to see similarities in their lives, especially in the way they both intensely correspond with someone; he had a young female penfriend, she has an actor-musician Twitter friend in Madrid.
Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.
- The novel has a theme of Communication: our difficulties with it (linguistic, cultural, emotional, physical), but also the miracle – or tragedy – of chance encounters. Which aspect (or scene) of communication difficulty between the characters did you identify with the most?
- Do you have a similar story of your own about a chance encounter that led to a close friendship or romance?
- In 1981, Imogen’s lighthouse keeper father wrote: “Writing, talking. If only there was something in between that we could move on to… I don’t know, a sort of small portable telex machine – that would be helpful at this point.” He wants to text! But does the modern technology available to Imogen and Santi really make their relationship any easier to develop than that between her father and his penfriend?
- Imogen and Santi’s relationship begins on Twitter. Their friendship hangs in the air between their two separate lives, their paths don’t cross, there are no mutual friends to remind one of the other’s existence; at any time, their connection can disappear without consequence. How does the story compare to that of any other novels or films in which a relationship starts on social media? What are the pros and cons of starting a relationship this way?
- Santi thinks: English is hard and slow, but somehow he can say things to this woman without it mattering; it’s like being extravagant abroad with a foreign currency. One reviewer has suggested that Imogen and Santi’s language difference draws them together more than it keeps them apart. What do you think?
- Santi and Imogen’s musical connection inspired me to create a Spotify list, matching pieces of music to the chapters in which they occurred in the story. Do you think all novels should have one?
- Imogen and Santi couldn’t be living in more different settings. How well was a sense of place achieved in Beachy Head and Madrid?
- How much did Imogen’s discoveries about her lighthouse keeper father’s story affect her decisions about what to do about her feelings for Santi?
- Who would you like to have seen more (or less!) of in the story?
- Were you happy with the ending? If not, what would you have liked to have happened?
If you have enjoyed The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, please let others know by leaving an online review on Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones or Goodreads (or all of them!).
I chat about writing and other passions on my blog (https://blablaland.org/), Twitter (@CherryRad), Instagram (cherry_radford), Facebook (Cherry Radford – Author) and website (http://cherryradford.co.uk/). I would love to hear from you!
You can buy The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter through bookshops or online e.g. here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lighthouse-Keepers-Daughter-Cherry-Radford/dp/1911583646/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523970030&sr=8-1&keywords=cherry+radford