The Alphabet of Light and Dark, by Danielle Wood

When Essie’s grandfather dies, she returns to Bruny Island and to the lighthouse where her great-grandfather was keeper for half of his life. There, in the solitude of the now empty lighthouse and the keeper’s cottage, she unravels the stories of her great grandparents, her grandparents, her parents and herself.

Her grandfather has left her a box of memories – a postcard, a carved coconut and a tiny coin – and the memories of the stories he told her when he was alive. These are the fragments which she will explore and weave together to write the story of her ancestors and to try to make sense of her own life.

In the meantime, a childhood acquaintance has reentered her life. But Pete Shelverton has a history of his own.

The Alphabet of Light and Dark won the Vogel Literary Award for author Danielle Wood. Her writing has a wonderful richness which makes it both absorbing and highly accessible. A beautiful read.

The Alphabet of Light and Dark, by Danielle Wood
Allen & Unwin, 2003