Book Reviews

Book Review: From the Lighthouse

By Chad Musick

Published February 2022

203 Pages

Knot has always lived at the lighthouse with Bigman.  They’re not sure for how long. 20 years?  100 years?  All Knot knows is that during that time, they’ve stayed little while their only friend grew up and left them, and everything around the lighthouse has died.  

Sometimes they get along with Bigman, sometimes knives or fangs or claws are involved.  Knot eavesdrops on Bigman while he peddles good weather to the locals, and slips out of the lighthouse when he wants, despite Bigman’s warnings not to leave.  But Bigman is growing older and his hold on Knot is slipping – allowing Knot to form new allies with other creatures who want him to take his rightful place in the Universe.

I was blown away by the voice in this novel.  Really, really deep first person point of view.  And possibly the most original voice I’ve read in awhile.  The reader is tossed straight into the story and left to figure out what’s going on for themselves.  Is Knot a boy?  A girl?  A dragon?  Really a dragon?  And who is Bigman?  Can he really control the weather?  Apparently not as well as Knot. 

Sound confusing?  It is, a bit.  The plot is all twists and hairpin turns and since this is magical realism at its finest, I suggest you buckle up and enjoy the ride.  

Despite being set in Florida, this world is unlike any I’ve encountered, “peopled” with talking cats and lizards, Bird deities, a mother dragon who is anything but maternal, and mermaids/manatees.  The subplot of Knot’s longing for a friend among ordinary humans and the tragedy that unfolds because of this is slowly revealed as he meanders along, coming to terms his own identity and recognizing all that’s has been taken from him.

I wanted to rate this book higher than I did because overall, it was a fabulous read.  I assumed that I’d understand everything by the end and expected a big “a-ha” moment that never materialized.  There’s a point of view switch to finish the Annea subplot that did more to throw me out of Knot’s story than anything else.  But above all, I felt like the story of their identity and future was left hanging.  Ultimately, I ended the book wanting more.

It’s possible that if you’re not a very linear, structured thinker who needs everything to come to a tidy conclusion (like I am), you’ll love this book.  The writing is brilliant but it didn’t offset my confusion in the end.

I rated this book 3.5 stars.⭐⭐⭐+

I’d like to thank BookSirens for providing an Advance Reader Copy of this book and I’ve left my review voluntarily.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.

To be free means always leaving…or returning to a place where leaves never fall.

Rich Shapero

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