The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Lizabeth's Story
Authors: Erika Tamar and Thomas Kinkade
Publisher: HarperCollins (2004)
Hardcover, 176 pages, $12.99
Thirteen-year-old Lizabeth Merchant comes from the richest family in Cape Light and, as such, leads a very privileged life. Her biggest worry is that she might not be crowned Strawberry Queen in Cape Light's upcoming Strawberry Festival. She has little patience for her four-year-old sister, Tracy, who often seeks Lizabeth's attention.
Lizabeth is sent to stay with her cousin Kat's family when Tracy contracts scarlet fever. For Lizabeth, who is used to servants doing all the work in her own home, seeing Kat's entire family pitch in to maintain the lighthouse is an eye-opening experience.
Lizabeth worries that she won't be allowed to go back to her home before the Strawberry Festival. Her dress for the festival is still in her room and the house is under quarantine. Lizabeth sneaks out of Kat's bedroom one evening and returns to her home for the dress. While she's there, she checks on Tracy and is startled to see how sick her young sister has become. Suddenly the Strawberry Festival doesn't seem so important any more. The events that follow Tracy's illness will drastically change Lizabeth's view of herself and the people around her.
In the previous Lighthouse Lane books, Lizabeth was the character I liked least, but her story turned out to be my favorite of the series. She's a very self-centered character, but also a very insecure one. She doesn't feel that she has anything to offer beyond her good looks and privileged upbringing, but her sister's illness teaches her a difficult lesson. She realizes that money and material possessions cannot bring her happiness or prevent bad things from happening, and she's a better person for this realization.
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