Books & Literature

Book Review: The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright, by Reece Carter, illustrated by Simon Howe

MIDDLE YEARS: Danger, darkness and a mysterious legacy unveiled in this magical seaside adventure.

The second book in the Elston-Fright series will keep you on the edge of your seat as circumstances keep changing!

Feature image credit: Allen and Unwin

West Australian author Reece Carter grew up on a farm. Now living in Melbourne, he has written a second book following his very successful first novel for middle years, A Girl Called Corpse.

This is the story of a small town called Elson-Fright. The residents have stopped believing in magic and when weird things happen, they resort to locking their doors and pretending nothing is going on.

But there is a family who have lived in the lighthouse for generations, and their job is to protect the town from a magical disaster. In the lighthouse lives Flip and his Nan. Flip’s best friends are two ghosts, Corpse and Girl. Corpse is a ghost who has made her own body out of wax so that she can be seen. Girl wears a cloak and gloves over her invisible body. Corpse also has a giant pet spider called Simon.

One day Flip notices something very strange through his telescope, and because he has read the Lightkeeper diaries many times, he has an inkling that something very bad is going to happen. So, he races to the shack on rock in the bay where his friends live to see if they can help.

And so begins 335 pages of a race against time as the three friends try to save the town (and spider!) they love. The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright is a fast-faced story where things are constantly changing. Some book sequels will go over the previous story in detail in case the reader has not read it. This new novel gives a taste of what happened in A Girl Called Corpse but it would definitely be advantageous to have read the first one before reading The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright. Those who have already read the first novel will want to find out what happens next!

Each character is lovable in their own way, and children who find it hard to make friends may feel a kinship with the three lead characters.

The occasional black and white drawing by Simon Howe adds to the story. Each chapter is told from the point of view of either Flip or Corpse and the chapters have a heading with the child/ghosts’ name to help us know who is talking.

There are mysteries and secrets to uncover, and magic and magical beings to combat. But will help come from the most unexpected place? This however is not the end of the tale as there is more to unfold in the next instalment.

The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright would be great for those middle years children who are good readers as the story takes lots of twists and turns. Those who read A Girl called Corpse will definitely want to find out what happens next.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: October 2023
RRP: $17.99

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