Lights on the Sea

Fiction - Inspirational
272 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Barcelona-born Miquel Reina defines himself as a dreamer and a fighter; from a young age, he was drawn to the creative life, studying design and cinema before building his reputation as a filmmaker and graphic artist. His work in advertising won him several awards, including the prestigious Bronze Sun at Spain’s Festival de San Sebastián in 2011, and in 2014, his music video “Dead in the Water” was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. Reina has lived in Vancouver, Canada, since 2016, working for a video production studio and dedicating his free time to his most gratifying passion: writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina tells the story of Mary Rose and Harold Grapes who live high up on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Threatened with eviction from their home because of safety concerns, Mary Rose and Harold contemplate what life can hold for them if they have to leave their beloved home, which holds the memories of their lost son, Dylan. Fate intervenes and, after a violent storm dislodges the house, they find themselves adrift and alone. The currents and tides take them towards a cold and inhospitable place and they are certain they have met their end, until fate again intervenes. Just when their very lives are at stake, what they encounter causes them to reevaluate their whole life’s purpose.

This is an incredibly moving book, encompassing not only a simple yet awesome story, but weaving in the value of hopes and dreams, of the desire to survive the most unrelenting elements, and the need to fight for one’s very existence. More than that, this book makes the reader consider their view of life, their aspirations, what is really important, and to have the courage to admit when we get it wrong. The author, Miquel Reina, has really crafted a whole bucket full of life lessons from a fable, including appreciation for the life one has, having the courage to strive for one’s dreams, to consider that those dreams may be stifled by sadness, to hold your head up and carry on, and not to be afraid to fail. But more than that, this is a book about coping with the loss of a loved one. The emotions are real and gut wrenching and life changing. Every reader will relate to Mr. and Mrs Grapes and be rooting for their happiness. Incredible writing from an inspiring author.

Ruffina Oserio

Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina is a wonderful achievement for a debut novel, a narrative that is as engaging as it is daring. A retired couple, Mary Rose and Harold, live in a house perched on the edge of a cliff. They can’t overcome their grief after losing their son thirty-five years ago. It is the eve of their eviction from the dangerous area and something terrible happens — a violent storm uproots their house and tosses it into the sea where it floats away. As they drift off on the rising waves, they can see the past receding behind them, and shimmers of light beckoning them into a new experience. What is it that awaits them and are they ready for it?

Lights on the Sea is a sweet story, poignant and deeply moving, a tale of grief, solitude, and the quest for redemption. In this narrative, the author explores the themes of family, human loss, freedom, and redemption. It answers the question: What does it take to let go? The writing is filled with emotion and the key characters are so human it’s easy to identify with them. You will feel their pain. You will feel as if you have known their despair all along because they are like any human. Miquel Reina’s plot may be straightforward, but the author fills it with deep emotional and psychological layers. It is character driven, fast paced, and laced with realism. The setting is well imagined and executed to read like a character in this engrossing tale. Lights on the Sea is a delightful read.

A. L. Peevey

Miquel Reina’s Lights on the Sea is the lyrically written story of an older couple, Harold and Mary Rose Grapes, living in a house perched above a beach. Due to erosion, their beloved house barely maintains its grip on the edge of the highest peak of an island, San Remo de Mar. There they have lived for over three decades while Mary Rose, formerly a florist, tends to her flowers and Harold, a retired shipbuilder, builds ships in bottles, both holding a shared devastating tragedy at bay. Now, they are being forced out of their home by the local authorities who have deemed it as not only breaking certain new regulations but in danger of sliding into the sea as well. Then, as they grudgingly pack the last of their belongings, the worst storm in over thirty years strikes and changes their lives forever.

As his authorial debut, Miquel Reina’s Lights on the Sea, while fantastical, realistically explores the later years of Mary Rose and Harold with their memories of youthful days and unrequited regrets. The book is several stories in one: a tale of loss, a pilgrimage to redemption, and an allegory of life and its inevitable culmination, and a rekindled romance. The Grapes rediscover their love and their natural affection for each other. The fact that it is a translation from Spanish gives its language a poetic lyricism. Adding to this charm are its illustrations, drawn by the author who is also an accomplished artist. Lights on the Sea takes us on a journey that is equal parts whimsy and truth. It leaves us satisfied but thoughtful. Wonderful story and writing!