Title: The Lighthouse Witches
Author: C.J. Cooke
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
Page Count: 367
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found–but she’s still the same age as when she disappeared. The secrets of witches have reached across the centuries in this chilling Gothic thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Nesting.
When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.
Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke is marketed as a gothic thriller but this one does have a touch of horror in it. The story in this novel is one that is told in two different timelines with one in 1998 and the other in 2021. It also changed the point of view between three of the characters during the story.
In 1998 Liv had taken a job on a remote Scottish island to paint a mural in an old lighthouse on the island. Liv was a single mother and had brought her three daughters, Luna, Sapphire, and Clover, to the island with her. While on the island Liv and the girls learn the stories of witchcraft and the supernatural on the island but soon Liv’s worst fear comes to life when two of her girls go missing.
In 2021 Luna has grown up alone when her sisters and mother went missing all those years ago at the lighthouse on the island in Scotland. Luna has always looked for answers to where her family may have gone but she can’t helped but be shocked when she gets a phone call letting her know one of her sisters may have been found. Luna immediately goes to see Clover but instead of another young woman Luna finds a seven year old who very much resembles her sister and seems to have memories of their family.
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke is a story that is very cleverly layered to unravel as you read. While changing points of views and timelines may sound complicated the story really flowed well back and forth from the past and present and progressed at a nice pace. As I peeled back the layers getting to to know the dark past of the setting I found I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out what really happened all those years ago. Just like any good thriller read the author tossed in a twist or two that made the ending not at all what I expected it to be.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
C J Cooke (Carolyn Jess-Cooke) lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. C J Cooke’s works have been published in 23 languages and have won many awards. She holds a PhD in Literature from the Queen’s University of Belfast and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. Two of her books are currently optioned for film. Visit http://www.cjcookeauthor.com
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