Oldie Review – 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

16 Lighthouse RoadPublisher: Harlequin

Publish Date: Jan. 2001

How I got this book: used book store


Dear Reader,

You don’t know me yet, but in a few hours that’s going to change. I’m inviting you to my town of Cedar Cove because I want you to meet my family, friends and neighbors. Come hear their stories–maybe even their secrets!

My secrets are pretty open. My marriage failed years ago, and I have a rather…difficult relationship with my daughter. Then there’s my mother, Charlotte, who has plenty of opinions and is always willing to share them.

I’m a family court judge and she likes to drop in on my courtroom. Recently I was hearing a divorce petition. In Charlotte’s view, Cecilia and Ian Randall hadn’t tried hard enough to make their marriage work–and I agreed. I rendered my judgment: Divorce Denied.

You wouldn’t believe the reaction! Thanks to an article by Jack Griffin, the editor of our local paper (a man I wouldn’t mind seeing more of!), everyone’s talking.

Cedar Cove–people love it and sometimes they leave it, but they never forget it!

*Blurb from Goodreads*


I’ve seen Macomber’s name all over the bestseller lists and book shelves everywhere, but never picked up any of her books. When I decided to finally give her a chance, I went with the first book I came across – book one in the Cedar Cove series. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I’m intrigued by what I got.

Cedar Cove is a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else. Friends and families are all connected, and everyone in town seems to run into anyone and everyone on a daily basis. Charlotte is a family court judge, who sees something between Cecilia and Ian that they seem to have lost themselves, and refuses to allow their divorce to go through. At the same time, she struggles with her own family, friends and getting on with life.

I don’t really know how to properly blurb this book, since there were so many story lines going on throughout. I don’t know that I would classify this book as a romance, but more of a small town fiction. It followed – mostly – the lives of Charlotte (the family court judge), her friends and family, and the young couple Ian and Cecilia, who had their divorce denied at the beginning of the book. There were a lot of things I liked, and some that I didn’t. However, overall I was intrigued by the characters in this story enough that I’ll probably pick up the second book.

One aspect I really liked was the romance between Cecilia and Ian. They were a young couple who spent most of their marriage separated by his tour of duty in the military and their estrangement after the death of their newborn daughter. After their divorce was denied, they took their reconciliation slow, trying to figure out where they missed each other and how they got so off track. When Ian deployed again, they were given the chance to rekindle their romance through letters and emails, and I loved the way they were able to figure out why they fell in love with each other in the first place.

For me, the story with Charlotte, which was a large portion of the book, was probably the weakest. She had a lot to deal with in her own personal life, mainly the distance between her and her daughter, and the ongoing pain of losing a child and getting divorced right after. Her new romance with new-to-town Jack was one that I wasn’t very interested in and never fully invested in, probably because it was so up and down, hot and cold. I never really connected with Charlotte, both romantically and personally, so her character was a big dud for me.

I am very intrigued by some of the secondary characters though, mainly Charlotte’s best friend Grace. In this story, Grace’s family is torn to bits with the sudden disappearance of her husband, and I’m anxious to see where that part of the story is going to go. Macomber was very crafty in leaving me hanging with multiple theories as to what the deal is with that. I’m also excited to see more about Cecilia and Ian’s friends and fellow military families.

All in all I am still not really too sure what genre this book would fall under. It definitely had a lot of romantic elements to it, but it also had a chick lit vibe. While this isn’t the kind of book that would normally do it for me, I was engaged and excited about the characters enough that I will give the second book a try.

I give 16 Lighthouse Road a C


2 thoughts on “Oldie Review – 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber”

  1. I do love this series! Every book focuses on a new character or couple, but you keep getting updates on everyone else. It is a real community. With good and bad things and people you come to care about. I hope you will enjoy the rest of the series.

  2. @xaurianx – I am going to have to read the next one for sure, because I want to know what the deal is with Dan!

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