The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on the blustery outer deck of which stands Futh: a middle-aged, recently-separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday. After an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman at a family-run hotel in Hellhaus, Futh sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood, a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour, his parents’ broken marriage and his own.
"deceptively simple story that analyses a man"
With an abandoned degree behind her and a 30th birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents' home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together - to the seaside, perhaps.
"Entertaining but forgettable"
Retired teacher Lewis Sullivan always imagined living by the sea. He lives instead in the Midlands village in which he was born. His grown-up daughter visits every day, bringing soup. He does not want soup. He frequents his second-favourite pub, where he can get half a shandy and a speciality sausage. When a childhood friend appears on the scene, Lewis finds his life and comfortable routine shaken up.