Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Tuesdays mean late nights here in Library Land. It's the one night a week I have to be here until 8PM - bringing entertainment and education to the masses. It's not so bad really. Being here late means I don't have to come into work until later in the day - and I tend to get a lot of reading done during those early morning hours.

I just finished up a book by one of my favorite authors, Susan Wiggs. The Lightkeeper was originally published back in 1997, but has since been reprinted. I'm still working my way through this author's backlist, but will say that this isn't her best effort. Still it's very good - and I can see how her style has evolved just in the last few years. The Lightkeeper shows the beginning emergence of the voice that I found so compelling to read in one of her later books, The Firebrand.

Interestingly enough - The Lightkeeper and The Firebrand have something in common, besides similar titles. The plots hinge on major coincidences. In The Firebrand, the heroine saves the hero's baby daughter when she is dropped from a burning hotel window during the Great Chicago Fire. The hero believes his daughter dead - until 5 years later when he learns the truth - that his baby is being raised by a radical suffragette.

The hero of The Lightkeeper rescues the pregnant heroine after she washes ashore - the only survivor of a shipwreck. Things get complicated because the father of her baby is the hero's former rival, who also happens to be his brother-in-law.

Now what are the odds that these kind of things would happen in real life? Not very likely - but it makes for interesting fiction. It also makes for compelling reading, as Wiggs has a way of throwing a ton of adversity at her characters, but still manages a happily-ever-after without making me groan in disbelief. Not only do I keep coming back for more - a little piece of me falls in love with her creations. A sign of a talented writer by my counts. I've pretty much decided that when she makes the jump to "the big time" with her first hard cover release in April - I'll be waiting at the cash register.

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