3 out of 4 stars
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Lighthouse in the Mist by Heather Graham, Loretta Scutchings, and Diana Van Geffen tells us a charming story about a calm and welcoming village of New Petrograd situated on Canada’s Pacific Northwest coast. The name of the village is intriguing enough to continue exploring its story. As the narrative unfolds, it turns out that Russian immigrants established it shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that they had fled. Now, their descendants lead a simple and decent life there, cherishing their history and culture.
New Petrograd is a small village with just one general store, a church, and a local restaurant, the Borscht Kettle, but it also has a lighthouse. Its keeper, Phil Filipov, a widower with two living away and grown-up daughters, sees everything and everyone, so the narrative is given from his perspective. The lighthouse also sheds a metaphorical light on the events that take place in New Petrograd. The life of the villagers had been slow-paced and quiet until Marvin and June Palmer, the retired couple from Vancouver, bought the old Pagodon house, and two strangers moored their boat to the New Petrograd's pier. They brought with them the wind of change with a flavor of the mystery connected to the distant past of the village.
My favorite aspect of this book is the main message it delivers. The book tells us that despite all the hardship and dangers, there is always a place that can become our true home. I loved the descriptive writing style, making the scenery come alive, as I was reading about it. The book also has a beautifully and delicately built love-line between the main character, Phil, and Marg Rosnokova, his best friend's sister. For example, Phil invites Marg to a picnic and worries that he can bring only apple juice instead of a bottle of wine, which is very touching. Overall, the book is a heart-warming quick read and a good choice for a relaxing evening.
Unfortunately, the book has some flaws. In my opinion, the characters are flat and lack distinguishing features. Their physical appearance stays unclear with some rare exceptions, like Marg's grey eyes or June's high-pitched voice. Also, the ending left me quite disappointed. It was too abrupt and lacked some kind of a logical conclusion that would be very suitable for such a cozy book. I would say that I disliked the way the book ended the most.
I would love to give this book a full rating, but considering all the mentioned above flaws, I gave it only 3 out of 4 stars. The excellent editorial work and a perfect authentic atmosphere the book creates prevented me from giving it a lower rating.
Those readers who love cross-cultural experiences would enjoy this book. It's also suitable for culinary lovers as it offers some recipes from Russian cuisine, which is another delightful feature of the book. Those who study English would also benefit from reading this book because of its simple, easy to comprehend yet rich and beautiful language. I would recommend it to the fans of historical fiction, romance novels, and mystery dramas as well.
Lighthouse in the Mist
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