Book Review: “Lighthouse – An Anthology” (Lorikeet Ink, 2020)


Disclaimer: I wrote this review based on an advance reading e-copy that the publisher, Lorikeet Ink, sent me.


Most of us as readers have one or a couple of preferred literary genres. Because there is never enough time to consume all the books on our TBR lists in our favourite genre(s), it is rare – or at least not often – that we will venture outside of our reading comfort zone and explore those authors and books unknown and unfamiliar to us. Sometimes I wonder what I have missed and am still missing.

Which is why Lighthouse – An Anthology is refreshing, as it offers a delightful glimpse of some of the reading routes that I have never before taken. The 15 stories collected here share the same theme but are from a diverse range of genres, including fantasy, sci-fi, romance, crime, historical fiction, dystopian and paranormal. In the words of Chris Foley, the anthology’s organiser and contributing author: “Each contributing writer accepted the challenge of setting their story in a lighthouse, applying their own special brand of creativity to produce this collective work… The willingness by everyone to be involved, and additionally to offer other talents, is truly inspiring.”

Each of these stories leads down a unique path, with its author serving as a guide not only to that particular literary genre but also to his or her writing style and vision. Indeed, some of the stories make me want to know more about their authors and their previous publications, just to find out whether they can handle novel or novella-length projects as well as they do short stories. Other stories are intellectually intriguing, graceful yet tense, thoroughly challenging until the very end. Still others are light and fun, and surprisingly heart-warming. In general, these are stories that make me ask, Why are short stories so short? I want to read more!

I am hopelessly biased towards horror and sci-fi, so my favourite stories in this anthology are “Alice” by Carleton Chinner, “In the Dark” by Sophie Evans, “The Sound the Sea Makes” by Alyssa Mackay” and “Bereft of Morna” by Brooke Maggs. I also like “Jezebel” by Lane Thornton, a story that is both scary and infuriating. But, to me, the special treats are “A Gift to the Sentinel” by Kelly Lyonns and “Light the Way Home” by Sharyn Swanepoel. While I enjoy the former’s loving tenderness, the latter is smooth as silk and highly satisfying.

I am sure that you, too, will discover your own favourable stories in Lighthouse – An Anthology. While the book reveals how the same literary theme can be explored and enriched by writers of diverse backgrounds and genres, it is also an excellent and empowering demonstration of short story writing styles and skills.

For more information about Lighthouse – An Anthology, please visit Lorikeet Ink.


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