16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber
Book 1 in the Cedar Cove series
Read: 8–16 August 2010
As a family court judge, Olivia Lockhart has dealt with numerous divorce suits but none as peculiar as Cecilia and Ian Randall's. Before the young couple was married the year before, Cecilia and Ian signed a prenuptial agreement stating their marriage would last a lifetime, but now, after the tragic death of their infant daughter, the two wish to rescind the agreement. Sensing that Cecilia and Ian are still in love, Olivia lets her heart guide her decision, and denies their petition. Olivia's decision makes headlines in The Cedar Cove Chronicle and earns her the admiration of the paper's editor, Jack Griffin, a newcomer to the small Washington town. While Jack courts Olivia, and Ian and Cecilia try to repair their marriage, Olivia's daughter is forced to decide whether she should marry a man whom she doesn't love; Olivia's best friend grows frantic over the disappearance of her husband; and Olivia's mother befriends a stroke patient who harbors a secret he would share if he could speak. (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed this book, plain and simple. It's not new or controversial in any way, nor does it pretend to be. Instead it's a story of normal people living normal lives – lives that could easily be yours or mine. True, the book is mosty predictable, but there were some events I never would have anticipated.
The main theme throughout the book is divorce. Most of the characters are or are in the process of being divorced, and as my parents are divorced twice (from each other both times), this was something I could relate to. The characters all felt like they could have been my neighbours. I could easily picture them going about their business in the small town and interacting with each other along the way. The address in the title is Olivia Lockhart's, but her story isn't the most significant, at least it didn't feel like it. The focus was more on Cecilia and Ian than the others, but I found what happened to Olivia's friend Grace to be the most interesting and surprising.
The ending is not happy for all of the characters, and there are some questions left unanswered (particularly one big one) that you will have to read the next book in the series to find the answer to. I'm not rushing out to buy it, but when it crosses my path I'll be happy to pick it up and return to Cedar Cove.
My rating: 3.5/6
The books in the Cedar Cove series are:
16 Lighthouse Road (2001)
204 Rosewood Lane (2002)
311 Pelican Court (2003)
44 Cranberry Point (2004)
50 Harbor Street (2005)
6 Ranier Drive (2006)
74 Seaside Avenue (2007)
8 Sandpiper Way (2008)
92 Pacific Boulevard (2009)
1022 Evergreen Place (2010)
A Cedar Cove Christmas (2008)