As I read this book I felt I was becoming a friend of Caroline Woodward. She grew up in the Peace River country of British Columbia on a homestead, and everything she learned there about self-reliance, taking calculated risks, self-confidence, empathy and neighbourliness have infused her whole adult life. She always knew she would be a writer, and her drive to experience life and to write about it are front and centre in this memoir. Refreshing to read is the thankfulness she has for her life with her soulmate Jeff. I live on Vancouver Island and can picture all the places she talks about. I feel the sense of awe she has for the ocean and all its facets and seasons. The life of lightkeepers she describes leaves me exhausted with its demands. I knew their responsibilities for keeping the lights functioning would entail all weather dedication, but I never thought about all the cleaning, repairing, scientific measurement taking, maintenance work, gardening, and general planning that kind of life requires. I experienced all the flurry of activity when the supply helicopter came, and the joy of her flowering literary life, and the satisfaction of jobs finished and well done. Woodward's love of her life shines through her very readable prose.
Woodward offers a very personal view of life as a BC lighthouse keeper. She makes it clear why she and all her hard-working colleagues play an essential role on this jagged, stormy coast.
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