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.
Book Blurb from Harper Collins
Cover Image from Goodreads.com
I first read about THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER on Cathy Ryan’s blog Between the Lines and knew I had to read it. This book is about two women, separated by 100 years, who struggled to find their way while remaining devoted to their families. What did each have to give up to remain true to themselves?
THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a historical fiction set in 1838 at Longstone Lighthouse on Farne Island. Grace Darling assisted her father in maintaining the lighthouse and it is where she lived with her mother and father. Living and working in a lighthouse during any time period must surely require a great amount of tenacity and a profound love of the sea. One eventful night a terrible storm hit and the events that followed changed Grace’s life forever.
Paralleling Grace’s story is the story of Matilda Emmerson. In 1938 Matilda became pregnant and was sent away from her home in disgrace to live with Harriet, a distant realative and an assistant lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. Matilda wasn’t sure she could stay with this strange woman, but as the story progressed through the difficulties between them, the two learned to get along and even developed an admiration for each other.
As the stories of each young woman evolve, it is evident there is some connection between them, but you are left guessing while hints are revealed as their stories progress.
The author crafted characters that were beautifully fleshed out and believable. I had no difficulty keeping the many characters sorted out.
The storyline was clear, and the locales colorfully painted. The author told both stories without confusing the reader. This well researched historical novel was told with great authenticity allowing the reader to feel connected to the story.
THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was so absorbing, I couldn’t put it down. I will definitely read more by Hazel Gaynor. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a five-star story.
Hazel Gaynor is the acclaimed New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of A MEMORY OF VIOLETS and THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 Romantic Novelists’ Association Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY, was an Irish Times and Globe and Mail bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she published THE COTTINGLEY SECRET and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (co-written with Heather Webb). Both novels hit bestseller lists, and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award. Hazel’s most recent novel, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, was an Irish Times and USA Today bestseller. Her latest novel MEET ME IN MONACO (co-written with Heather Webb) will be published in July 2019.
Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. Her work has been translated into ten languages and is published in seventeen countries to date. She is co-founder of creative writing events The Inspiration Project, and lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative Management, New York.
Author Bio from Amazon.com
Author Photo from HarperCollins.com
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