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Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012

Characters Drive ‘The Lighthouse Road’

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Peter Geye
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Set along the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minn., The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye recreates life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as it tells the tale of backwoods logging and bootlegging through tragic characters. Against a stunning, picturesque backdrop of sea and wood, a young immigrant woman finds herself alone in a new country after surviving a harrowing journey to America. Twenty-four years later, her adopted son, the American-born Odd Einar Eide, is trying to cobble together a life of his own when he falls in love with the wrong woman, triggering a series of events that will continue to plague the family.

Told in alternating and parallel narratives, the plot of The Lighthouse Road skips across time, moving from 1896 to the 1920s, creating a pleasing patchwork of character portraits and resulting in a rich story that keeps readers guessing. Each character is a complex mixture of good and evil, all trying to survive against the unforgiving landscape of northern Minnesota. In bringing the plight of Norwegian immigrants vividly to life, The Lighthouse Road puts a fresh spin on a familiar tale of family bonds, love and heartbreak.

The Lighthouse Road is the second novel from Geye, who is also the author of the award-winning Safe from the Sea. Geye received an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. Geye will appear at Boswell Book Co. on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

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