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Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson

Lighthousekeeping (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Jeanette Winterson

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1,606536,726 (3.69)97
Authors:Jeanette Winterson
Info:Fourth Estate (2004), Edition: First U.S. Edition, first Printing, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson (2004)


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English (46)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
What's most frustrating about this book, I think, is how the language dips between breezy, fluid prose and forced, clunky passages. I love how Winterson segments the narrative (or partial narrative, really), but there were spots that I just groaned and groaned. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
I wanted to love this book more. Perhaps I shouldn't have approached it with the expectation of a story, because it reads better as a fanstastical poem. The language is extraordinarily beautiful, as one would expect with Winterson.
I found the stop-start nature of the multiple layers of stories quite distracting. It was like watching those films with multiple screens going at the one time. I find that I want to become involved in a story, or even in several stories, but this particular choppy presentation didn't allow me to completely invest in any of the stories on offer.
It's quite a feat, but ultimately unsatisfying for me. Others absolutely love it, and it is definitely worth trying. ( )
  ClareRhoden | Sep 26, 2018 |
I tried to read one of Janette Winterson's books several years ago but gave up on it. It leaned towards magical realism, a genre I'm not fond of, and I gave up on it. Still, I decided to give this little book a chance, and I'm vert glad that I did. I rarely reread books, but I think I'll be returning to 'Lighthousekeeping.'

Outcast from the Scottish town of Salts after becoming pregnant out of wedlock, a woman and her daughter Silver move into an unstable house cut into the side of the rocky coast. When an accident leaves Silver orphaned, the only person willing to take her in is Pew, the blind, elderly lighthouse keeper. There have always been Pews keeping this lighthouse, he tells her, and Pew plans for Silver to take over when he passes on. The two of them bond over Pew's wonderful stories of his ancestors and of Babel Dark, minister and son of a town founder who led a mysterious double life. Among the "real" persons who inhabit the stories are Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Darwin. Pew claims that both visited his lighthouse, and their meetings with Babel Dark both opened possibilities and created conflicts within him. When circumstances force Silver to set out on her own, she becomes a storyteller as well.

Winterson's writing is beautiful, often magical, and the interwoven plots are both quiet and compelling. She injects a measure of philosophy into her tale--something I find that most writers botch with heavy handedness, but her touch is light and therefore all the more effective. It's only near the end of the book that you realize how many themes she has managed to explore: the nature and origin of man, our relationship to God (if there is one), the enduring need for love, the importance of personal history and personal myths, the value of storytelling as a connection between people both past and present, and much, much more. 'Lighthousekeeping' is a short novel with a long and wide-ranging impact. Don't miss it! ( )
2 vote Cariola | Aug 11, 2018 |
Romanzo non convenzionale, non ha un inizio, nè una parte centrale, nè una fine. Le storie che l'autrice racconta, delicate come la schiuma del mare, si intrecciano come le onde sulla battigia. Il lettore intuisce quello che accade, stranamente è il passato a essere più definito, mentre il presente è ancora troppo vicino per essere messo a fuoco.
E' un libro da leggere e rileggere, con una matita in mano, per catturare le piccole perle che l'autrice regala. ( )
  LaPizia | Aug 3, 2017 |
The story of Silver a girl left orphaned to a lighthouse keeper is fantastical and yet sweet. The almost stream of consciousness way the story is written actually works quite well. I think the magical realism isn't over the top and gives a lovely feeling to the book. I look forward to reading more of Winterson after this. ( )
1 vote SadieRuin | Jul 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeanette Wintersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Polman, MaartenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sainio, MerviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Remember you must die.

Muriel Spark
Remember you must live.

Ali Smith
For Deborah Warner
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My mother called me Silver.
There is so little of life, and it is fraught with chance. We meet, we don’t meet, we take the wrong turning, and still bump into each other. We conscientiously choose the ‘right road’ and it leads nowhere.
There’s a booth in Grand Central Station where you can go and record your life. You talk. It tapes. It’s the modern-day confessional—no priest, just your voice in the silence. What you were, digitally saved for the future. Forty minutes is yours. So what would you say in those forty minutes—what would be your death-bed decisions? What of your life will sink under the waves, and what will be like the lighthouse, calling you home?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156032899, Paperback)

Lighthousekeeping tells the tale of Silver ("My mother called me Silver. I was born part precious metal, part pirate."), an orphaned girl who is taken in by blind Mr. Pew, the mysterious and miraculously old keeper of a lighthouse on the Scottish coast. Pew tells Silver stories of Babel Dark, a nineteenth-century clergyman. Dark lived two lives: a public one mired in darkness and deceit and a private one bathed in the light of passionate love. For Silver, Dark's life becomes a map through her own darkness, into her own story, and, finally, into love.

One of the most original and extraordinary writers of her generation, Jeanette Winterson has created a modern fable about the transformative power of storytelling.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:04 -0400)

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"Motherless and anchorless, Silver is taken in by the timeless Mr Pew, keeper of the Cape Wrath lighthouse. Pew tells Silver ancient tales of longing and rootlessness, of ties that bind and of the slippages that occur throughout every life. One life, Babel Dark's, a nineteenth century clergyman, opens like a map that Silver must follow. Caught in her own particular darknesses, she embarks on an Ulyssean sift through the stories we tell ourselves, stories of love and loss, of passion and longing, stories of unending journeys that move through places and times, and the bleak finality of the shores of betrayal."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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