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A Young Adult Time Travel Adventure - an Editorial Review of "The Lighthouse Back Home"

Book Blurb:

It’s been a year since 11-year-old Dylan and his family moved to the lighthouse his father had inherited in Maine. After finding a human skeleton in the woods one day, Dylan and his friend, Alex, are astonished when a mysterious artifact sends them back in time to the year 1893.

Stranded in the past, with Dylan’s sailboat as their only way home and Alex posing as a boy, Dylan seeks help from his old friend Matthias, the town lighthouse keeper. Despite Matthias's reluctance, they settle into his seaside cottage where they make a new friend, face a deadly storm, and try to blend into their confusing new world. But when a sinister local family discovers their secret, they find themselves held captive by a cruel and remorseless old sailor with secrets of his own. Can Dylan and Alex find their way home and uncover the facts about an unsolved crime involving murder and stolen treasure?

If you enjoyed Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point, you'll love the thrilling plot twists and vivid historical setting in this sequel. Join Dylan and Alex as they get swept away in this exciting time travel adventure!

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Author Bio:

Jodi Auborn was born in Ticonderoga, NY, USA, but grew up in the small upstate New York towns of Wilton, Hadley, and Lake Luzerne. She graduated from Hadley-Luzerne High School in 1995, and then received a Liberal Arts degree from Adirondack Community College.

The author writes preteen novels set in the Adirondack Mountains and New England seaside. Most of her stories are about quirky young people who know that they are different from others their age and are trying to find their own place in the world.

As far back as Elementary school, Jodi enjoyed her class creative writing assignments, making up stories and poems in school and out. At age ten, she wrote a short story about a girl who rescued an abused mare. That story became a part of her life for the next 22 years, growing to fill tattered notebooks and battered binders until it ultimately became her first novel, "Stormwind of the North Country," published in 2009. A sequel, "Secrets of the North Country: The Hobo's Story," followed and was published in 2012. The first editions of "Stormwind" and "Secrets" went out of print in 2018. A new, rewritten second edition of "Stormwind" was re-released in 2019, and the rewritten second edition of "Secrets in the North Country" was released in June 2022.

Like the main character of "Stormwind" and "Secrets," Jodi enjoyed growing up in her rural Adirondack hometowns. She could often be found canoeing on the local lake and walking or horseback riding on the country roads and backwoods trails. She describes those years in her memoir, "My Ten-Acre Wilderness," which was revised, updated and republished in 2018. Originally titled "The Forests I Called Home," the first edition was published in 2011 and is now out of print.

Her writing took a different turn in 2013 when she wrote "Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point," a children's novel set at a haunted lighthouse in Maine. It was released in 2014, earning excellent reviews from adult and young readers alike. The sequel to "Matthias," "The Lighthouse Back Home," became available in October, 2023.

Jodi is single and currently lives in Ticonderoga, NY, with her cat, Tom, and horse, Timmy. Her hobbies include reading, drawing, designing houses, camping and hiking, canoeing and sailing, horseback riding, gardening, cross-stitch sewing, and playing the guitar and ukulele.

Editorial Review:

“Breaking news from the town of Salvation Point!” I stopped

and watched, expecting another dull report of a townwide

garage sale or a raffle to win a new outboard motor or ATV.

“We have shocking new details about the historic pirate treasure

discovered last year beside the Salvation Point Lighthouse in coastal

Maine. Historians and researchers have now determined that part

of the treasure is still missing after it was hidden by the legendary

pirate, Captain Cutlass, and his crew over three hundred years ago.

They believe priceless artifacts are contained in a small silver chest

inlaid with precious gemstones and 24-carat gold...”

In the mystical realm of storytelling, where time dissolves into a portal of intrigue, Jodi Auborn crafts a mesmerizing tale within the pages of "The Lighthouse Back Home." This riveting narrative, a sequel to the acclaimed "Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point," catapults young minds on an enthralling odyssey through time, beckoning both youthful hearts and seasoned souls into its richly woven tapestry of adventure.

Step foot into the captivating world of 11-year-old Dylan, a spirited denizen of the venerable lighthouse residing upon Salvation Point's serene Maine shores (which starts of by sounding like a Goonie's reference, a delight to those who are fans) Accompanied by his newfound companion, Alex, they embark on an exploration of a nearby island, unveiling ancient secrets submerged in the depths and hidden within the island's verdant woods. A chance encounter with a weathered ship's bell and an enigmatic skeletal relic propels them, unceremoniously, back to the epoch of 1893, thrusting them into an era far removed from their own.

Hoofbeats woke me up late that night, the only sound

I heard. Even the crickets and ocean were silent. I looked

out my window at Lovely and the carriage in the driveway,

wondering what was going on.

Matthias and Mama’s dark shapes disappeared around the

corner of the house. I raced into Matthias’s room, watching

out his window as they continued to the edge of the cliff by

the lighthouse.

The ocean was like a mirror, reflecting the moon and

stars. I had never seen it so still. Matthias set down the lantern

he was carrying and Mama offered him flowers from

the bouquet she clutched to her chest. They stood at the cliff

with their heads lowered, then began tossing their flowers in

the water, one by one.

Mama’s shoulders began to shake as if she were crying.

Matthias put his arm around her and they stood together

staring out to sea for a long time.

The allure of the tale lies not merely in the temporal shift but in the labyrinthine intrigue that ensnares Dylan and Alex. Struggling to fathom their temporal displacement, they grapple with survival in an unfamiliar epoch while unraveling the mysteries that enshroud them. The quest to locate the elusive Matthias, an erstwhile comrade, becomes Dylan's pursuit, while Alex navigates the intricate facade of assuming a boy's identity. Their evolving camaraderie amidst the epoch's perils ignites a ceaseless cascade of adventures, propelling the narrative forward with relentless verve.

Auborn's narrative prowess shines through her evocative prose, breathing life into the tale's tapestry. Her artistry in crafting vivid descriptions and immersive dialogues weaves a captivating aura, birthing characters that resonate with depth and authenticity. The palpable tension, juxtaposed with moments of endearing levity, invigorates both protagonists and ancillary figures, ushering readers into an emotional investment with each persona's trials and triumphs.

Amongst the ensemble cast, Matthias, once a spectral apparition, now assumes corporeal form, bearing no recognition of Dylan amidst the temporal fabric. A poignant evolution unfurls as Matthias's initial aloofness gradually yields to a burgeoning fondness for the children, endowing the narrative with a poignant resonance. Mrs. MacMurray, Matthias's mother, provides a delightful contrast with her comedic interludes and unwavering benevolence toward the children, painting a colorful tableau of personalities that readers will cherish.

However, it is the resplendent tapestry of the overarching plot that elevates "The Lighthouse Back Home" to timeless allure. Auborn masterfully intertwines elements of adventure and mystery, crafting a narrative that unfurls with gripping intensity while nurturing character growth in the crucible of adversity. The narrative's relentless pace, interwoven with the ominous presence of a treacherous local family discovering their secret, ensnares readers in a tapestry of suspense and resilience.

“I’m a rich man...I won this in a poker game in Tahiti.”

“You did not!” I said. “You stole it! We heard your family

talking about it in the’s part of Captain Cutlass’s

treasure! It’s been in your family since Cutlass was killed!”

“Aw, where’d you get that idea? Better be careful what you

blab around, boy. Folks who know too much have a way of...

disappearing.” He chuckled and flicked my nose with his big

dirty finger. “Now, come back out to the table, both of you.

There ain’t nothin’ more in here you need to see.”

"The Lighthouse Back Home" stands as a testament to the narrative prowess of Jodi Auborn, a beacon guiding readers through a labyrinth of time and imagination. Its kaleidoscopic fusion of exceptional characters and a spellbinding plot serves as an exemplar for young readers, an evocative invitation into the realms of mystery and adventure. To those seeking a literary voyage resonating with both youthful ardor and seasoned sagacity, Auborn's opus beckons, promising an odyssey that transcends temporal bounds.

Quill's verdict heralds this work as an exemplary tome for the young, a harbinger of captivating tales woven with meticulous artistry. "The Lighthouse Back Home" unfurls its narrative tapestry, inviting young minds to partake in the timeless allure of a gripping mystery, fostering a love for storytelling that traverses generations. It stands as a literary treasure trove, inviting readers to embark on an enthralling journey destined to endure in the annals of cherished tales.


“The Lighthouse Back Home” by Jodi Auborn receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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