The Lighthouse by Alison Moore was my book club’s read for May.
I didn’t go, because at first I couldn’t decide whether to go to the Brisbane launch of a book by someone I know from the golden age of blogging (c 2005-2008) or stick to book club when I hadn’t finished the book. In the end, it was terrible weather so I talked myself out of going anywhere.
When something like this happens, I don’t always finish reading the book, but after a few days, I did take up The Lighthouse again.
It’s appeal, I decided, was its existentialism.
The main character, Futh (his surname; we never learn his first), goes on a self-directed walking tour of Germany in the wake of the disintegration of his marriage. He last visited Germany as a boy with his father following the disintegration of his parents’ marriage.
The other key character is Ester, the proprietress of a German hotel, Hellhaus (Lighthouse), who is jealously guarded by her withholding husband.
I enjoyed Moore’s unadorned prose, her ordinary characters and their everyday dissatisfactions. I felt flickers of Kundera brilliance. (I don’t know if it’s helpful for anyone to make such comparisons, but those were my thoughts.)
It’s been a day since I finished The Lighthouse and those flickers haven’t taken hold, however. It’s all to do with the ending–a couple of details leading up to it–about which I’ll say nothing here.
But as always, if you’re curious about the ending and want or need it explained to you, the internet provides. Just start typing ‘The Lighthouse Aliso…’ into Google and you’ll get ‘ending explained’ as a suggested option. Clearly a popular search.