3 out of 4 stars
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Do you have moments in your past that you've dwelled on for so long they've become a daily part of your life? Are there dreams that you've decided not to pursue because you're afraid? Or has someone told you they aren't realistic? Then you have a lot in common with our protagonist, Sam.
Sam's father is a chicken farmer, and Sam figures he is expected to take over the family business when he's old enough. That's not what he wants, though. He finally gets up the courage to tell his father that he wants something different for his life, and Sam leaves to become an apprentice to a lighthouse keeper named Armand. Armand, and Black Eagle Lighthouse, aren't quite what they seem; Sam might end up learning a bit more than he bargained for.
The Lighthouse Keeper by David Richards is a unique story that's difficult to classify. It's almost an allegory or a fictional self-help book. This actually makes sense when you realize the author is "a firewalker, yoga teacher, life strategist, and corporate executive." There are life lessons to be learned; and, most importantly, they're taught in a fun way. However, if you go into the book expecting a science fiction adventure, you'll be disappointed.
What are these lessons you ask? The topics covered in the novel include letting go of the past and being present in each moment. At one point, meditation techniques are even discussed. So many of us need to hear what the author has to say. It's a bonus that these weightier topics are presented in a fun way. The allegorical part of the story teaches these lessons, but the author brings them home through the use of Sam's journaling, to which we as the reader are privileged.
The story is told from the third person perspective, and the author uses his words well. The descriptions are vivid and help immerse the reader into the world of the book. For example, "The grey-purple sky was a fleet of quick moving, bloated storm clouds that grumbled and belched in unchecked anger."
The characters aren't plentiful, making for easier understanding and comprehension. The ones used are relatable and integral to the plot. Many of us feel like Sam, as he's restless in his life. Joseph - who I'll leave you to discover - let's his fears hold him back. I don't know about you, but fear does control me from time to time.
The one drawback was the editing. There were more than ten errors in this book of less than 200 pages. These were mostly simple typographical mistakes that weren't overly distracting. However, the book could still use another round of editing.
Due solely to the errors, I rate The Lighthouse Keeper 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys fiction with a message. If your past defines you or you've let yourself believe you can't accomplish your dreams, this is a must read.
The Lighthouse Keeper
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