Book Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C. J. Cooke

When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers—except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

This book was a Christmas gift from my oldest son and I have to say he picked well! It was a gripping read that kept me guessing at points as I tried to work out exactly what was going on – I didn’t quite get there but got close!

A dark, atmospheric read that had you questioning all the way through, it was finely balanced on the right point of unsettling. Liv was both a terrible mother and a sympathetic one – I really felt for her even as you could see her making bad decisions. She was very real and her struggles were hard to watch.

Saffy, Liv’s oldest daughter was also at times hard to read, a prickly teen with past trauma she too made a lot of bad decisions in her hurt. I wanted to shake her and hug her all at the same time.

The setting was just as much a character in this novel as the people were and the remote Scottish isle was lovingly described in a way that conveyed delight at its ruggedness without shying away from the harshness of the land.

It all tied together in a very readable page turner that had what I felt was a satisfying ending. An enjoyable read.

The Lighthouse Witches is out now.