This is going to be short.
Thinking about The Lighthouse, it is hard not to compare it to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – for me at least. Both are walking novels, which tie memories and past experiences into the present. And in some ways I can see why the shortlisters thought The Lighthouse was a better novel. It is tighter, less repetitious and the links between sections are clearer.
But for me, despite its flaws, I would rather read Harold Fry. The Lighthouse felt too much like other books I had read in the past – unerringly dark, focussed on protagonists who had somehow missed something in their lives, always suggesting but never quite telling. It was short and relatively easy to read, but left nothing with me.
The Lighthouse may be a technically better book, but Harold Fry will make you a little bit of a better person.