The Lightkeeper's Wife
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.
Karen Viggers works part-time in a veterinary practice and provides veterinary support for biologists studying native animals.