'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 17 June 2018

Review: The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock

Megan Evans is on her way to Pelican Island to her Aunt Rachel for restorative rest after an attack of meningitis. On the train she meets another Evans; unusual but likeable, who reveals little about himself but asks a lot of questions.

Rhys Evans, the man Megan met on the train, reappears. There is an early history between him and Aunt Rachel, made obvious by the bitter tension between the two adults. This adds interest as it plays out and evolves as a backstory.

Dylan, an over indulged boy who just wants to have fun, gives Megan a chance to be happy. The care and attention Rachel shows Megan builds the child’s confidence and allows her spirit freedom.

Staying with Aunt Rachel, Megan learns acceptance. What she has always believed is now a certainty. Her mother is not interested in her at all. Her entire focus is on her talented younger brother’s needs and her expectations of him. As for Megan’s father, his indifference towards her is painful even to the reader.

This acceptance nurtures Megan’s inquiring character. She takes an interest in the old lighthouse and its many hidden secrets. There is something magical and mysterious about it and the lighthouse keeper, whose journals Megan is given access to.  The strange pelican that visits her creates a life-changing shift for a young girl who finally finds herself, and her place in the world, in the strangest manner.

There are many sub-stories built into a storyline that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. Terrific characters, tension, and well-paced progress, added to lots of unexpected turn-offs through the plot, kept me longing to know what the outcome will be. Then came the completely unexpected ending!

 Title: The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock
Author: Stephen Hart
Illustrator: Kathy Creamer
Publisher: Eagle Books, $17.99
Publication Date: 4 June 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 97801994528056
For ages: 9 - 12
Type: Middle Fiction