Tuesday 24 May 2016

The Keeper by Marguerite Poland

Hmm, a bit flimsy, maybe? At 183 pages, this book felt a little thin. The upside was though, it was easy to slip into my bag and take to the appointment and read while I waited.

The Keeper tells the stories of lighthouse keepers back before the lights were automated. These men and their families spent months in very isolated places. All they ate was fish, all they smelled was the sea, and guano (penguin poop). So I suppose it didn't really matter what they ate, it all tasted the same. Hannes is the protagonist in our story. He is born to be a lighthouse keeper. His father was, and he grew up on the island where he now keeps watch. Aletta, his wife, not so much. She is restless and unhappy.

Marguerite Poland is accomplished. The imagery is beautiful, she knows how to show and not tell, and this book gives new depth to the term "atmospheric". It was full of emotion, had a great story, and was in no way flimsy. I should rather have judged the book by its beautiful cover, and not its weight in my hands. 

A beautiful story of the agony and pain, heartbreak and drama, love and mercy, grace and generosity found in the everyday existence of mere mortals. 

A bonus is that Marguerite Poland is a South African author - and there is just enough of the language, and delightful mannerisms in this book to endear it to you, without it being too confusing.

4 shining stars.

ISBN: 9780143539032

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