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I love Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles. Long before she started writing novels, Paulette Jiles was my favorite poet. She won the Governor Genera's award in Canada for her book Celestial Navigation, and her love of language shines on every page of Lighthouse Island; at the same time, she doesn't neglect the storyline, which clips along at a good pace. Her depiction of a dystopian future is incredibly detailed and imaginative: the entire planet is one crumbling urban space, where denoting years (2019) and place names is prohibited, human rights are non-existent, and the populace is placated with a steady diet of TV pap. While this book draws on certain genre conventions, it is a brilliant, literary accomplishment.
I have read almost all of Paulette Jiles books but was unaware of this one. When I found it, of course I had to have it. It is in certain ways a hard book to read because, from my perspective, I could easily imagine Earth devolving into the chaos described here. As always, her writing is brilliant and concise, her subject well researched. While I don't read a lot of dystopian novels I have read some others and this one ranks in the top 2 or 3 that I would recommend. While it may cause you to despair for the future, there are glimpses of hope too, the resilience of the human mind, the determination to find a better life shines in the two main characters. You should read this!
I was hooked from the first pages. Dystopian novels often sketch the future in broad strokes; Jiles uses detail after detail to give the reader the sense of dwelling in that awful future. The 'heroine' is cheeky, smart, deceptive, and dear. Superb read.
This story seemed far different from other Paulette Jiles novels, which seem to center around the post Civil War Midwest & Southwest. After finishing it, I realize the story line and characters are pioneers going into unknown and forbidding territory of which they do not fully understand the dangers. It seemed most unlikely that Nadia would survive her trek & find happiness, yet she did. Several other strong characters also survive, and sadly, many did not. As usual, some critical coincidences are sprinkled in, but they are not too far beyond credulity and they don't mar the storyline. This makes me want to read any Paulette Jiles stories I have missed. Overall, they project a positive belief inintrinsic human kindness.
I have read a number of Jiles' books and love her stories and her use of language. This is not the best of her books but is well written and a provocative story set in a future world I would not want to live in. The characters are well defined and the story moves along well but the world you are in is dark and hostile. Not for the faint of heart!
I started out reading Paulette Jiles News of the World and loved it so much that I read all of her other books . Just finished reading Lighthouse Island and I loved it as well! It's so different from her other books, but her writing is excellent and it's obvious that she does extensive research. I wish she would write a sequel to this book because I hated for it to end!....I want to find out what happens next to the characters, especially James and Nadia
I have read News of the World and Enemy Women and two other books by this author. This one took me into an unimaginable but too completely possible future unlike the other 19 and 20th century books. I did not want it to end, attached as I was to the story and characters. Perhaps they will be mentioned in her next book, as sometimes occurs.
I am a Paulette Jiles fan, and I usually enjoy dystopian novels. But I didn't enjoy this one and in fact stopped reading after 100 pages. The novel lacked Jiles's usually crisp prose, and the plot was hard to follow, or at least harder than it should've been. I don't know why Jiles departed from her usual style with this book. She shouldn't have. Novels about crumbling societies aren't required to have crumbling plot lines, either. I look forward to reading her other works.
I read about 100 pages, but had to give up on it. I had previously read the author's book, "The News of the World" and enjoyed that one VERY much, but this one is ENTIRELY different and I'm afraid I couldn't hack it!
I loved this book--although it took a while to get to the ending. It was so totally different from Paulette Jiles' book entitled 'News of the World'--which I also enjoyed. It was evident that the material for both books had been researched thoroughly. I believe that Ms. Jiles could effectively write about any subject occurring in any time period--and make it a good read.