Mira, Feb 2003, 23.95, 384 pp.
The lighthouse off the North Carolina Outer Banks has deteriorated to the point that the Fresnel lens lies beneath the water. Outsider Gina Higgins wants to raise the lens over the objections of most of the locals.
However, siblings Lacey and Clay O'Neill support Gina in her endeavor. The disturbed Lacey, an artist, takes Gina into her home, the former lighthouse keeper's residence, hoping that the enthusiast visitor will awaken the grieving Clay, a widower mourning his wife, out of his stupor. As Gina pursues her quest, she digs into the history of the small town that links to her family's past.
The second Lighthouse novel, KISS RIVER, is a well-written contemporary romance that uses an American heritage as a focal point for the tale. When the tale stays in the present, the audience receives a strong plot as debate ensues over the merit of raising the lens along with a delightful romance between two deserving individuals. When a subplot that occurred during WW II takes center stage, this tale seems diverging from a powerful robust story in which either subplot could have stood on its own but not together. Still Diane Chamberlain furbishes an intriguing novel that will send the audience seeking the debut story (see KEEPER OF THE LIGHT).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner