Fiction, Jiles-Paulette, Mystery, Post United States, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction, Social Commentary, what if, Young Adult

#564 Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles

Lighthouse Island by Paulette JilesLighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles

In the future, the world, at least the United States, is one large city. The city makes the rules. There are endless agencies. This agency does this. This agency does that. Everyone watches television. The shows are fake. There is a man called the facilitator. Water is scarce. The whole world seems to be in a drought.

Nadia remembers being abandoned. She had parents, and then she didn’t. She was taken to live with a family with a man named Thin Sam Kenobi. He let her read. He taught her things. He told her never to forget about something.

Nadia was forced out of that home and had to go into a foster home. She eventually grew up. She got a job, as all people did. She worked in an agency, like many people did. She had a bit of an affair and got in a bit of trouble.

Finally, she knew she had to get out. Someone had turned her name in for the pickup. People were picked up and then dried out. Nadia ran away.

She pretended to be other people. She met a man in a wheelchair high on the roof. He had a very interesting conversation with her. The two made something of a connection and he gave her a special card. Nadia traveled on. She was on her way to Lighthouse Island. She had heard about it. She had seen pictures. Maybe it existed. Maybe it didn’t.

Nadia faces more troubles as she goes along. People are picked up for just about any reason. Nadia finally makes it through the large city to a nice house. It belongs to the man in the wheelchair. He wants to go to lighthouse island too. They both desire to get away from their current world and the current world is trying to find them and take them, but they’re not going to let that happen.

What I liked

This is a very interesting book. There’s a drought, but there is also an endless city. A dirty, dusty city seems like it could be the perfect place for a dystopian society. People want water. They’re crammed in together like sardines. They’re ignorant of the wild world, as city dwellers tend to be. The city will protect them, that’s what they believe, but everyone knows that isn’t right.

A protagonist in a wheelchair is an interesting choice. He’s also a nerd. A nerd is a more common choice than someone in a wheelchair. I liked that Paulette used two people who were broken in some way to be her protagonists. Nadia was blind for a while and an orphan. James is in a wheelchair. Their disabilities have made them stronger. They’re scrappers. They fight for themselves. They survive.

What I didn’t like

I would have liked to have known what happened after the end of the book. It was an ok ending, but I would have like to know the after. What do James and Nadia do?

I thought a bit of the book was too hurried. I didn’t really feel as if there was enough explanation for why certain people appeared in certain places. I guess it was enough though considering the back stories of everyone else in the book.


People are drawn towards the light, interesting.

Weigh In

If you lived in a dry, crowded city, would you want to get away if it meant cutting off all your supplies and becoming and enemy of the city?

Do you think we’re heading in this direction ourselves?