Lighthouse Island [NOOK Book]

Overview

Paulette Jiles's novels have been called "beautiful," "unforgettable," "impeccable," "pitch perfect," "life-affirming," "deeply relevant," "Homeresque," "remarkably engaging," "glorious." Now the acclaimed poet and New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Lightning, Stormy Weather, and Enemy Women limns new territory with this captivating and atmospheric story set in the far future—a beautiful and engaging literary dystopian tale resonant with love and hope.

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Lighthouse Island

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Overview

Paulette Jiles's novels have been called "beautiful," "unforgettable," "impeccable," "pitch perfect," "life-affirming," "deeply relevant," "Homeresque," "remarkably engaging," "glorious." Now the acclaimed poet and New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Lightning, Stormy Weather, and Enemy Women limns new territory with this captivating and atmospheric story set in the far future—a beautiful and engaging literary dystopian tale resonant with love and hope.

See the rain forests . . . northern beauty, misted nights. Come to Lighthouse Island . . .

In the coming centuries, the world's population has exploded and covered the earth with endless cities. Animals are nearly all gone. Drought plagues the land and cloudy water is issued by the quart. There are no maps, no borders, no numbered years. On this urban planet the only relief from the overcrowding, the petty informers, and the harsh rule of the big Agencies is the television in every living space, offering dreams of vanished waterfalls and the promise of virtual vacations in green spaces for the lucky few.

It is an unwelcoming world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan, abandoned by her parents on a crowded street when she was four with only a drawing of the constellations of the Big Dipper—Cassiopeia's Chair and the North Star—and her mother's parting words: "Look to the North Star, and we will always be there." Shuttled from orphanage to orphanage, foster family to foster family, Nadia grows up dreaming of the vacation spot called Lighthouse Island, in a place called the Pacific Northwest where she believes her long-lost parents must be. As her obsession grows, so too does her determination to find her way there.

In the meantime, this bright and witty orphan falls into the refuge of old and neglected books; the lost world of the imagination filled with characters who can't disappear, or be arrested, or hurt her. And there is the voice, bounced from an abandoned satellite, that patiently reads, over and over, the great classical books of the world—Big Radio, a sound in the night that lifts Nadia above the relentless television noise and the dull and perpetual Present. Despite deprivation, uncertainty, and the deceptions she must use to survive, Nadia's dream never waivers. "It will get better, life will get better."

When an opportunity for escape appears, Nadia takes it, abandoning everything to strike out for Lighthouse Island in a dangerous and sometimes comic adventure. She faces every contingency with bottomless inventiveness and meets the man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, a mapmaker and demolition expert. Together, they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megalopolis: Lighthouse Island and its all-seeing eye.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
New York Times best-selling author Jiles typically sets her novels in the past, but here she's off to a future world with too many people, hardly any animals or water, and no borders, maps, or numbered years. The orphaned Nadia Stepan survives by dreaming of Lighthouse Island, where she heads when she breaks from her foster family. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Publishers Weekly
Jiles’s latest (following The Color of Lighting) is a lyrical take on dystopian fiction set in an arid, borderless future in which a surfeit population has caused the totalitarian government’s Agencies to resort to drastic survival measures. “People disappeared but everybody pretended not to notice and stayed neutral and colorless like fabric lampshades.” Nadia Stepan, deserted by her family when she was four, leads a lonely existence centered on her fantasies about living on Lighthouse Island, a magical place advertised on TV, promising serenity in a natural setting. A chance encounter leads her to James Orotov, a mysterious man who says he has knowledge of her long-imagined destination and possible safe routes to it. Nadia must learn to trust James while hoping that the technical know-how and connections he claims to possess will be enough to travel safely without arousing the suspicion of the authorities. The dangerous plot James hatches is like that of one of Nadia’s beloved classic novels. The real test, however, consists of living without the restrictions that have defined their existences up until now. Jiles’s prose is a striking match for the barren landscape of this moody adventure tale. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Oct.)
Denver Post on THE COLOR OF LIGHTNING
“A remarkably engaging story. . . . Jiles’s description is memorable and evocative.”
Seattle Times on THE COLOR OF LIGHTNING
“Jiles’ spare and melancholy prose is the perfect language for this tale in which survival necessitates brutality.”
New York Times Book Review on THE COLOR OF LIGHTNING
“A gripping, deeply relevant book.”
Washington Post on THE COLOR OF LIGHTNING
“[A] meticulously researched and beautifully crafted story . . . this is glorious work.”
San Antonio Express-News on LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND
“Lighthouse Island is a beacon of hope for Nadia, the clever, resourceful young heroine of Paulette Jiles’ spellbinding new novel. . . . Jiles’ writing is crisp and vivid as always, and although her setting is vastly different, her themes—independence, individuality, love of the land—remain intact.”
Columbus Dispatch on LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND
“The dystopian novel is beautifully written, and Jiles’ scenes of [protagonist] Nadia navigating the crumbling cityscape and her surreal interactions with the many desperate characters are vivid, shocking and often darkly funny.”
New York Times Book Review on LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND
“[I]nventive futurism and rollicking wit.”
Kirkus Reviews
A quest novel set in the future, when America has become a vast megalopolis divided into "Gerrymanders" and water is a scarce resource in a new "Drought Age." At the age of 4, Raisa is abandoned by her parents and taken to an orphanage. She officially becomes a PD--a Parentless Dependent--and is given a new name, Nadia Stepan. Although she has an eye condition that temporarily renders her blind, Nadia learns from television (which pervades the culture, along with Big Radio) about Lighthouse Island, a land presented as a Utopian refuge from all that ails the vast city that America has turned into. It's presented as a place of "no buildings, no water rationing, only landforms, and random plants, fossils, silence, solitude, [and] mountains...." We also learn of James Orotov, a paraplegic meteorologist and demolitions expert fascinated by geography, whose maps lead to suspicions of his being guilty of "[c]artographical treason." Nadia eventually grows up and becomes adept at lying as a survival technique, and when Oversupervisor Blanche Warren discovers that she has had an affair with Blanche's husband, Nadia decides to escape by going to Lighthouse Island. Eventually, her path crosses with James', and he explains to her the vastness--and perhaps impossibility--of her undertaking. Nadia and James in due course fall in love and get married--and help each other on the long journey north to Lighthouse Island. When they arrive, they find it's scarcely the Utopia it's cracked up to be. Jiles writes beautifully but paces the novel glacially.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062232526
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 7,205
  • File size: 962 KB

Meet the Author

Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles is a poet and the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the bestselling novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, and The Color of Lightning. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.

Biography

Poet, memoirist, and novelist Paulette Jiles was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks and moved to Canada in 1969 after graduating with a degree in Romance languages from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She spent eight years as a journalist in Canada, before turning to writing poetry. In 1984, she won the Governor General's Award (Canada's highest literary honor) for Celestial Navigation, a collection of poems lauded by the Toronto Star as "...fiercely interior and ironic, with images that can mow the reader down."

In 1992, Jiles published Cousins, a beguiling memoir that interweaves adventure and romance into a search for her family roots. Ten years later, she made her fiction debut with Enemy Women (2002), the survival story of an 18-year-old woman caged with the criminally insane in a St. Louis prison during the Civil War. Janet Maslin raved in The New York Times, "This is a book with backbone, written with tough, haunting eloquence by an author determined to capture the immediacy of he heroine's wartime odyssey." The book won the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction (U.S.) and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize (Canada).

In her second novel, 2007's Stormy Weather, Jiles mined another rich trove of American history. Set in Texas oil country during the Great Depression, the story traces the lives of four women, a widow and her three daughters, as they struggle to hold farm and family together in a hardscrabble world of dust storms, despair, and deprivation. In its review, The Washington Post praised the author's lyrical prose, citing descriptions that "crackle with excitement." Stormy Weather became the fourth selection in the Barnes & Noble Recommends program.

A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Jiles currently lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Jiles:

"When I lived in Nelson, British Columbia, there were three or four of us women who were struggling writers; we were very poor and we had a great deal of fun. We shared writing and money and wine. Woody (Caroline Woodward) had a great, huge Volkswagen bus -- green -- named Greena Garbo. When any of us managed to publish something there were celebrations. It was a wonderful time. They always managed to show up at my place just when I'd baked bread. One time Meagan and Joanie arrived to share with me a horrible dinner they had made of cracked wheat and onions -- we were actually all short of food. I had just made lasagna -- and they ate all of my lasagna and left me with that vile dish of groats and onions. And then we all got married and went in different directions."

"I have a small ranch that keeps me busy -- two horses, a donkey, a cat, a dog, fences, a pasture -- I and spend lots of time preventing erosion, clearing cedar, etc."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southwest Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Romance Languages, University of Missouri

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2013

    I love dystopian novels and this one will rank among the best.

    I love dystopian novels and this one will rank among the best. The thing about this one is that it's way too plausible to see this could easily happen a couple of centuries from now if all initiative, striving for improvement, individual liberty, self-sufficiency, even basic respect for human life were to slowly erode to nothing. The kicker here though, is that Lighthouse Island is written by a poet with such a talent for the language that it transcends any genre. That she applied her poetry to dystopia is a bonus for me since I might not have discovered her otherwise. What beautiful language for such a depressing topic. No spoilers here, but over the week I took to read it, I was in a constant depression over the bleakness and struggles, and the hopes of Nadia for a somehow magical retreat was in the back of my mind unrealistic for her. Ms. Jiles' unique prose kept me going. It's literary. Is that a kernel of redemptive (for mankind) hope at the end?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Is this our future? Is this our future.

    What an interesting story! With our climate changes and growing populations, it is not inconceivable that water would be so strictly rationed, cities located practically on top of each other, and new goods and clothing only available to the rich. I loved the heroine's story and the hopeful ending. Good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    This was a good book. I feel it would have made a little more se

    This was a good book. I feel it would have made a little more sense to me if I had read the first two installments. Which I will be putting on my TBR list. I have read two other books by this author from another series and really enjoyed them. This was no exception; I liked that this book was very fast-paced and full of action. 



    The characters were all interesting and made me want to keep turning the pages. I loved the group dynamic of the story and that this unlikely group was humanities only hope for finding a cure to a deadly alien disease infecting the human population. 



    I liked the authors' style of writing, and I think it worked well with this type of story. I was left with a few questions, that keep nagging me, but I'm hoping for another installment in this series to tie up the loose ends. Great story for anyone who enjoys a post-apocalyptic series. 












    5 Stars

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Interesting. Highly recommended!!!!!!

    I love Jiles writing. This book was much different than what I normally read. It definately kept my attention. The setting, time period, and futuristc events were riviting. Readers of romance novels will like it. Readers of survival books will enjoy it. Readers who like sci-fi should get this book too. Readers who like to read about horror will definately need to read this - to begin to understand what big government can do when it becomes evil and takes total control - and people become too dependant on government and false television messages and propaganda. Highly recommended. Another excellent book on the NOOK is The Partisan by William Jarvis. This is a great historical fiction with a truely evil character that is based on an actual person. Included is information on how corrupt media helped the Nazi movement during WWII. Both books deserve A+++++

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Difficult read.

    I am not into this type of book so it was difficult. Where children are left behind to take care of themselves or have someone else take care of them is not my kind of read. Did not finish the book only got about half way and then had to put it away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    different

    A very good read, but not a true science fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    Someone is locked out

    Sagelight or lightsage or something or other

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    DINING ROOM AND KITCHEN

    ~emilee

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Pik hello

    Is blossompetal here?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    I

    When did things happen in this book?? People appear as if they have always been part of the story...the continuity man/woman must have taken long breaks or maybe didn't show up at all. The beginning of the book had such promise...then it went bad quickly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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