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Alison Moore : The Lighthouse

We've played it a little bit safer for next month, choosing a novel which has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. A relatively short book at 192 pages and 5 weeks to read it in- what could be better?

The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on whose blustery outer deck stands Futh, a middle-aged, recently separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday.

Spending his first night in Hellhaus at a small, family-run hotel, he finds the landlady hospitable but is troubled by an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman.

In the morning, Futh puts the episode behind him and sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood; a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour; his parents’ broken marriage and his own. But the story he keeps coming back to, the person and the event affecting all others, is his mother and her abandonment of him as a boy, which left him with a void to fill, a substitute to find.

He recalls his first trip to Germany with his newly single father. He is mindful of something he neglected to do there, an omission which threatens to have devastating repercussions for him this time around.

At the end of the week, Futh, sunburnt and blistered, comes to the end of his circular walk, returning to what he sees as the sanctuary of the Hellhaus hotel, unaware of the events which have been unfolding there in his absence.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately in the end I couldn't attend tonight's meeting but I did find the book interesting especially as it was something which I would never have chosed myself.

    Disappointed not to be able to come along and hear other's thoughts on it but I guess there will always be next time.

    I'd like to hear the thoughts that come out of the discussion though as I found the narrative voice for Futh quite self-deluding :)

    October 29, 2012

    • Cristina R

      self-deluding was a common perception, Shelley!

      October 31, 2012

  • Catherine K.

    To echo Eric and Christina's comments, the discussion made me realise the book was cleverer than I had thought on first reading. I may even read it again to try to pick up on the threads and nuances we talked about!

    October 30, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I found our discussion much more interesting than the book :-) See you next month !!

    October 30, 2012

  • Cristina R

    I really enjoyed the discussion: other readers comments made me realise that there is more to 'The Lighthouse' than first meets the eye.

    October 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in Leeds for this date - but I look forward to attending the next one! :)

    1 · October 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't make this date as i'm in Cornwall, but would love to come to the next one!

    1 · September 28, 2012

  • Gina

    Sounds really interesting - unfortunately can't make this date.

    1 · September 27, 2012

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