by Katherine Pond (Post Mills): A most unusual read. The title brings to mind coastal beaches and sun-drenched romps in the surf. While there is some sandy beach and dunes and even a Lighthouse Festival, that is not the chief backdrop of this story at all. The Lighthouse does play a significant role in the telling but not at all in any usual way!

A young girl’s mother has recently died and, not unexpectedly, she is devastated and unable to come to terms with her loss. Her father, too, has been thrown into the depths of grief. Their relationship has always been a bit strained, since he is a Detective in the State Police and has often been away either physically or emotionally from his family. Now, with both in such upheaval, there seems to be no way for them to connect and support each other. Her Uncle Jack, also a State Police Officer, convinces her father to take her to a small seashore town to help them to find a quiet place in which to work their way to peace.

And so Amy finds herself in a small hotel on Oregon’s coast with a Lighthouse outside her window. While her father goes to the bar for a nightcap, she finds herself unable to sleep. Grabbing her father’s sleeping pills she draws a bath and falls asleep as the tub fills. Suddenly, she is rudely awakened by a young man, who when passing her room, discovers the hall floor covered in water. He goes into the room to discover her. And so, the two central characters of the book meet for the first time.

Ryan, is the son of a ranch owner who lives about five miles outside town. He had come to the hotel bar for a drink as well. The Ranch is being foreclosed within days and his taking loans from the bank has brought this upon the family home. He hasn’t told his father and so driven by guilt and anguish, he has tried to escape for a bit.

As Amy and Ryan get closer, sharing their secrets and their grief, it becomes apparent that Ryan has a bigger secret that even he is not fully aware of. What that secret is and how it will change the lives of both he and Amy as well as their fathers is an emotional ride of hope, love,despair and finally happiness.

And is totally unexpected and unlike any novel I’ve read before. Just wonderful.