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3.5 

The Lighthouse Witches

By C. J. Cooke
The Lighthouse Witches by C. J. Cooke digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A Most Anticipated Novel by Pop Sugar * Book Riot * Betches * Bustle * and more!

"Utterly spellbinding....Witchcraft meets thriller."
--Pop Sugar

Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found--but she's still the same age as when she disappeared. The secrets of witches have reached across the centuries in this chilling Gothic thriller from the author of the acclaimed The Nesting.


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.

578 Reviews

3.5
Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes
Believable charactersDescriptive writingSuspensefulImmersive settingDark
Surprised Face with Open Mouth
Believable charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingAddictiveUnpredictableBeautiful settingDark settingMagical setting
“"The lighthouse was called The Longing. Pitched amidst tessellations of rock black as coke, it needled upwards, spine-straight, a white bolt locking earth, sky, and ocean together." The Lighthouse Witches was entirely different from what I expected but I loved every word of it. Each time I picked up the book I felt like I was dropping into a pensieve, fully immersed in the Lòn Haven setting and engrossed in each character's experience. The story is beautifully written and has a dark undertone that appropriately reflects the horrors of Scotland's witch trials - a history that the author honors beautifully by accurately representing the experiences of so many innocent women under King James VI religious fervor. Separate from the story of The Lighthouse Witches, the Author's Note at the book's conclusion is a compellingly earnest observation of how the events of the 16th century are still hauntingly relevant today. "Although the stories of Scotland's witches are from a distant past, they feel remarkably part of a story of the moment...It is my sincere hope we can change the narrative in the future."”
Thumbs Up“I think I definitely preferred the ghost woods but this was a nice easy, folklore/magical story. Nothing to write home about, but, I read it to the end. So I do think it’s worth a read.”
Likable charactersEasy to readFast-pacedDark settingMagical settingDarkAbuseSexual assaultLack of diversityPredictable

About C. J. Cooke

C. J. Cooke is an award-winning poet and novelist published in twenty-three languages. She teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow, where she also researches the impact of motherhood on women's writing and creative writing interventions for mental health.

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