The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford | Blog Tour Extract | (@CherryRad @urbanebooks) #LoveBooksGroup

 

Published by Urbane Publications 

Available in ebook and paperback (5 April 2018)

360 pages



I’m delighted to be one of the two hosts starting off the tour for The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. My thanks to Kelly of Love Books Group Tours for the blog tour invitation and for providing an extract but first a bit about the book.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

There’s someone out there, and an unforeseen, irresistible connection…

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

 

EXTRACT

 

FRIDAY 31ST AUGUST, 2012
The South Coast, England

Imogen finishes a flapjack at a table from which she can observe the whole of the new Hippomania soft play centre while hopefully being out of range of the ball pit. All done: photos, leaflets about the party deals and the Halloween special, and a page of notes. It’s basically an agreeable padded cell for pre-schoolers intent on damaging themselves; and mothers needing to flop down and eat very good cake without having to get up every few minutes to check their kid isn’t being strangled in the underworld of a play frame. Some of this assessment will go into her one-fifty-word review, although the jaded tone appreciated by the Surrey Fun for Families isn’t going down as well on the Sunshine Coast.

She used to interview families in these places, but nowadays she’d never hear a word above the background hum of the inflatables and the excited squeals. For the same reason, it’s very unlikely that anything will ever come of the exchanges with friendly lone fathers – such as the lovely chap who just helped wipe up her spilt tea.

There are some very shrill little girls in here. You’d think reduced hearing could have its moments, but her ears seemed to have become simultaneously dull and acutely irritable. There’s no doubt about it, she is no longer – was she ever? – writing for the right magazine, but she’s not exactly getting snapped up by any others.

The Arndale centre is full of even noisier kids; small ones on shoe and pencil-case missions with Mummy, and hordes of laughing, pierced teenagers enjoying the last few days of mindless freedom. All those years of naming new uniform, sorting out crayons and maths sets, hunting down black Velcros in 4F, 5F, 6F and eventually clomping great car-tyre shoes in size 9… Now Ollie’s term will start without any help from her – except for the few words of encouragement he allowed her in last night’s brief phone call.

Curry’s has a family of five enjoying television demos. She unhooks some higher priced earphones, and then – having confirmed with little more than sign language that the speakers she’s chosen will work with her iPod – joins a queue to pay. Same old shops: Next, Holland & Barratt, Smith’s – all best dealt with online these days. There’s a make-your-own-bear shop like the one where Ollie’s Taekwondo Teddo was born. Specsavers: sooner or later she’ll have to have an eye check and succumb to reading glasses – and it turns out that you can have your hearing checked there too. In maybe less than ten minutes she could have a hearing aid in her bag, next to the speakers and earphones – she could go home and hook them all up together, ha! But it’s not funny. None of this is funny. Fun is not to be had in a shopping centre, with all its crowds, noise and strange previous and future versions of oneself looking for different things.

 

 

 

|   Author Bio  |

Cherry Radford was a keyboard player in a band, a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet School and an optometrist/post-doctoral researcher at Moorfields Eye Hospital before suddenly starting her first novel in the middle of a scientific conference in 2009. Following the publication of Men Dancing (2011) and Flamenco Baby (2013) by a small Brighton-based independent, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is her first novel with Urbane Publications. She left Moorfields in 2017 to concentrate on writing, but still enjoys teaching piano part-time. Cherry lives in Eastbourne and Almería (Spain).

 

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