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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020

An Observer Best Book of 2019

Every evening, Lampie, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, must light a lantern to warn ships away from the rocks. But one stormy night, disaster strikes. The lantern goes out, a ship is wrecked, and an adventure begins.

In disgrace, Lampie is sent to work as a maid at the Admiral's Black House, where rumour has it that a monster lurks in the tower. But what she finds there is stranger, and more beautiful than any monster. Soon Lampie is drawn into a fairytale adventure in a world of mermaids and pirates, where she must fight with all her might for friendship, freedom and the right to be different.

©2019 Pushkin Press Limited (P)2021 Audible Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"An astonishing, mysterious seaswept story.... Dazzles with darkness and glitters with light." (Cerrie Burnell, author of Harper and the Sea of Secrets)

What listeners say about Lampie

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  • GeraniumCat
  • 10-09-21

Dark, rather oppressive, fairytale

I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected to. It opens with a storm, and a small girl struggling through it, which sets the scene and the tone for all that ensues. At audiobook pace it felt a bit relentlessly depressing, and I was inclined to give up there and then. But, promised pirates and mermaids, I persevered.
Lots of bad things happen to Lampie, the child protagonist, and nothing in the story that follows did much to make me love it. I think her father's refusal to call her by her proper name, Emilia, because she shared it with her dead mother, disturbed me excessively. It occurs to me that I'm not keen on downtrodden child characters - hated David Copperfield - and perhaps it's a kind of faux Dickensianism that puts me off this book, with its freaks' circus, child-maidservant and oppressive fathers.
Or perhaps it was the use of pathetic fallacy - the elements become characters in this telling. I think I would have got impatient with that if I had been reading the book, though they provide the opportunity for a virtuoso performance by the narrator, Genevieve Gaunt.
My overall opinion is guardedly positive. I would hesitate to give the book to an impressionable child, honestly, but no doubt some young listeners/readers will love it.

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  • Moomin
  • 10-31-21

wow what an incredible story and performace

i loved every minute of this wonderful story and was totally swept along. The narrator is great (although lampie voice was a bit werid, but you do get used to it).

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  • Tomasz
  • 02-13-22

A wonderful fairytale

This is a beautiful, heart-warming and touching story. Reminiscent of 'The Secret Garden' but telling its own interesting tale. Well worth spending money or a credit on.