Date: 2012 (first published 1992)
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Own book
Dr Olivia Simon is on duty in a hospital emergency room in North Carolina when a gunshot victim is brought in. Midway through the effort to save the woman's life, Olivia realises who she is – Annie O'Neill – the woman that Olivia's husband, Paul, is in love with. When Annie dies on the operating table, Olivia, Paul and Annie’s husband, Alec, are left to pick up the pieces.
Keeper of the Light is the first book that I have ever read by Diane Chamberlain. I must say I liked it very much and will be seeking out other books that she has written. About ten years after writing Keeper of the Light, Diane Chamberlain went on to write two more books and it became a trilogy. I will be seeking out these books at some point as they follow on and include a couple of the characters that I really liked - teenagers in this book, Lacey and Clay O'Neill.
Most of the characters in the story have a past. Olivia has a terrible upbringing, with a mother who was an alcoholic and brothers who let her down at a time when she needed them most. At fourteen she runs away from home to one of her teachers. She is very confident in the emergency room, but not so confident anywhere else in her life. She has married for love, but lately her husband has shared about how entranced he is by a woman - Annie O'Neill. Annie is married to Alec who is utterly devastated by Annie's death. Annie too has had a difficult past, she is the child of rich parents who really saw her as a nuisance, someone to throw money at but never gave her time or love. So it was important for Annie to know she was loved. She loved to give, and was known locally often as Saint Anne. Did she have any shadow side to her? Well that's what makes this book so interesting.
Annie's death not only throws Alec, of course Paul - Olivia's husband is also grieving. And then there are Annie's two children Lacey and Clay. Clay seems to be managing but Lacey is really finding it difficult and the behaviour she engages in says it all. The only problem her father is so wrapped in his own grief he doesn't notice. How I felt for Lacey when her birthday passes unnoticed.
Another important character is Mary, once the wife of the lighthouse keeper. She is very much part of the twisting and turning of the plot. She does in fact provide the final details that bring a surprise for some of the characters.
I liked that we get viewpoints from most of the main characters, it helped me be sympathetic towards them, even if they were less likeable because of their actions.
My favourite character was Olivia, I liked the decisions she made, I liked how she reached out to others, especially Lacey. I liked how Olivia grew into herself more and made more decisions for herself as the story unfolded.
So happy I will have the opportunity to catch up with some of the characters again - and soon!
Kiss River Trilogy
Keeper of the Light