A glimpse of the falls. St Columba Falls, Pyengana, Tasmania. July 2021.
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
Experimental in form, I did enjoy this novel quite a lot. As is often in such mysteries, we start with the ending. Everything that comes at us does so in a convergence of multiple angles, viewpoints, narrative voices, and temporal standpoints. The ending almost overwhelms the reader like the kind of gigantic waves so evocatively described in the text.
One area in which the book treads quite new ground is that the sections set in 1972 are told from the perspectives of the three men at the centre of the mystery. When we find ourselves in 1992, the narrative is rooted in the minds and voices of those women left behind. It's an interesting twist on convention and affords Stonex to explore hidden subtexts in entirely natural and effective ways.
All up, this is an engrossing exploration of isolation, grief and memory. I'll definitely keep my eye out for more from this author!
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐