The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
“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.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter Details

TitleThe Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
Author
ReleaseOct 9th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062698636
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Adult

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter Review

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    5+ stars! Excuse me, while I dust off my Favourites shelf to make room for this beautiful, spellbinding, unforgettable novel that has secured a forever spot in my heart. Not only does this mesmerizing book belong on my Favourites shelf, it easily takes top spot as my favourite read of 2018! I simply cannot imagine anything surpassing the love I have for this story.I have such a soft spot for books involving lighthouses. There is something about them that I am drawn to – they have such a secretiv 5+ stars! Excuse me, while I dust off my Favourites shelf to make room for this beautiful, spellbinding, unforgettable novel that has secured a forever spot in my heart. Not only does this mesmerizing book belong on my Favourites shelf, it easily takes top spot as my favourite read of 2018! I simply cannot imagine anything surpassing the love I have for this story.I have such a soft spot for books involving lighthouses. There is something about them that I am drawn to – they have such a secretive, magical, historic feel that intrigues me. This breathtaking novel, which strongly focuses on life as a lighthouse keeper, follows two interwoven timelines one hundred years apart – 1838 in Northumberland, England and 1938 in Newport, Rhode Island. Each timeline was equally intriguing for me – I was completely engrossed by every single word of this beautifully written multigenerational story. My mind and heart were fully captivated from the very first sentence. The start of this tale introduces us to twenty-two year old, Grace Darling, whose entire life has been lived simply on Farne Islands as a lighthouse keeper’s daughter. One day, during a horrific storm, Grace and her father bravely battle the sea in a row boat to rescue the survivors of a nearby shipwreck. Grace’s courage and bravery during the storm is unexpectedly publicly celebrated and honoured, making Grace a famous hero. The unanticipated praise and attention is hard for Grace to accept and handle.The lighthouses in this story are characters of their own. The author, Hazel Gaynor, creates an atmosphere so vivid and gripping that I truly felt myself as a part of this compelling and unforgettable scenery and cast of characters. The isolated islands, the damp and windy weather, the sparse beaches where washed up treasures were found and cherished, simple and quaint Cherry cottage. As I was reading, I could hear the echoes of the footsteps on the winding staircase as Grace climbed the lighthouse steps to proudly handle her daily duties. Upon finishing this amazing novel, I googled the name Grace Darling to find out this book is based on a true story. Wow - I had no idea! This knowledge enhanced my love for this novel as I absolutely love historical fiction for that reason – I love learning about a time in our history that I knew little or nothing about. This book is written so beautifully that there will be no choice other than to make its way into your heart. I warn you to have plenty of Kleenex ready, as this is an emotional journey that had me sobbing uncontrollably a few times. I just love a good book cry! As my lovely GR Traveling Sister Norma brilliantly stated, as sad as this story is, it is filled with so much warmth and love. Heart-wrenching and heartwarming!This was a Traveling Sister read that we all adored. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...A HUGE thank you to Edelweiss, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. and Hazel Gaynor for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is AVAILABLE NOW! It is an absolute MUST READ!
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. “My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse. In one way or another, we have all attached human qualities to these old stone walls so that it has become another member of the family, not just a building to house us .”When a novel is based on the life of a real person, it’s many times a dilemma for me on how to rate it because I inevitably try to find out more about the person when I’m reading the book and then I’m 4.5 stars. “My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse. In one way or another, we have all attached human qualities to these old stone walls so that it has become another member of the family, not just a building to house us .”When a novel is based on the life of a real person, it’s many times a dilemma for me on how to rate it because I inevitably try to find out more about the person when I’m reading the book and then I’m disappointed if the fictional character’s story is more imagined than true, although I shouldn’t be. It is fiction. So I decided I would read and rate this book before trying to find out more about the real Grace Darling. It looks like the author kept to some specific details of Grace Darling’s life. She’s the daughter of the keeper of Longstone Lighthouse in Northumberland, England. She is a dedicated assistant to her father and in 1838, during a horrific storm, they rescue survivors of a shipwreck. It is this act that brings her unwanted fame and attention. Among the survivors is Sarah Dawson who happens to be the sister of George Emmerson, an artist who Grace has met and is drawn to. There is a second story line a century later in Rhode Island, where nineteen year old and pregnant Matilda has been sent from Ireland to live with a family friend, Harriet, also a lighthouse keeper until she gives birth. There are so many novels with dual story lines in different times. I enjoy these if the connection feels real, and this was one of those stories. This is actually one of the few dual time line books where I enjoyed both timelines equally. I think it was because of the wonderful way Gaynor connects them - the relationships, the lighthouses, a locket, a painting and definitely the courage of all of the women. It was notable that in these alternating narratives of the characters that Grace’s, Matilda’s and Harriet’s were in the first person and the others in the third person. This made for much more intimate connections with the three women. The writing is very good in places, especially the description of the storm. Considering that this wasn’t necessarily a short book, I read it fairly quickly because I was always interested in finding out more. A cliche, perhaps to say it was captivating, but I was totally taken by each of these strong women and how they managed to move forward in spite of things that weren’t always easy to face. In spite of a revelation towards the end that felt a bit much to me, this book is deserving of five stars because I enjoyed it every step of the way. I can’t say that I’ve ever had an affinity to the lighthouses I’ve seen, but I’ll probably think about them in a different light the next time I see one. This was a Traveling Sisters read. I was a little late to the party but enjoyed everyone’s comments.I received an advanced copy of this book from William Morrow/HarperCollins through Edelweiss.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    5 huggable stars to The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ When you have a favorite author, you count the days until her next release. The day came for Hazel Gaynor and The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, and it lived up to my every expectation! First of all, in case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with lighthouses. I grew up near one, my husband proposed to me there, and we later married near another. There is something both mystical and majestic about them, along with their steadfast beaming light 5 huggable stars to The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ When you have a favorite author, you count the days until her next release. The day came for Hazel Gaynor and The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, and it lived up to my every expectation! First of all, in case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with lighthouses. I grew up near one, my husband proposed to me there, and we later married near another. There is something both mystical and majestic about them, along with their steadfast beaming light signaling support to all those who need it. Told in dual narratives, of which I loved both in equal measure (which is not always the case with dual narratives!), the first is set in Northumberland, England in 1838. The Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands is tended by the Darling family, which is where we meet young Grace Darling. She witnesses a shipwreck in a horrific storm and convinces her father that they must help the survivors, which in turn puts their own lives in jeopardy. Grace is strong and cares for the lighthouse better than any of her siblings, but when it comes down to who is next in line for the job, it will be her brother, and not her because she is female. Even though she is celebrated as a hero throughout England for her efforts in saving the shipwrecked survivors, no matter; she still cannot inherit the job at the light. The second timeline is in 1938 Newport, Rhode Island at another lighthouse. Just 19-years-old, pregnant, and unwed, Matilda Emmerson is sent from Ireland to live with a distant relative in the United States. There are connections amongst these characters and across timelines that are unexpected and beautifully-executed. Hazel Gaynor is a natural storyteller. Her books are emotional, charming, and heartwarming. Inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, in The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, Gaynor has given us several formidable, memorable, and inspiring female characters who are the epitome of bravery and sacrifice that know no bounds. This book gets my highest recommendation. Don’t miss it! Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for the ARC to review. All opinions are my own. The physical copy was purchased by me. This beauty had to go on the shelf next to my other Hazel Gaynor books! P.s. Update: I just now ordered the UK edition, too. 🤓
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Two strong, able women, a century apart, and their lives as keepers of a lighthouse. WHAT I LIKEDThe settings, lighthouses are one of the things I seek out on my vacations. I love them and the role they have played throughout history.Grace Darling was a real person, and as always that sets a different tone to the story, an authenticity if you will. She did live in a lighthouse on Farne Island and did help rescue nine people when the steamer, Fecfashire broke apart during a horrific storm. He 3.5 Two strong, able women, a century apart, and their lives as keepers of a lighthouse. WHAT I LIKEDThe settings, lighthouses are one of the things I seek out on my vacations. I love them and the role they have played throughout history.Grace Darling was a real person, and as always that sets a different tone to the story, an authenticity if you will. She did live in a lighthouse on Farne Island and did help rescue nine people when the steamer, Fecfashire broke apart during a horrific storm. Her life would be changed due to the notoriety this brought into her life.The atmosphere and the descriptions of the many natural items Grace collected. These were beautifully described.That this book showcased strong women who, especially Grace in the late 18800s that women were not expected nor encouraged to do. They each forged their own paths, sdmirably if not always joyfully.The writing, Gaynor does a good job with these historical novels.WHAT I LIKED A BIT LESSThe dual timeline. Although the timelines are connected through the lighthouses and a looser surprise connection, this is far from my favorite way of presenting a story. I usually end up liking one more than the other. The novel sometimes became lost in the details, some just went on too long, and the story bogged down.As you can see there were many more likes than dislikes. This was a sisters read, and most absolutely loved it. I liked it very much but with a few reservations.ARC from Edelweiss.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Captivating, affecting & heart-wrenching!This was my very first HAZEL GAYNOR book, and I must say that I absolutely loved her writing style. I was immediately drawn into this extraordinary story by her beautiful storytelling right from the very first page and had me totally immersed, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR is an absolutely stunning, sad, moving, heartwarming, and an excellent historical fiction novel that was i Captivating, affecting & heart-wrenching!This was my very first HAZEL GAYNOR book, and I must say that I absolutely loved her writing style. I was immediately drawn into this extraordinary story by her beautiful storytelling right from the very first page and had me totally immersed, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR is an absolutely stunning, sad, moving, heartwarming, and an excellent historical fiction novel that was inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter. A fascinating story! Some parts of this book was extremely sad and heartbreaking for me to read as it takes you on quite the emotional journey and I couldn’t help but feel right along with all the characters heartache, loss, and tragedy. Even though there was so much sadness the book also had so much warmth and love emanating throughout that was so inspiring and empowering to read. Just how strong, resilient, and brave these women were was absolutely remarkable and it was an absolute pleasure reading and learning Grace Darling’s story. HAZEL GAYNOR delivers a vividly descriptive, intriguing and beautifully written story here where she interweaves skillfully two different timelines, spanning over decades and centuries. Grace’s story in 1838 and Matilda Emmerson’s in 1938. Both of these women’s stories captured my heart and I found them both as equally compelling and not once did I feel like one was more interesting than the other. I have a fascination for books with settings of lighthouses and it was one of those books for me where the author’s beautiful prose, moving storyline, and endearing characters made this an all-around fabulous read for me. I love it when an author can bring out so many emotions from me while I am reading and for me that is one incredibly satisfying reading experience!Norma’s Stats:Cover: Formidable, somber, breathtaking, wondrous, intriguing and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.Title: Appealing, intriguing, interested and a simple but yet such a powerful representation to storyline. Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, exquisite, engaging, captivating, and fluent.Plot: Thought-provoking, powerful, passionate, emotional, engrossing, steady-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. Ending: A sorrowful ending that I was extremely satisfied with as it ended historically correct.Overall: An enthralling and memorable read that had me totally engrossed, emotional, and interested from start to finish! Would highly recommend!Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada and Hazel Gaynor for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s E-Proof in exchange for a review!Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars ”I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -- Louisa May AlcottWhen I was a child, there was an older man, a former sea Captain who lived in a tiny cabin overlooking one of the lakes in our town. He got by on doing odd jobs in the neighborhood and on whatever else he might have received. I know my father had somewhat of a soft spot for him, where my mother disliked his rough, unmannered ways. Through him, I heard stories of life on the wild seas, and about ligh 4.5 Stars ”I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -- Louisa May AlcottWhen I was a child, there was an older man, a former sea Captain who lived in a tiny cabin overlooking one of the lakes in our town. He got by on doing odd jobs in the neighborhood and on whatever else he might have received. I know my father had somewhat of a soft spot for him, where my mother disliked his rough, unmannered ways. Through him, I heard stories of life on the wild seas, and about lighthouses being a beacon to those at sea, and for him perhaps more like a parent welcoming a child home. Because of him and his love for lighthouses, I have always loved them, for many years more from afar, but later on I began to try and explore as many as I could. So, for me this was another exploration into a new lighthouse, through the pages of a story that is based on a true story. The story of Grace Darling, a twenty-two year old young woman living in a lighthouse on the Farne Islands in 1838, her father the lighthouse keeper, and she, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter. A title that would imply she was only that, a daughter, but she assisted in the running of the lighthouse. In fact, she wants no other life than this.”As Father is on first watch, I leave the comforting light of the lamps, and enter the dark interior of the staircase. My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse. In one way or another, we have all attached human qualities to these old stone walls so that it has almost become another member of the family, not just a building to house us…A storm always stirs a desire for everyone to be safe inside the lighthouse walls, but my sisters and brothers are dispersed along the coast now, like flotsam caught on the tide and carried to some other place.”When a horrendous storm causes a the shipwreck of the Forfarshire, she convinces her father that they must come to the aid of those she can see shipwrecked on the rocks, and they rescue the nine survivors, risking their own lives in the process. When this news becomes public, it spreads further and soon people are flocking to see this brave young woman. Among the survivors is a woman named Sarah Dawson, sister to artist George Emmerson, whom Grace has met. He becomes one of many artists desiring to capture her portrait; he is already captured by her.There is an alternating story, in an another time, a hundred years hence, that centers around Mathilda, whose story begins with her leaving her home of Cobh, Ireland, and carrying a secret with her to Newport, Rhode Island. Her secret will become more obvious as the months pass, but her parents in Ireland will avoid the public shame she would cause them had she stayed. Not that it was by her choice, her mother has sent her to live with a family friend, Harriet, in yet another lighthouse. Very poignant, life-affirming, occasionally heart wrenching, but also heartwarming historical-fiction, a novel reminding us of the best that is within us, and inspiring us with the stories of these young women who didn’t allow their fears to conquer them, but who rose to the occasion with the courage to face their future. Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 I enjoyed this book very much. This is the story of two main characters Grace and Matilda, a century apart, so there is a dual timeline.Part of the story was based on the real story of Grace Darling, who with her family, lived in and ran the Longstone Lighthouse off the coast of Northumberland in 1838, where she and her father were involved in a rescue after a shipwreck. Grace Darling became a real hero.Matilda is a young unwed woman in Ireland, in 1938, who finds herself with child and is s 4.5 I enjoyed this book very much. This is the story of two main characters Grace and Matilda, a century apart, so there is a dual timeline.Part of the story was based on the real story of Grace Darling, who with her family, lived in and ran the Longstone Lighthouse off the coast of Northumberland in 1838, where she and her father were involved in a rescue after a shipwreck. Grace Darling became a real hero.Matilda is a young unwed woman in Ireland, in 1938, who finds herself with child and is sent by her family to Rhode Island to stay with a relative to wait out her term.. the relative is a lighthouse keeper there. The two stories are woven together beautifully.I love lighthouses, have always thought I’d like to live in one. We have many of them here in Michigan because of the Great Lakes and all the shipping done on them. So, I like to read anything having to do with them!There was a quote used in a letter in this book that really got to me and it was by Charles Dickens, who I’ve never read..“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul” This one really got to me.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to most of this one on Audible and really enjoyed the book and the narrator. The story drew me in early and I adored the character of Grace. She was told that she would never find a husband if she hid away in her "tower" and that she shouldn't expect a "tide to deliver one." The whole lighthouse setting was intriguing.The timeline alternates from the Longstone Lighthouse in 1838 to Ireland in 1938. A century apart the two stories will connect the family ties that link the characters a I listened to most of this one on Audible and really enjoyed the book and the narrator. The story drew me in early and I adored the character of Grace. She was told that she would never find a husband if she hid away in her "tower" and that she shouldn't expect a "tide to deliver one." The whole lighthouse setting was intriguing.The timeline alternates from the Longstone Lighthouse in 1838 to Ireland in 1938. A century apart the two stories will connect the family ties that link the characters and the strength the portrayed.The first half was full of suspense as the SS Forfarshire is hit by a tumultuous storm and Grace shows courage as she helps her father with the "rescue" of the survivors. She becomes a bit of a celebrity in the area as the story spreads. Later there is a romance that develops between Grace and the brother of a survivor, but I didn't feel like it added much to the main story line of the women and their family history.Overall, very enjoyable and beautifully written. I could have passed on the added romance. I have already bought a second novel by this author.
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Settings are either in Ireland.....or America...Back & Forward storytelling...Between two centuries....1938... and 1838With 100 years between Grace and Matilda, ... in this historical fiction...they will link together. I enjoyed this story - but felt the style in which this book was written… Jumping back-and-forth 100 years was a little jarring.... spoiling my enjoyment of ‘being-here-now’.Harriet is the third female in this novel you’ll meet. All three of these women are resilient in their Settings are either in Ireland.....or America...Back & Forward storytelling...Between two centuries....1938... and 1838With 100 years between Grace and Matilda, ... in this historical fiction...they will link together. I enjoyed this story - but felt the style in which this book was written… Jumping back-and-forth 100 years was a little jarring.... spoiling my enjoyment of ‘being-here-now’.Harriet is the third female in this novel you’ll meet. All three of these women are resilient in their own ways. I liked this book - enjoyed the characters AND the story - yet it all felt a little thin to me. What elevated my feelings - wasn’t this story per say, but rather learning that’s this novel was based on true events. That ‘did’ add more emotional depth. I liked it ... fast easy read. Truthfully... I’ve found it hard to be ecstatic about much since reading Michelle Obama’s book.I did like “Florida” by Lauren Groff... but that was very different.Growth for me was involved! Good story ... my mood for it was so-so!3.5 rating... Rating Up - as I honestly did enjoy the characters and appreciate the author’s research.
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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars A lovely story that was inspired by true events. Charming and vivid this was an easy and entertaining read. A story about strong women that is beautifully imagined and writtenI love books where a lighthouse or the Island become an extra character in a story and The Lighthouse Keeper's daughter is my first novel by Hazel Gaynor and I really enjoyed the read. This is an historical fiction story where a mystery and a love story and a true event all marry to give the reader this page tur 3.5 Stars A lovely story that was inspired by true events. Charming and vivid this was an easy and entertaining read. A story about strong women that is beautifully imagined and writtenI love books where a lighthouse or the Island become an extra character in a story and The Lighthouse Keeper's daughter is my first novel by Hazel Gaynor and I really enjoyed the read. This is an historical fiction story where a mystery and a love story and a true event all marry to give the reader this page turner of a novel.We are introduced to two stories, the first is based on fact, From 1838 Northumberland England where Lighthouse keeper’s daughter Grace Darling along with her father is involved in the rescue of shipwrecked passengers. The fictional 1938 story takes nineteen year old Matilda on a Journey from Cobh in cork Ireland on the TSS California across the Atlantic to New York to spend a few months with her reclusive relative at a lighthouse in Newport. Each story is told in very short alternating chapters and I think this makes easy reading and I didn’t have a problem keeping track of what was happening. Interesting and engaging characters are the heart of this story and I think readers who enjoy books by Kate Morton or Diane Chamberlain might well enjoy this novel.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    To me, there is nothing like a well written, inspiring, historical fiction. It can and does move you into a realm where you are placed inside of a character, a place where for a time you live as they lived, a place where you feel a sense of kinship, of belonging, or coming together with what is good, courageous, and noble. This is what the book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter did for me.A book that inspires one is a treasure and this book written so beautifully about a young woman named Grace To me, there is nothing like a well written, inspiring, historical fiction. It can and does move you into a realm where you are placed inside of a character, a place where for a time you live as they lived, a place where you feel a sense of kinship, of belonging, or coming together with what is good, courageous, and noble. This is what the book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter did for me.A book that inspires one is a treasure and this book written so beautifully about a young woman named Grace Dahling, who said of her bravery the following “They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.” Grace lived in and for the lighthouse in Northumberland, England. The Longstone Lighthouse was her family's home, her place of solitude, a place that was often tumultuous based on the waves and the weather and a place where Grace during a horrific storm ventured out with her beloved father to save who they could from a shipwrecked vessel. She, a girl of the Victorian times, became famous for her bravery, a fame she shunned for all she loved and wanted was her place at the lighthouse. In 1938, a young woman, Matilda Emerson, newly pregnant and not married is sent away to America in shame, to live with a relative, Harriet, who maintains a lighthouse on Rhode Island. Matilda is expected to give up her baby and return home to Ireland but the discovery of a half finished portrait of Grace sets her upon a journey of discovery and self knowledge.Weaving these two stories together, Ms Gaynor, created a story that gave voice not only to the women who kept these lighthouses but also to those who have over time exhibited courage, fortitude, and a belief in their innate abilities. It was a story of motherly love, of love of time and place, of love for one's place in the world. Beautiful language like the following..."I know that for all my shortcomings and imperfections, I have loved my children with the passion of a storm and that, in the end it is all that we can hope for. To have loved and been loved in return." As a mother, I couldn't agree more....If you have not read this book, you need to especially if you are a mother, a caretaker, a believer in the strength of women, and a guide to those children entrusted to your care. I most heartedly recommend this book for its poignancy, its passion, and its respect for women who were heroes even if they never really thought they were. Thanks go out to my local library for having a copy of this beautiful book.My reviews can also be seen here: The tragedy of war leaves its remnants upon people long after the war has ceased. A World War II novel always bring into focus all the lives lost, the lands destroyed, and the people who were left behind. In the book News of Our Loved Ones, that tragedy is explored as we are introduced to the Delasalle family and the trauma they were exposed to while living in Normandy during the war.The village in which the family resided was overtaken by the Nazis. They witness the terrors of the war, their Jewish neighbors being taken away, and their lives changing daily as they tried to adjust to the occupation hoping that soon rescue and relief would come to them. Can they live long enough with the bombings taking place almost daily to witness the freeing of their country and their village.The story moves to years later when Geneviève, the sister of one of the characters and the wife of an American musician, returns each summer to France. She brings her wartime feelings and as her daughter, Polly learns more about the times of war, she feels she can begin to understand a mother that always has seemed distant to her. Links to the past are what drives her and often we see how those this affect the very person we ultimately become.Told through the interchanging of time periods, this story is slow moving and brings up the devastation that war bring onto families. At times, this flipping back and forth between generations made for a somewhat hard to follow scenario for me. However, this book was wonderfully written and again brought forward the desolation and havoc that the winds of war bring onto families. They, these winds, never leave but rustle through lives leaving behind loss and ruin.Thank you to Abigail DeWitt, Harper Books, and Edelweiss for a copy of this book.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...My reviews can also be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    My Rating: 4.5Favorite Quotes: “Mam was at her snoring again. Thought it was the cannons firing from Bamburgh to signal a shipwreck.” He opens one eye. “Don’t tell her I said that.”I’ve seen how often women marry and become less of themselves, like scraps of pastry cut away and reused in some other, less important way.She is utterly in thrall of him and I am ashamed to feel a prick of jealousy as I observe her, knowing she will never look at me that way. Daughters never hold their mother’s affec My Rating: 4.5Favorite Quotes: “Mam was at her snoring again. Thought it was the cannons firing from Bamburgh to signal a shipwreck.” He opens one eye. “Don’t tell her I said that.”I’ve seen how often women marry and become less of themselves, like scraps of pastry cut away and reused in some other, less important way.She is utterly in thrall of him and I am ashamed to feel a prick of jealousy as I observe her, knowing she will never look at me that way. Daughters never hold their mother’s affection the way their sons do. Daughters are dutiful, dependable and disposable. Sons are brave and admirable, essential to the continuation of the family line.But it isn’t just her face he can’t forget. It’s the particular sense of purpose and determination that dripped from her like honey from a spoon. So slender in form and yet so immense in personality and character.She gazes up at me with eyes the color of winter seas and I see in her some greater wisdom; as if she understands that she is not just my daughter, but the sum of generations of strong courageous women who came before her, an echo of them all lingering in her soul.My Review: It wasn’t until I had finished reading that I noticed that this epic and poignant book was based on true events, and while I was already impressed by the artistry and quality of the book, that little nugget just blew me away. The writing was beautifully rendered, lushly detailed, and emotively crafted to hit all the feels. The storylines were complex and well woven, yet felt authentic from beginning to end. I cannot imagine the massive amount of research required for such an undertaking. I – am - in - awe.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Grace Darling and her family have manned the Longstone Lighthouse in Northumberland England for all of her life. The year is 1838, and during a terrifying storm Grace and her father risk their lives to save the survivors of a nearby shipwreck. Grace soon becomes a national hero, a position that makes her uncomfortable with the fame. Grace is hounded by admirers, but the only one who interests her is George Emmerson, an artist she met while he was visiting the island. He had not only captured her Grace Darling and her family have manned the Longstone Lighthouse in Northumberland England for all of her life. The year is 1838, and during a terrifying storm Grace and her father risk their lives to save the survivors of a nearby shipwreck. Grace soon becomes a national hero, a position that makes her uncomfortable with the fame. Grace is hounded by admirers, but the only one who interests her is George Emmerson, an artist she met while he was visiting the island. He had not only captured her image, but also her heart. Grace, though, craves the solitude of the lighthouse and is hesitant to give up the pleasure she takes in the lighthouse duties and the beauty of the island. 100 years later, Matilda Emmerson is about to leave Ireland for Newport, Rhode island. Unmarried and pregnant she has been sent to live with Harriet Flaherty, a relative she has never met. Harriet is the keeper at Rose Island Lighthouse, and Matilda quickly comes to love the lighthouse, and spends her days there assisting Harriet. As she uncovers a half finished portrait, some letters and mementos, she discovers a connection to the infamous Grace Darling.Though the two women are separated by a century, their bravery, fortitude and fierce independence link them to one another.It is clear that the author did extensive research on Grace Darling, and created a wonderful depiction of her life and courage.
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  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was an unexpected gem I stumbled upon thanks to HarperCollins Canada. I quickly added it as a group read for the Traveling Sisters and along with Norma, Lindsay and I two other sisters joined in on the discussion with us.It’s an emotional gem of a story that is so perfectly paced and took us on the best possible emotional journey I could imagine. The characters crept into our hearts and haven’t let go.  This story and the characters are unforgettable and compelli The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was an unexpected gem I stumbled upon thanks to HarperCollins Canada. I quickly added it as a group read for the Traveling Sisters and along with Norma, Lindsay and I two other sisters joined in on the discussion with us.It’s an emotional gem of a story that is so perfectly paced and took us on the best possible emotional journey I could imagine. The characters crept into our hearts and haven’t let go.  This story and the characters are unforgettable and compelling with their bravery and strength.The strength of the story lies in the emotions that drive the story forward.  From the moment we opened this book till the final pages we took a heartbreaking and heart-wrenching journey that explores bravery, duty, love, sacrifice, and loss. The characters here are not only brave with their actions but with their hearts.Inspired by true events Hazel Gaynor develops compelling characters and completely emerges us in their timelines.  They inspired us, brought us to tears and found a spot in our hearts.This story makes for such a great discussion for groups reads to share your emotional journey with.   I highly recommend this emotional and unforgettable story.Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for an ARC to read and review.
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  • Kate Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an ARC of this book for the purpose of offering a cover quote if I enjoyed it, and I certainly did. Hazel Gaynor (I loved her LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, co-written with Heather Webbe) shines a brilliant light here on female courage and endurance in the face of storms both internal and external. Quiet Grace Darling becomes a heroine of the Victorian age when she performs a daring rescue at sea, and finds her fame harder to endure than the solitude of her lighthouse-bound life. A century I was given an ARC of this book for the purpose of offering a cover quote if I enjoyed it, and I certainly did. Hazel Gaynor (I loved her LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, co-written with Heather Webbe) shines a brilliant light here on female courage and endurance in the face of storms both internal and external. Quiet Grace Darling becomes a heroine of the Victorian age when she performs a daring rescue at sea, and finds her fame harder to endure than the solitude of her lighthouse-bound life. A century later, rebellious Matilda must draw on the legacy of the women who keep the light if she is to navigate her own stormy life, even as a deadly hurricane comes to tear her world apart. A splendid read--"The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter" is not to be missed.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    When I picked up The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, I expected to enjoy it since I love Hazel Gaynor's writing but what I didn't expect was to feel so many emotions while reading the book or to finish the book a sobbing mess of tears! Gaynor's novel is inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, a lighthouse keeper's daughter and is an extraordinary novel that is just gorgeously written and heartwrenching. Gaynor masterfully weaves the story of Grace in 1838 with the story of Matilda Emmerson in When I picked up The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, I expected to enjoy it since I love Hazel Gaynor's writing but what I didn't expect was to feel so many emotions while reading the book or to finish the book a sobbing mess of tears! Gaynor's novel is inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, a lighthouse keeper's daughter and is an extraordinary novel that is just gorgeously written and heartwrenching. Gaynor masterfully weaves the story of Grace in 1838 with the story of Matilda Emmerson in 1938, and the story that unfolds is one of strong, brave, inspiring women, yet it's also a story of heartache, unbearable loss, and tragedy.Grace loves her life on Farne Islands assisting her father, the lighthouse keeper, with the care of Longstone Lighthouse. The island, the coast of Northumberland, and especially the lighthouse are her everything. Helping her father keep the lighthouse lit and watching to keep ship's safely away from the rocky coast is not only her duty but her greatest love...that is until she meets a handsome young artist named George Emmerson who often makes her mind wander from thoughts of the lighthouse to him although she is resolved to forget him and is sure she'll never see him again. A storm of magnificent proportions changes Grace's life. As it rages and blows around the lighthouse, Grace spots a shipwreck and knows she and her father have to save the survivors before they lose their lives in the raging storm condition. It's a daring rescue that her father is unwilling to make but Grace is adamant. The rescue is extremely difficult and dangerous, but Grace is brave and determined to hold the boat steady by herself as her father brings the survivors aboard, including one woman, Sarah Dawson, who just happens to be George's sister. While Grace sees the rescue of the survivors of the Forfarshire as her duty and not an act of bravery, her act of rescue brings her unexpected and unwanted fame. She begins receiving letters, marriage proposals, money, people begin making trips to the island to look at her, her portrait is painted, and more. It's hard to believe a mere woman is capable of such exceptional bravery and heroism, so everyone must see her and speculate about this young lady! For Grace, it's almost more than she can bear. The only joyful thing that happens is the friendship she develops with Sarah and sees George again, who comes to paint her portrait. Their love story almost undid me!A century later, Matilda, the great-granddaughter of Sarah Dawson,  is a young girl of nineteen from East Cork, Ireland. She's pregnant and in disgrace with her parents, especially with her cold, distant, and unfeeling mother who has never given Matilda any affection or love. She's being sent to Rhode Island to live with Harriet Flaherty, an unknown, reclusive, and apparently also disgraced relative, who is an assistant lighthouse keeper until her baby is born. Only then can she return home, without her child, as if nothing ever happened.Matilda finds Harriet aloof but always watchful, caring, and anticipating what Matilda might need. Matilda finds herself wanting to know more about her distant relative the more time they spend together, so Matilda spends much of her time with Harriet at the lighthouse not only developing a passion and connection to the lighthouse like Grace and Harriet before her but also learning about Harriet and developing an odd sort of friendship that deepens as time passes. Matilda also begins researching her family history after uncovering documents that have been in the family for generations. She soon discovers the friendship between her great-grandmother and Grace Darling, and the story of Grace's daring rescue. She also finds a half-finished painting of a woman she believes to be of Grace drawn by George. While Matilda discovers the story of Grace's bravery and how it connects to her own family and uncovers a forgotten love story, she also discovers exactly who she is and decides the kind of woman she wants to be--not the one her mother demands of her. Bravery is a parallel theme running in all the women's lives in this book...Grace, Sarah, Harriet, and Matilda. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter is a story that both inspired me because of the determination, courage, and boldness of these women who reminded me that women can achieve anything they put their minds to and it also broke my heart in tiny pieces. I warn you now to have tissues ready when reading this book! Gaynor has written a truly magnificent novel that I highly recommend! It's truly wonderful, heartbreaking, and enthralling. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter publishes on October 9, 2018, so be sure to pick up a copy--and tissues!**Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for an ARC copy to read and review in exchange for my fair and honest review.**
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  • Dale Harcombe
    January 1, 1970
    1938 Matilda Emmerson is sent by her parents away from Ireland and off to America in disgrace. In America she is to stay with a reclusive relative Harriet Flaherty, who is a lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. The other story takes place in 1838 when a fierce storm blows up off the Northumberland Coast. Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, urges her father that they must go and help try and rescue any survivors from the shipwreck that occurs. These actions and her bravery bri 1938 Matilda Emmerson is sent by her parents away from Ireland and off to America in disgrace. In America she is to stay with a reclusive relative Harriet Flaherty, who is a lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. The other story takes place in 1838 when a fierce storm blows up off the Northumberland Coast. Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, urges her father that they must go and help try and rescue any survivors from the shipwreck that occurs. These actions and her bravery bring her to the attention of the rest of the world. Widow Sarah Dawson is one of the survivors from S.S Forfarshire, the ship that is wrecked. The decision to go and visit her brother George before his wedding has a profound and tragic impact on her life. Through it though she does maintain a friendship with Grace. As the reader might expect the two times and stories interconnect. Secrets long hidden are unvoiced in the process.This work of fiction is based on real people, Grace Darling and Sarah Dawson, as well as the American lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis who provided inspiration for the character of Harriet Flaherty. The author explains this at the end of the book. The descriptions in this book are evocative and the characters beautifully drawn. They easily pulled me into the story. I wanted always to keep reading and hated having to put it down. Be warned it is sad though, so you may want to keep the tissues handy. Anyone who likes historical novels, beautiful writing, great settings and authentic, memorable characters should enjoy this one. I adored it. It was because I had enjoyed this author’s earlier novel The Cottingley Secret that I was so keen to read this one. Plus the fact that I have a fascination with lighthouses. Definitely glad I read this. An involving read, I adored it. Another five star read in 2019.
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  • Heather Webb
    January 1, 1970
    A lighthouse keeper is such a solitary pursuit, it makes one wonder what sort of person would choose it as a profession. A heroine, as it turns out. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a beautifully rendered tale of Britain’s most famous lighthouse keeper, Grace Darling, and an American keeper in Newport one hundred years later, whose lives are linked by history and tragedy. Gaynor’s inspired prose portrays the vast landscape of sea and sky, and her characters captured my heart--I even shed a te A lighthouse keeper is such a solitary pursuit, it makes one wonder what sort of person would choose it as a profession. A heroine, as it turns out. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a beautifully rendered tale of Britain’s most famous lighthouse keeper, Grace Darling, and an American keeper in Newport one hundred years later, whose lives are linked by history and tragedy. Gaynor’s inspired prose portrays the vast landscape of sea and sky, and her characters captured my heart--I even shed a tear. An affecting and gorgeous, book, I relished every page.
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Lighthouse Keeper's DaughterSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Hazel GaynorRelease date: October 9, 2018Cliffhanger: NoLike a curious child pushing open doors to rooms they are forbidden to enter, I tug on the distant threads that connect me to them, determined to unravel the tangled knots of the past so that I can find the place where their story ends, and mine begins.This was my very first Hazel Gaynor book, and I absolutely loved her writing style. A lot of historical fiction begins a bit Title: The Lighthouse Keeper's DaughterSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Hazel GaynorRelease date: October 9, 2018Cliffhanger: NoLike a curious child pushing open doors to rooms they are forbidden to enter, I tug on the distant threads that connect me to them, determined to unravel the tangled knots of the past so that I can find the place where their story ends, and mine begins.This was my very first Hazel Gaynor book, and I absolutely loved her writing style. A lot of historical fiction begins a bit dry and takes time to engage me, but Gaynor's storytelling feels effortless from the start. Her immersive seaside landscapes are brought to life in vivid detail, from the briny air to the white capped waves crashing on the shore. As these two women leave their footprints on the sand, you walk right beside them as their courage and strength are challenged. The story is told in two timelines, one hundred years apart. The biggest draw was the female centric duo-plotline, highlighting women living in very different time periods but connected through common life experiences. Love, loss, and finding your path in life. In 1838, we are introduced to Grace Darling, a real life heroine who lived at Longstone Lighthouse in England with her family. Gaynor blends fact and fiction seamlessly, creating a hint of a mysterious romance underneath the story of her heroic rescue. When the S.S. Forfarshire wrecks during a bad storm, Grace and her father succeed in a daring rescue that lands her in every newspaper immediately afterwards. We experience her range of emotions through this troubling attention, none of which are happy. She is a humble woman who revels in the simplicity of her life, in the solitude and duty that comes with running the lighthouse with her father. The devastation and loss of the survivors haunt her, most especially Sarah, the woman who suffered more loss than any human should ever have to endure. Through Sarah, a surprising kinship is discovered which will test the direction she has chosen for her life. 1938 tells the story of Matilda Emmerson, a young woman sent to a distant relative's home in Rhode Island after finding herself pregnant, unwed, and disgraced. In the first few transitions to her POV, I was a little resentful of having to leave Grace's pages, but eventually I was equally invested in both. Matilda's story was increasingly investing as she not only uncovered her ties to the past, but uncovered truths long buried that would eventually rock her to her core. Matilda was a woman who was simply looking for love and attention in the wrong places after being ignored and stifled by her parents. She'd never felt acceptance or knew what it was like to be seen. She never felt as if she had the freedom to express herself, but prickly Harriet gives her a safe place to start choosing a life on her own terms. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow, especially as Harriet's own heartbreak is revealed. Their relationship is a rocky one that needs a lot of patience and care. In the end, they found something together that they each so desperately needed. Love, family, and purpose. This book gently takes you through a lot of heartbreaks. Even though there was quite a bit of loss, it somehow never felt depressing. Gaynor conveys it in a way that felt inspiring and empowering. Highlighting the resilience of the human spirit, and honoring the many women who have been brave enough to fill such a dangerous profession. She skillfully twined both timelines together in a way that made the fictional aspects feel organic with the history. For some reason, it didn't make me as emotional as I would have expected, and I couldn't really pinpoint why. However, I was fascinated to learn more about Grace Darling, and I fell in love with the author's beautiful way with words. I look forward to reading more from her in the future. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER is a dual storyline book about two women living 100 years separate. In 1838 Northumberland, England, Grace Darling lives on the Farne Island where her father is the lighthouse keeper. Grace and her father save some shipwreck survivors during a terrible storm and that makes her celebrated all through England. In 1938, young Matilda Emmerson is sent away to Newport, Rhode Island from Ireland after becoming pregnant. She's staying with her relative, Harriet, an assi THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER is a dual storyline book about two women living 100 years separate. In 1838 Northumberland, England, Grace Darling lives on the Farne Island where her father is the lighthouse keeper. Grace and her father save some shipwreck survivors during a terrible storm and that makes her celebrated all through England. In 1938, young Matilda Emmerson is sent away to Newport, Rhode Island from Ireland after becoming pregnant. She's staying with her relative, Harriet, an assistant lighthouse keeper, until the baby is born. Finding a half- finished portrait will lead Matilda to find out more about her family's history.READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Beth McCraw
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my heart!!! A new favorite author and a beautiful story ❤ Oh my heart!!! A new favorite author and a beautiful story ❤️
  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    If I could, I’d give this book a million stars....one for each tear I shed, one for each time I smiled at the beauty of this story. I’m wiping tears, my throat clogged, having just finished The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. I was so incredibly moved by this story...Grace’s and Matilda’s. I was brought to tears throughout, but there were also so many moments of love and exultation. This book is filled with passion and the joy of living life to its fullest; a wondrous story of mothers and daughter If I could, I’d give this book a million stars....one for each tear I shed, one for each time I smiled at the beauty of this story. I’m wiping tears, my throat clogged, having just finished The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. I was so incredibly moved by this story...Grace’s and Matilda’s. I was brought to tears throughout, but there were also so many moments of love and exultation. This book is filled with passion and the joy of living life to its fullest; a wondrous story of mothers and daughters, bravery and sacrifice, love and loss. I grieved with the characters, I worried over their safety and their well-being, I rejoiced at their happiness.A stunningly beautiful wonder of a book!
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    Gaynor's novel revolves around three women and the choices they make in life. Grace Darling, the skilled daughter of the keeper of a lighthouse in England, is involved with her father in a violent storm in 1838. Grace bravely rescues Sarah Dawson from a shipwreck. Grace then is at the center of much unwanted fame. A century later, an unmarried, pregnant, Matilda Emmerson, at 19, is shamefully relegated from Ireland to Newport, RI., where she is chaperoned by a relative,Harriet Flaherty, a mystif Gaynor's novel revolves around three women and the choices they make in life. Grace Darling, the skilled daughter of the keeper of a lighthouse in England, is involved with her father in a violent storm in 1838. Grace bravely rescues Sarah Dawson from a shipwreck. Grace then is at the center of much unwanted fame. A century later, an unmarried, pregnant, Matilda Emmerson, at 19, is shamefully relegated from Ireland to Newport, RI., where she is chaperoned by a relative,Harriet Flaherty, a mystifying, tower of strength.The author has related the narrative from multiple points of view and slowly reveals the connections among the main characters. Her language is rich and evocatively conveys the inner lives of the women through their experiences suffused with tragedy and determination. The inner emotional experiences and the daily living of the people during these varied times are clearly observed. In addition to Gaynor's sensitivity dealing with her characters, the seascape with its powerful seas and the balance of Nature are fascinatingly rendered.
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  • Karen M
    January 1, 1970
    Two time periods, two stories, and two young women who are so intertwined that I found myself, at times, wanting to read both stories at the same time. If the author dwelt too long on one character, I became impatient to read about the other character, so I just read as fast as I could and devoted as much time in my day as possible to reading.In 1938 we meet Matilda. A potential disgrace to her political Father and a complete disappoint to her distant Mother. Matilda has been banished to America Two time periods, two stories, and two young women who are so intertwined that I found myself, at times, wanting to read both stories at the same time. If the author dwelt too long on one character, I became impatient to read about the other character, so I just read as fast as I could and devoted as much time in my day as possible to reading.In 1938 we meet Matilda. A potential disgrace to her political Father and a complete disappoint to her distant Mother. Matilda has been banished to America and a cousin she has never met.In 1838 we meet Grace. Daughter of a lighthouse keeper in Northumberland, England. Next to the last child still living at the lighthouse and eager to assist her Father in his job as lighthouse keeper but sadly accepting that she will likely never have the title Assistant Lighthouse Keeper for that will go to her younger brother.There is a storm that will change Grace’s life and that of her family and other people and eventually the events will set the path of Matilda’s story. There is a surprise that I honestly did not see coming and somethings I thought I did see but was wrong so this book easily kept my attention and kept me wrapped up in the story.This was an emotion ride for me and a complete pleasure to read.I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars to this "I want to be a lighthouse keeper" book. I must admit that I completely forgot that I read "The Cottingly Secret" by this author and I loved it, so it's no surprise that I adored this one too.Two alternating timelines and stories here, but both all about women and lighthouse keeping. One storyline is 1838 England and fleshes out real-life heroine Grace Darling. She spots shipwreck survivors and insists on setting out with her father to rescue them. Gaynor is such a great storytel 5 stars to this "I want to be a lighthouse keeper" book. I must admit that I completely forgot that I read "The Cottingly Secret" by this author and I loved it, so it's no surprise that I adored this one too.Two alternating timelines and stories here, but both all about women and lighthouse keeping. One storyline is 1838 England and fleshes out real-life heroine Grace Darling. She spots shipwreck survivors and insists on setting out with her father to rescue them. Gaynor is such a great storyteller that the reader is there shivering with the survivors and their grief. Darling becomes a celebrity and it is not a welcome turn for her. Of course, women could never become lightkeepers in this storyline, Grace could only ever be the assistant/helper.The other storyline is 1938 and set in Newport, Rhode Island. Disgraced Matilda is sent to stay with a relative in America "for the summer" and her life will never be the same. Turns out the relative, Harriet, is a lightkeeper and Matilda falls in love with that life and learns more about her own family.I enjoyed both storylines equally and loved learning more about lighthouses. I'm not sure the solitary life would be for me, but fascinating to read about! This book is beautifully written and I encourage you to have a box of Kleenex nearby, I needed mine at least twice. I always know it's a good book for me when it brings me to tears. It's sad, yet hopeful and I highly recommend this book!
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  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    "Inclement weather is part of the fabric of life [at Longstone]."Matilda Emmerson has been shunned from her home in England and sent to live with a relative in America until her situation is solved. That is, until she gives birth as an unwed woman far away from the eyes of her parents and their society. Having trouble relating to her host, Matilda uncovers a painting of a woman that soon bridges the gap. Grace Darling is a lighthouse keeper's daughter that spots a shipwrecked site and bolts into "Inclement weather is part of the fabric of life [at Longstone]."Matilda Emmerson has been shunned from her home in England and sent to live with a relative in America until her situation is solved. That is, until she gives birth as an unwed woman far away from the eyes of her parents and their society. Having trouble relating to her host, Matilda uncovers a painting of a woman that soon bridges the gap. Grace Darling is a lighthouse keeper's daughter that spots a shipwrecked site and bolts into action. Grace's actions reverberates in the lives of these woman like waves in the ocean.I am familiar with Hazel Gaynor and having enjoyed other works by her, was compelled to pick up this book. Set primarily in a lighthouse, this book is about a strong cast of women. Matilda is nineteen and pregnant out of wedlock and, as her father is a politician, she is also now a major inconvenience. The decision is made for Matilda to have her baby in America and come back as if nothing has happened. Harriet, her host, while courteous towards Matilda does keep her at a distance and their kin is unknown. Its not until Matilda uncovers a hidden history about a Grace Darling that she finally sees how she is linked to Harriet. Grace Darling is a lighthouse keeper's daughter and in conjuction with her father, saves lives from a shipwreck. As Grace's role in the rescue is spread, her fame grows. This is a beautiful and tender narrative. In coveys strength and courage amid storms (both literal and metaphorical) and showcases a brave set of women. The atmosphere of isolation and seclusion is contrasted with the warmth and peace of the island. While there is not many surprises, the execution of this book is well rendered and touching. I love how the lighthouse itself is a character and a symbol of standing tall. I am glad to have picked this book (its a nice change from WWII narratives).Grace Darling is a real historical figure. On September 7, 1838 Grace spotted a group of survivors from the shipwrecked vessel Forfarshire from her room in the Longstone Lighthouse. The storm was strong but she convinced her father to row out and try to save them. The two of them set out and Grace held the boat steady as her father went ot retrieve survivors. In total, nine people were brought back to Longstone. Among those who died where two children (their mother survived). As is was customary for Victorian women to embrace domesticity, Grace's heroics reverberated across England. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Humane Society's gold medal, the queen sent a letter (along with a donation) commending Grace and artists flooded her island wanting to paint her portrait. Grace did not welcome her fame as it interrupted her quiet and simple life. She received letters asking for locks of her hair and her hand in marriage. While details of the rescue were exagerated and changed, Grace is a true hero. Just like the lighthouse, she was a beacon of light. Thanks to Gaynor for bringing her story to the forefront.
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  • Louise Morris
    January 1, 1970
    Heartbreaking and inspiring stories of four women tied together by tragedy and courage. It is also a look at what lighthouse keepers and their families go through. Highly recommend this book. Hazel Gaynor has yet again written another novel that touches the heart and lifts the spirit.
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself quickly immersed in this story, a story of life and death, and love and losing.The author did a wonderful job of melding the centuries, with the lighthouse guiding the lives of people chosen to operate them. When you know that this book is based on a true story, and see how fragile life is.A story woven with love, and I didn’t see some of it coming, but you might want to keep the tissues handy!We span decades and centuries and the book comes together beautifully, intertwining a fa I found myself quickly immersed in this story, a story of life and death, and love and losing.The author did a wonderful job of melding the centuries, with the lighthouse guiding the lives of people chosen to operate them. When you know that this book is based on a true story, and see how fragile life is.A story woven with love, and I didn’t see some of it coming, but you might want to keep the tissues handy!We span decades and centuries and the book comes together beautifully, intertwining a family, but making you want to hold your loved one’s close.A story that will linger!I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher William Morrow, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Maureen DeLuca
    January 1, 1970
    If you like/love reading historical fiction - you should enjoy this one! Very good read !!
  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, but I can't bring myself to round up to 4.0. A captivating book, and the main characters are nicely fleshed out, especially the true "heroine" of the book, Grace Darling. It's an easy read, and would be a good companion on an airplane, or on a beach, or on a winter weekend when it's too cold to go out. I've classified this as a historical novel for two reasons. Grace Darling was a real person in the 19th century, and the author has tried to flesh out who she was, what she thought, wha 3.5 stars, but I can't bring myself to round up to 4.0. A captivating book, and the main characters are nicely fleshed out, especially the true "heroine" of the book, Grace Darling. It's an easy read, and would be a good companion on an airplane, or on a beach, or on a winter weekend when it's too cold to go out. I've classified this as a historical novel for two reasons. Grace Darling was a real person in the 19th century, and the author has tried to flesh out who she was, what she thought, what her life was like. Moving to the 20th century, another historical event is captured in this book - the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. It is still considered to be one of the deadliest storms to ever hit New England. Perhaps it is a little contrived to have the 20th century intrude in this story (I really think that a novel just about Grace Darling would have been fine), but it's not so contrived as to be off-putting.
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