Book Reviews,  Coming of Age,  Historical Fiction,  Horror,  Magical Realm

Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches

The Lighthouse WitchesThe Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a spooky, atmospheric Halloween-season read, you are in luck.

In 1998, a vagabond artist moves to Lon Haven – a Scottish island with plenty of mood, attitude, and creepy history. Liv doesn’t arrive alone, though. She’s brought along her three daughters: Fifteen-year-old Sapphire, nine-year-old Luna, and little Clover, just seven years old.

Liv has been hired to paint a mural in ‘the Longing’, a derelict lighthouse. Patrick Roberts, the island’s wealthiest resident and owner of the Longing is somewhere on the ocean in his yacht, but has left behind a strange, symbol-filled drawing to guide the artist in her work. The lighthouse is built on top of an ancient cave with a gruesome history.

I know, I know, what could possibly go wrong?

This Horror Fantasy Fairy Tale SciFi Romance Coming-of-Age story (try finding the right shelf in the library for *that*!) is chilling enough to raise real goosebumps. The atmosphere inside the derelict lighthouse is so well-described that I shivered more than once as I read about that cold, wet, dank-smelling, filthy yet compelling place.

CJ Cooke.copyright author
CJ Cooke (photo copyright by author)

The story is not told in a linear fashion. Instead, we hop between 2021 and 1998, with occasional glimpses into the pages of a grimoire – a memoir and spellbook – written in 1620. The author has taken great care in crafting a story that spans hundreds of years and is told from various points of view.

For me, the most important aspect of any story I read is the ‘what happens next?’ factor. If I’m not constantly craving just one more chapter, I’m not happy. This book made me happy. I postponed dinner to finish the final chapters. I knew I couldn’t relax with my meal without knowing how this tangled mystery ended!

My thanks to author C.J. Cooke, Berkley Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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