"O'Brien has given us another larger-than-life character who serves a larger-than-death God. He subtly delivers a powerful message without creating cardboard characters or elevating preaching above story-telling."
— Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World

"Can a man be an island? Can he be the captain of his soul? And what's the difference between solitude and loneliness? Such questions are at the courageous heart of this story of one man's quest to make sense of himself and the world in which he finds himself."
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know 

Ethan McQuarry is a young lighthouse keeper on a tiny island, the rugged outcropping of easternmost Cape Breton Island on the Atlantic Ocean.

A man without any family, he sees himself as a silent "vigilant", performing his duties courageously year after year, with an admirable sense of responsibility.

He cherishes his solitude and is grateful that his interactions with human beings are rare. Even so, he is haunted by his aloneness in the world and by a feeling that his life is meaningless. His courage, his integrity, his love of the sea and wildlife, of practical skills and of learning are, in the end, not enough. He is faced with internal storms and sometimes literal storms of terrifying power.

From time to time he becomes aware that messengers are sent to him from what he calls "the awakeness" in existence, "the listeningness." But he cannot at first recognize them as messengers nor understand what they might be telling him, until he finds himself caught up in catastrophic events, and begins to see the mysterious undercurrents of reality—and the hidden face of love.

"They that go down to the sea in ships, trading upon the waters, they see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep."
- Psalm 107: 23


  • Author: Michael O'Brien
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781621643661
  • Length: 0.875
  • Size (HxW): 8.25 x 5.5
  • Pages: 201
  • Availability: In stock
  • Publication date: August 31, 2020
  • Weight: 13 oz


  • Author:
    Michael O'Brien

Review (1)

  • The Lighthouse: A Novel

    Verified User Sep 23rd 2021

    Verified User Sep 23rd 2021

The Lighthouse: A Novel

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