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I’ve been reading a lot lately.  The weekend after the Fourth of July, I plowed through three books on Sunday alone.  It was one of those days – and I was sucked into one of those story lines – that I just couldn’t stop.

I think I needed to be wrapped up in melancholy.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling a little down, I find it best to just wallow in it for a while and then pick up my chin and move on.  Without the wallowing though, I find myself returning time and again to the thing that’s dragging me down.

So on that Sunday, I put on sappy Hallmark Channel movies (which get me every single time even though I don’t usually like chick flicks), poured myself some wine (because that’s what you do on a Sunday afternoon when you want to wallow), and pulled out my Kindle (so that I didn’t even have to get off the couch when I was ready for the next book).

I discovered a gem that day, a gem that definitely made me feel better about my life if only because I was reading about someone worse off.  The Girl in the Lighthouse, by Roxane Tepfer Sanford, was haunting.  The reviews on Amazon are very mixed but I am definitely in the camp that enjoyed it.  The scandal was exactly what I needed that afternoon.  The story deals with mental illness, incest, and abuse.  I will admit that (somewhat thankfully) the author did not delve into any of the topics as blatantly so I didn’t find the darkness overwhelming like some readers did, but be warned that the story is not for the faint of heart.

I followed The Girl in the Lighthouse with the second book in the series All That is Beautiful and have to say that I should have stopped after the first.  I don’t know if the author was contracted to write two books and felt she needed to complete that or what.  No matter why it was written, the second book may have tied together some loose ends from the first but left me feeling more unfulfilled than if I had just tied those ends together in my own imagination.  The reader saw the main character – who despite everything you really were rooting for – spiral into an unbelievable mess.  Whether you thought she was a victim or drove her own demise, the story line become entirely unbelievable even in the end when you thought you might finally get your happy ending.  My recommendation is to read the first book and then stop… Let your mind come to its own conclusions and be done with it.

Incidentally, while reading I got sick of the Hallmark Channel movies and put in a cd that I have been listening to on repeat for the last few months and found the perfect soundtrack to the amazing story I was reading.  If you haven’t heard Barnaby Bright – which you probably haven’t since I only happened to discover them myself due to a small concert series in my town – and you like singer songwriter stuff with ridiculously amazing female vocals, I suggest you check them out.  I especially liked how one of my favorite tracks “Old Coats” fit the mood of the story I was reading.  You can check it out on their website – looks like you can even download a few tracks!

After a long day of reading, I truly did feel better.  I picked myself up and went on with my week knowing that by allowing myself to feel the badness I was opening myself up to a tomorrow full of goodness.

And P.S. The Girl with the Lighthouse is still free on Amazon if you have a Kindle.  I do recommend that you check it out – just don’t waste the money on the sequel.

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