Friday, 28 September 2012

The Light Keeper's Legacy - Kathleen Ernst

It isn't often that I write a review without having finished the book, but I found this book tedious, and having stopped reading it over the summer I have decided not to bother going back to it.
It is a mystery book with two parallel sections - one in the 1980s and one in the 19th century. The main character in the 1980s is a curator, hired to put together a display in a lighthouse in North America. She is quite annoying and her methodology is questionable (I say this as someone with a background in archaeology and museums). The focus on her imagining the people of the past and indulging in her apparent psychic sensibilities to do her job was a real turn off and made me want to put the book down instantly. Having had a look at the author and her background I see she is an historical interpreter rather than a historian or an archaeologist which probably explains her focus on narrative over facts. I feel that all the touchy-feely imagination stuff was something that a vistor to a historical site should do, and not the professional - the professional has to focus on accurate information to enable the visitor to imagine. I realise this sounds quite sniffy, but this book did not feel right to me at all.
The other story thread was a Scandanavian family who lived on the same island as the lighthouse. This was a bit more interesting, but not enough to keep me reading.
Overall, I found the plot average at best, the characters irritating and the fact that I didn't even want to finish it says everything.

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