The Lightkeeper's Wife

The Lightkeeper's Wife

Karen Viggers

Language: English

Pages: 408

ISBN: 1743310390

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A woman at the end of her life, a man unable to restart his, and a history of guilty secrets and things left unsaid—this is a powerful, moving novel of love, loss, and family
Elderly and in poor health, Mary fulfills her wish to herself to live out her last days on Bruny Island off of Tasmania, with only her regrets and memories for company. Her late husband was the lighthousekeeper on Bruny, and she'd raised a family on the wild windswept island, until terrible circumstances forced them back to civilization. The long-buried secret that has haunted her for decades now threatens to break free, and she hopes to banish it in the time she has left. Mary's youngest son Tom loves Bruny as much as she does, and understands her primal connection to the island. Years before he spent a winter working in Antarctica, and returned from that empty loneliness to find his marriage over and his life destroyed. Still wounded, Tom lives a simple life, unable and unwilling to make real connections with people in case he gets hurt again—but then he meets Emma, newly returned from Antarctica and as open and welcoming as Tom is not. As Mary's time winds down, both she and Tom must face their pasts in ways they cannot even begin to imagine, and Mary finds that the script she's written to the end of her life has taken on a few twists of its own.

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and roll her onto the couch, her head lolling onto the cushions. ‘Tom,’ she mumbles, as I turn off the lamp. ‘What about Nick?’ ‘What about him?’ ‘He’s in the car. Can you bring him in? He’ll freeze out there.’ ‘Does it matter?’ Tonight of all nights, I don’t care about Nick. My mother is dying. ‘We had an argument. I wanted him to go, but he wouldn’t. And you weren’t here.’ She says it again as if it’s all my fault. ‘I’ll bring him in,’ I say. ‘Then I’m going to sleep.’ Fortunately, Nick

Leon managed to achieve what I couldn’t. He sighs deeply and I see tears brimming in his eyes. ‘She was my friend,’ he says. I pat him on the shoulder. It’s the best I can do. Jess whines up at me and I glance uneasily at the front door. ‘I suppose I should go in,’ I say. Hesitantly, I step inside. Leon follows. It’s hot in the lounge room, unbearably so. The wood fire is glowing and the gas heater is on too, pumping out heat. I peel off a couple of layers. ‘It’s hot in here.’ Leon’s face is

beach, rustling the leaves. She could still see Jack squatting by the flames, his legs thin and wiry, his shoulders boxy and broad. His face narrow. His jaw angled, rough with stubble. After dinner they had walked the beach under the white wash of the moon, stopping to grasp each other in passion, or to lean into each other’s warmth while the air settled bitingly cold around them. That night, they lay together, listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach, their bodies enmeshed,

a couple of days? ‘I don’t mix relationships with going south.’ She’s issuing a warning. I shrug. What am I supposed to say? She presses harder. ‘You said you wanted to go south.’ ‘Yes, I think I’d like to.’ ‘You think you’d like to?’ She’s making this very difficult. ‘It’s not always easy to just get up and go.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘People have commitments.’ ‘You mean things that tie them down.’ ‘Things that make it hard to go.’ Like Mum. Like fear. ‘Like what? Mortgages? I thought you said

he passed away, a great emptiness had followed. His illness had given her purpose, and it was an immense wilderness to be without him. Later, she had gradually found new activities to fill her time. She started helping out in the local opportunity shop. She signed up to deliver Meals on Wheels. It felt good to make her contribution to the community, and reminded her that she was fortunate to be in control of her own situation, for as long as it lasted. Yes, it was good to have Jacinta and Alex

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