Monday, September 3, 2018

Review: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

From The New York Times, bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years
 “They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”
1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative, and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

ebook, 416 pages
Expected publication: October 9th, 2018
by William Morrow Paperbacks

This is my first book but Hazel Gaynor, I’ve seen and heard many wonderful things about her books and jumped at the chance when Edelweiss was offering an advanced copy. This book will be released on October 9th.

One of the things I love about historical fiction is reading about brave women of the past, those ones that we don’t hear much about but for the mark they have left on the pages of history. Grace Darling is one such woman from the Victorian age. It’s 1838, on England's east coast when Grace and her father rescue survivors of the shipwreck during a terrible storm. Jump ahead 100 years to 1938 where Matilda Emerson has been sent away to prevent further disgrace to her family. It’s between these two stories, evolving around lighthouse keepers, that connects and plays central to this story.

It’s not a short book coming in just over 400 pages, it’s the story of courage, love, and strength. How the 2 storylines connect played out nicely. I found this to be a softer book, more romanticized with a calm pacing but still keep my attention. I loved how the author stayed true to history in what Grace endured after the rescue. I have never given much thought to lighthouse keepers and their role, my eyes well opened to what a heavy responsibility that was, especially in both time periods lacking in modern technology of today.

Definitely an author I will be reading more of.  This book will appeal to those that are looking for strong women and unknown stories of the past.

Thanks to the publisher via Edelweiss for an advanced copy.

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