The Lighthouse Secret

‘If anyone finds out, we’ll hang for what we’ve done.’
Four Lighthouse Keepers Wives, a vow that never can be broken and a secret that comes back to haunt them decades later

The sweeping, secretive and emotional new historical novel from International Bestseller Carmel Harrington was an instant Irish Times bestseller.



‘Flash of genius! Like her other books, it’s a page-turner with strong female characters and wonderfully descriptive language, which essentially brings Ballycotton to life.’ The Sunday Times

‘Carmel Harrington shines a light on generational secrets in emotive thriller. It’s easy to see why Harrington is such a popular author, as this is a great story which covers a variety of themes around female friendship and solidarity, and the corrosive nature of guilt. This tale of dark secrets coming to light is definitely one to pack for the holidays.’ The Sunday Independent

‘Mysterious family tale among the lighthouse community of east Cork. Shining a light on Ballycotton, Harrington produces a credible exposition of life amongst the (Lighthouse Keepers’) wives’ Irish Examiner

‘Irish author Carmel Harrington’s latest, The Lighthouse Secret, is one to note.’ The Gloss Magazine

‘“If anyone finds out, we’ll hang for what we’ve done.”  It’s a great opener and keeps the reader suspended throughout the story. Harrington wears an impressive amount of research into Irish lighthouses very lightly as she weaves through 70 years of history, and her large legion of fans won’t be disappointed.’ Connaught Telegraph


‘Carmel truly reigns as the queen of emotional Irish fiction!’ AMANDA GEARD

‘Evocative and captivating – this really swept me away’ ISABELLE BROOM

‘Sweeping, intriguing, warm. Trademark Carmel Harrington’ ROISIN MEANEY

‘A beautiful blend of past and present secrets combined with captivating storytelling’ ALEX BROWN

‘Carmel Harrington has once more swept me away on an adventure like no other. The Lighthouse Secret is deliciously uplifting and wonderful! A perfect summer read’ FAITH HOGAN

The Lighthouse Secret had me hooked from page one – a fantastic concept, full of ‘what ifs’ and packed with twists and turns. Beautifully written in a way that perfectly blends past, present, and characters you truly care about’ DEBBIE JOHNSON

‘Carmel Harrington is such a wonderfully gifted storyteller, and The Lighthouse Secret cleverly weaves together heart-wrenching family drama with page-turning mystery . . . I highly recommend this captivating, warm hug of a book‘ SAMANTHA KING

A beautiful, poignant read.’ RACHAEL ENGLISH

A warm-hearted romantic tale that embraces two continents and a lifetime in its engrossing narrative sweep.’ RACHEL HORE

Just like the sea that crashes around the Ballycotton lighthouse at the heart of Carmel Harrington’s amazing, absorbing novel, this book is full of secrets. And like the lighthouse, Harrington expertly shines a light on those secrets, uncovering them bit by bit in a thoroughly addictive novel that has a stunning cast of well-drawn characters caught between family drama and darker mysteries.’ DAVID BARNETT

Carmel Harrington is an expert at her craft. I was swept away by this book and fell in love with the characters.’ EITHNE SHORTALL

Quick Take

Sweeping family mystery – Suspenseful Secrets – Emotional reveals

Four lighthouse keeper’s wives in Ballycotton, Cork, make a vow never to tell anyone about the events of that summer. But someone does tell. Seventy years later, the granddaughter of one of the women, receives an anyomous letter, saying ‘Family secrets never die.’

Good to know

Themes explored: Family secrets, Coming of age, Societal pressures to have children

Locations: Ballycotton, Cork – Camden, Maine

Key Facts

March 28, 24′ – Ireland and the UK (Harper Collins)

October 2, 24′ – Australia and New Zealand (Harper Collins)


Family secrets never stay buried…

1951, Ireland

On the windswept Cork coast, the lighthouse-keepers’ wives wait, watching the sea. Their husbands are coming home. But one secret can never be revealed.

2023, Maine

Decades later, Mollie Kenefick receives an anonymous note: Family secrets never stay buried. The only person she can ask is her grandmother – however, Beth made a vow that she swore never to break.

But someone knows what happened that summer in 1951, and it seems they’re not happy keeping silent . . .

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