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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter...#BookReview

About the book:
“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.

Grace loved caring for the lighthouse where she had grown up and she was fortunate to have a father who allowed her to work alongside him. George frustrated me. I don't like men without a backbone, who won't stand up to the expectations of life. I'll leave it at that. Matilda was a spitfire who didn't want to be sent away to live with a stranger and I adored how her relationship with Harriet blossomed. Harriet was awesome. Loved her.

I enjoyed the dual narratives between Grace in 1888 and Matilda and Harriet in 1938. The stories blended well seamlessly and I was not quite prepared for the ending.

Hazel has again captured the experiences of these people in a way that makes the reader sympathize with: the shame that comes from being pregnant out of wedlock; the frustrations of being a woman who is not recognized for her role in a profession that is deemed more suitable for a man; the desperation to survive a shipwreck during a storm at sea and the struggle of the people who rescue the survivors.

It's no secret that I absolutely relish stories about the strength of women, and these three women were resilient, brave, and strong. This isn't an inherently happy story, although the ending is satisfying, but the admiration you feel for these characters trumps any heartache.

Thanks to Edelweiss for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Hazel on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Read 8/18

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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