Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson Harper Perennial $128 Lighthousekeeping is Jeanette Winterson to the core: poetic and inventive but also pretentious and cloying, the book delights and disappoints, although thankfully not in equal measure. Two main stories are told in parallel. One centres on a girl, Silver, who moves in with a blind lighthouse keeper called Pew after the death of her mother. The other is about a pastor whose name, Babel Dark, is revealing of his nature. Dark leads a double life: he loves a redhead called Molly, but believes she's unfaithful (even though he is married). The tales take place a century apart, but fit together like a double act, aided by the storytelling prowess of Pew. Through him, we discover that the lighthouse was built by the father of Robert Louis Stevenson. Silver is encouraged to tell her own stories, but it's only after she leaves the lighthouse that she develops a knack for narrative. 'A beginning, a middle, and an end is the proper way to tell a story,' she says, 'but I have difficulty with that method.' Winterson seems to be telling readers something about her own style of writing. In Lighthousekeeping, however, there's satisfying closure.