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Praise for The Lightkeepers

Praise for The Lightkeepers

  • First Place, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, The Lightkeepers

  • First Place, the Chicago Review of Books Awards, The Lightkeepers

  • AudioFile Earphones Award, The Lightkeepers (audiobook)






"Like many literary classics and novels that are destined to be classics, The Lightkeepers raises questions about humanity that are anything but light. Unlike many classics, it's an accessible page-turner whose surprises, both fictional and stylistic, unfold so satisfyingly that the novel is also a pleasure to read."  

       —The Chicago Tribune

"Not to be missed."

       —Entertainment Weekly


"[A] remarkable debut novel."  



"It’s become customary — the fallback consolation of the book reviewer — to say that one is eager to see what a writer will do next. But in fact that is the case here. Ultimately, what engages us in The Lightkeepers, beyond its energetic plot, is the sense of watching its author discover her ability to construct a suspenseful narrative. And we finish this novel curious to find out what sorts of stories Abby Geni will choose to tell."

       —The New York Times

"[A] dazzling debut. With The Lightkeepers, Geni has crafted a novel filled with wide-open spaces and also a creeping claustrophobia. The setting takes on the role of a character, and the Farallons are masterfully brought to life on the page through Geni’s luminous prose. There is a soothing, hypnotic quality to Geni’s writing—and an unexpected tenderness, too, one that belies the thick sense of malice and increasing sense of dread that swirls about Miranda’s island home. Though some of the plot points are predictable, the story is rife with satisfying surprises, in large part because of the successful air of uncertainty that surrounds Miranda’s narration. Riveting from beginning to end, The Lightkeepers is unsettling in all the best ways."



With The Lightkeepers, Geni joins the ranks of Barbara Kingsolver and Annie Proulx—novelists for whom nature is a driving narrative force instead of a backdrop. 

       —The Chicago Review of Books

"Abby Geni’s sense of place in her magnificent novel The Lightkeepers reminded us of Eowyn Ivey’s Alaska in The Snow Child; Geni’s prose reminded us of last year’s Discover Award winner (fiction), All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld."  

        —Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2016  


"The strange and desolate Farallon Islands serve as the backdrop for this evocative and enchanting debut novel. Geni (The Last Animal) writes with the clear, calm confidence of a master storyteller. This is a haunting and immersive adventure, set in an unforgettable, wild habitat of its own."

        —Publishers Weekly (Starred)


"Geni follows her distinctive short story collection, The Last Animal (2013), with a first novel of gripping, talon-sharp intensity. ... As the plot turns violent and suspenseful, and the mesmerizingly vivid descriptions reach shivery crescendos of shocking revelations, Geni dramatically meshes the grand, menacing power of the ruthless wild with the mysteries and aberrations of the equally untamed human psyche." 

        —Booklist (Starred)

In reality, very few of us, even those who live only a few miles across the ocean, will ever get to see the Farallons firsthand. The corporeal, technicolor sentences in The Lightkeepers allow us to visit, to inhabit a wild gem of the Bay Area, without actually interfering—as humans are prone to do—with the island's brutal grace.



"Miranda’s travelogue, at once emotional and dreamy and rendered in crisp, stunning prose, is so central to the book that readers may at times forget the underpinnings of the locked-room mystery or brush off the question of her reliability as a narrator. And yet, at other times, the expository velocity is so unrelenting that the prose could almost get lost in the momentum. But not entirely—Geni may be unmatched in her ability to describe nature in ways that feel both photographically accurate and emotionally resonant. Natural wildness, human unpredictability, and the subtle use of literary devices are woven here into a remarkable, vertiginous web."  

        —Kirkus Reviews (Starred)


Buy The Lightkeepers 

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