About the Book
Book Title: Minding the Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 3, 2018
From the back cover:
Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil.
But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.
Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.
But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.
———————————————————————————————————————***** 5 stars
Superb Historical Addresses Social Issues… Food for Heart and Soul
What a great book Minding the Light, by Suzanne Woods Fisher, is for a book club! Chock-full of little-known history from whaling Nantucket Island, this split- time novel contains an enticing and clean romance and an insider’s look at the Quakers on the island. This book will weave its magic around your heart while challenging your sensibilities. Frankly, I wish I were a high school English or history teacher in a parochial school, who could use this book as a wonderfully fun teaching tool.
I often love novels that divide their time between narrators of different time periods. It is interesting to see how Great Mary’s life affects individuals of future generations on the island who are fortunate enough to receive her diary and learn from it.
This book really made me think about so many issues. Daphne made Ren want to be a better man. How do I make my husband want to be a better man?
Tristram says, “And the only islanders who end up getting hung are Wampanoags.” The Quakers were guilty of social injustice while preaching racial equality. Every society seems to pick another culture to abuse and subjugate.
Patience, when asked about her life and family, replied it was complicated and things are not as they seem. Truly, a lot of things in this book were surprising and not what one might have expected. The novel is full of incongruities lived out in people’s lives: some flaunted, some hidden as long as possible.
While richer for being read as part of the series, enough backstory is provided that one will enjoy this story by itself. I gratefully received a complimentary copy from the publisher, NetGalley, and CelebrateLit. This in no way affects my opinions, which are freely given, and for which I am solely responsible.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.
Guest Post from Suzanne
8 Curious Facts you Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island
This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.
1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.
2) Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.
3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.
For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.
4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.
5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.
6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.
7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.
8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).
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I would love to hear any comments you may have regarding the book or my review below!