Something different for pre-Civil War fiction
This is a refreshingly different work of historical fiction about the pre-Civil War era in the south. The lighthouses and the shipwrecks, the power of the rich and the vulnerability of the poor, combined in a believable and educational story. A good and worthwhile read.
Rated of 5
by Patricia D. (Woodland Hills, CA)
History and Women at Their Best!
This book will be one of my favorites for this year! Historically, it is around the mid-1800s and the U.S. has acquired Florida as a new territory. The Keys are being settled and New Orleans is at its social peak. Emily and Martin, recently married, move to Key West and then are assigned to man the lighthouse at the tip of the Keys on Wreckers' Cay. When Martin suddenly disappears, Emily and her children take on this difficult job of lighthouse keeper. The story is both intriguing and suspenseful when Andrew, an escaped slave, washes up on the island. Having to keep Andrew a secret since he is a runaway, becomes even harder when a romance develops with Emily. This story revolves around how women are looked upon during this period, racial tensions, and hurricane disasters. This memoir of Emily's life is one that will definitely leave an impression on the reader both because of the story and the research Brady completed.
Rated of 5
by Robin F. (Tucson, AZ)
The Woman at the Light
Emily Lowry's life changed forever on Wrecker's Cay when her husband failed to return to the lighthouse. Emily took over the lighthouse duties, tended to the 3 children and, one day, when a runaway slave washed up on the beach, everything changed yet again. This is almost a historical novel, but it's truly about Emily, her courage and strengths. Joanna Brady, the author won the Key West Writers Award in 2009 for this book. It is well deserved. I hope she is writing another book. I can hardly wait to read it!
Rated of 5
by April P. (Traverse City, Mi)
A Look into Key West History
The first page had me a little concerned, I felt as if the author was loading the page with too many descriptive words but that didn't continue. The plot was excellent and I never suspected the outcome which I have to say was refreshing, it seems sometimes authors can give too many clues which can take most of the mystery out of a book and can leave a reader feeling cheated. That did not happen in this book! I enjoyed the main character Emily, she is very strong and I appreciate how she handles her responsibilities as a mother. The author does a wonderful job of making this a historical fiction novel but many issues that women dealt with in the late 1800's as well as today run throughout this book, I believe this makes for a more relate-able book for women readers. I also enjoyed the detailed description of the old lighthouses and the work it took to keep one operating, the author does a great job of painting a picture of shipwrecks among the Florida Keys and the necessity of the lighthouses as well as the possible seclusion and loneliness the lighthouse families/attendants may have felt at times as well as the positives to being away from societies pressures and expectations. This book made me want to live on Wreckers Cay and work the lighthouse and watch ships pass by day in and day out!
Rated of 5
by Phyllis R. (Rochester Hills, MI)
I began reading "The Woman at the Light" as I watched an intense red orange sunset over Lake Michigan at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northpport, MI where my husband volunteers as part of the Keeper Program. I know very little about the Florida Lighthouses except to know that. Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state!
This historical novel set in 1889-1883 captures the hardships of lighthouse keepers, the unpredictability of the weather and their courage. Also the reader learns about the colorful Key West history, the wrecking and salvaging industry, cigar factories, miscegenation, status of women, slavery and abolition preceding the Civil War, and the harsh life without electricity and running water. Two thumbs up for this rewarding and enlightening novel by Joanna Brady who certainly did her research. Phyllis, MI
Rated of 5
by Kimberly A. (Hannibal, MO)
In the World of Wickies and Wreckers
Set in pre-Civil War southern Florida, The Woman at the Light ensnares the reader into the lives of unforgettable characters, whose courage and determination defy their prescribed place in society and history. At one point in the novel, Emily, the main character, describes herself as "a child of my time and place." Through Andrew, "the one man I truly loved," she grows beyond that time and place and gives the reader a reason to applaud the tireless human spirit. The author's mastery of character development made me truly care for the people of this novel.
For book clubs, this historical novel opens a treasure trove of discussion starters: lighthouses, wreckers, slavery, Indian raids, isolation survival, and Florida's history (especially eclectic Key West!).
I really liked this book!
Rated of 5
by Sue Z. (Mooresville, NC)
Has everything that makes reading a good book so enjoyable
This lovely story, based on real life characters, has everything that makes reading a good book so enjoyable. The woman, for whom the book is titled, grows throughout the entire story, becoming stronger and more her own person with every page. The other characters are equally interesting being adventurous pioneers who have come to the very tip of the country, Key West, to seek fortune and fame (or infamy in some cases).
This is the perfect book for book club discussion as it has everything, star-crossed lovers, villains, hard scrabble lives, incredible wealth and a wonderful tropical setting
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...