Saturday, 19 November 2011

16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

Title: 16 Lighthouse Road
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 978-0-7783-0290-2
Pages: 384
Series: Cedar Cove #1
Type: Adult Chick Lit
Source: Purchased

Judge Olivia Lockheart has inadvertantly caused a scandal. When the divorce petition of Cecilia and Ian Randal appeared on her docket, she decided they needed to work harder on their marriage and returned a shocking verdict - divorce denied! But Olivia has issues of her own with her blossoming interest in local newspaper man Jack. Not to mention her daughter Justine is dating an inappropriate man, her best friend Grace's marriage is in trouble and her mother's mysterious new friend Tom.

This is the first book in the Cedar Cove series and, despite being a fan of Debbie Macomber, a book I've been putting off reading. From the blurb it sounds like Olivia rules against Cecilia and Ian fairly randomly, but it turns out their story is heartbreaking. Their whirlwind romance ended in tragedy when their newborn daughter was born prematurely and died while Ian was uncontactable on a Navy submarine. Olivia's judgement becomes understandable as the two have barely spoken since Ian's return. I found myself really rooting for the couple and hoping they'd sort out their issues.

The strength of the book lies in its characters, each of whom is likeable and has their own story to tell. Aside Cecilia and Ian's relationship, there are several other storylines. Olivia finds herself drawn to Jack who runs the local newspaper. He's new to Cedar Cove and is keeping some secrets. Another plot line is given to Olivia's daughter Justine who is in a relationship of convenience, dating an older man as a well kept trophy. Justine has never wanted a long term commitment, but Olivia worries she's missing out.

Grace Harding is Olivia's best friend, and she's having problems of her own. Her husband is becoming increasingly distant, hiding things and changing his schedule. They've been married for 35 years and Grace worries that Dan has found another woman. Olivia's mother Charlotte has her own story revolving around her friendship with Tom, a patient at a local care home.

Cedar Cove itself is a cleverly developed town that really sounds like a place I'd like to visit. Loosely based on the author's own home town, Cedar Cove manages to tie the storylines together keeping the book coherent and well paced. Quite a long time passes during the book (almost a year) so the story has a grounded, realistic feel as problems aren't sorted out magically overnight.

All in all, this was a great read and I'm really looking forward to 204 Rosewood Lane.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall: 47/50

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