The Girl from the Lighthouse: A Novel

The Girl from the Lighthouse: A Novel

by Willard Thompson


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The Girl From the Lighthouse tells the compelling story of Emma Dobbins. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she was raised by her father, a lighthouse keeper at Point Conception in California, where early on she discovers her artistic talent. At the age of 17, Emma travels to Paris with a chaperone, to attend art school but is separated from the chaperone when the chaperone becomes ill. Emma arrives alone in Paris with no money, no language skills, and no friends. A chance meeting with a young working girl in the train station becomes her first Parisian friend. The setting is Paris in the 1860s-70s, the start of the Belle Èpoque. France soon is involved in the Franco/Prussian War and the Commune Uprising; difficult times for Emma and all Frenchmen. Initially rejected by art schools, her determination keeps her moving toward her goal in the art world, where the Impressionists are starting to change the world. Frenchmen fall in love with her beautiful face and lustrous dark hair. Some wanted to paint her, others to court her, but either way, she does not abide by the rules they try to impose on her. Emma grows into an accomplished artist but never gives up her own principles... even when someone steals something precious to her. The story is told in the first person, present tense, allowing the reader to enter the story and feel a part of it as it unfolds, sharing with Emma her highs and lows, loves and rejections, all focused in the art world of Paris. The novel is filled with vivid characters, both fictional and real people, and the story unfolds gracefully from the 1870s until 1912, just prior to the start of WWI

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979755293
Publisher: Rincon Publishing
Publication date: 03/20/2019
Pages: 428
Sales rank: 128,862
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Willard Thompson is an award-winning independent author, living in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Jo. He is the author of historical fiction and romance novels as well as non-fiction articles and books.

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The Girl from the Lighthouse: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
kathy-bookaholic 7 months ago
This was one of those fiction books I really enjoyed reading but also the kind of book that makes you want to look things up and learn more about them. The setting is a sheltered young girl from California with much artistic talent trying to attend an art school in Paris. She very quickly finds that women are not a part of the intellectual society (or so men think) at least not in art. This is the time of the French-Prussian War and as the war ends and she (Emma) begins to meet people and find her way, she also becomes painfully aware of the class sects in Paris. Definitely not something she has experienced in gold rich California. The descriptive writing of people and places is almost like Jane Austen in this book. Maybe it was the class differences and the cold unacceptance of one group towards another that made me feel this way. The characters here were very real, many a few famous painters you will recognize. There is a certain amount of romantic feeling between them, a feeling of young people courting one another. And yet, the essence most captured is really and truly of history. Even though this is fiction the time of the setting is correct, the late 1800’s, the feeling of Parisians suffering so much from hunger and pain, the classes fighting so much amongst themselves and even a young naïve girl, a girl young enough to know none of the ways of womanhood and yearning to become an artist. An enjoyable read worth your time.
amybooksy 7 months ago
The Girl from the Lighthouse is the first book I have read by Willard Thompson and it definitely will not be the last. I found this historical to be so well written and full of vivid details of the setting and era, that I felt as though I was right there in Paris with Emma. I enjoyed her story. I give The Girl from the Lighthouse four and a half stars. Readers who love books set in Paris prior to World War I. I recommend it. I received this book from the author. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.