Our February book club read was The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke.
We started a book club with a few friends in the fall of 2021 for a once-per-month book discussion. We don’t always agree, and we don’t always end up loving the books we choose, and we don’t always spend a lot of time talking about the assigned book. But, maybe even more importantly, we do a great deal of laughing at every meeting and it’s a bright spot of camaraderie each month.
We’re starting a new series of posts this year where we recap some of our thoughts on the monthly book following each meeting.
When I finished listening to this month’s Book Club selection, I landed on a 4 star review on Goodreads, because I feel like this book was a solid 3.5 for me. I particularly enjoyed the way the audiobook was handled (there were two different readers, depending on the POV of the chapter in question), and I wonder whether my enjoyment of the readers’ performances might have colored my overall rating for the story more than I realized?
I don’t mean to make it sound like I didn’t enjoy the book – because while there were some issues with it, overall it was fine. I didn’t feel myself struggling to continue reading (like some of the Book Club members), and I really did enjoy the character development, and the descriptions of the locations in the story were great. The author also did a really good job of setting the mood and building a decent level of suspense. I’m not someone who thrives in suspenseful stories, typically, and I felt like this one was right in my sweet-spot of keeping me invested in the story, while not spoon feeding things too much.
That said, I feel like the author relied too heavily on red herrings and threads that never led anywhere, moreso than the authors who do this type of suspenseful story telling better. While I enjoyed it well enough, if I had read it independent of the group it’s not one I would be urging the others to read or add to their TBRs. It was fine – but it had enough flaws and holes in that I’m still solidly in the 3-star-ish realm when it comes to my overall review.
I liked this one enough. Too often, books that are “kinda horror genre” end with some silly non-supernatural attempt at a plot twist, so I was glad that wasn’t the explanation here. I liked the twist about the doppelgängers (trying not to spoil anything by saying more). I think I just wanted to care a bit more about the characters and know them a little better. But overall, not bad.
I found myself reading this one quickly, and I thought the writing was good. However, I had a few issues with the story. Mainly, I find it frustrating when an author puts in red herrings to distract or trick the reader, and they don’t end up going anywhere, or they disappear without ever being explained satisfactorily. There were a lot of those in this book. Also, it doesn’t make sense that Patrick and Amy wouldn’t have solved the problem better than with just a grate, particularly since they said they didn’t want anyone else to have the problem. If you read the book you’ll know what I mean. In any case, if you’re looking for a book with a bit of fantasy, and with a strong message about what happens when people have mass belief in a superstition, this one is worth reading even with its problems.
Have you read The Lighthouse Witches? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments! If not, let us know whether you think you’ll try it based on our review.
P.S. If you’d like to follow along with our book club reads, stay tuned for the Thursday post where we’ll reveal our TBR selection for our next book club meeting coming up in March!