The Lighthouse is Michael D. O’Brien’s latest novel.
First off at 181 pages this is certainly the shortest of his novels by an order of magnitude.
I was quickly pulled into this novel and pretty much did not come up for air until I finished it. The story is both simple along with delving into the complexity of human nature. His novels often involved deeply wounded people trying to make their way in the world. In this case, the backstory is, a young man who does not know who his father is and his mother is out of the picture in her own woundedness.
He comes to be an apprentice at a lighthouse and ends up making this his life. Alone on an island with the normal longings for love and family. This is partly sublimated in his wood sculpturing and outdoor activities. Yet this longing is revealed in his sculpturing. Mainly keeping to himself with rare excursions off the island for supplies.
The story picks up with encounters with a series of visitors to the island.
There are parts of the story where you know exactly where it is going, especially if you have read his other novels. There are places where you are surprised. Like all of his novels, there are aspects that are deeply meditative. There is a lot under the surface. I always fall in love with his characters.