Advance reader reviews of The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady.

The Woman at the Light

A Novel

By Joanna Brady

The Woman at the Light
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Jul 2012,
    336 pages.

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There are currently 37 member reviews
for The Woman at the Light
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  • Audrey C. (Canfield, OH)


    The Woman at the Light
    Joanna Bradley in The Woman at the Light introduces us to an aged Emily Lowery as she tends five graves: two deceased husbands, a sister, beloved Gran, and the only man she ever loved. The reader begins a powerful journey from New Orleans, Key West to Wreckers' Cay. The story is gripping, happy, sad, breathtaking, hopeful, etc.; all part of Emily's struggles of growing.

    Certainly, life is the dominated slave of time and, yet, we observe that only love can bring euphoria to life. Emily is an immature romantic, a disappointed newlywed, a mother, a widow, a lighthouse keeper, again in another unfulfilled marriage, another death, and a forbidden love that becomes the ultimate love of her life!

    Even though Emily lives in a society where men prevail, women can't vote or take charge, she proves that she can prevail albeit with multiple struggles and deaths. She proclaims, "happiness comes but once and then only if we are very lucky." Indeed, she finally attains a happiness that takes the reader by surprise and slowly the mysterious turn in her life is revealed.
  • Christie K. (Hobbs, New Mexico)


    The Woman at the Light
    I found Brady's The Woman at the Light to be an interesting read. Emily is a brave woman (for having ran the lighthouse and for allowing herself to love a black man-- only two examples listed here-- there are more that appear later in the story) and what I found incredible is her strength. I did have some trouble with Brady's use of language, which seemed out of character for the era. Some of her descriptions and dialogue weren't very original or in accordance with most of her style of writing. However, I found the plot packed with twists and turns, and particularly interesting was her relationship with Andrew. Emily is bold and pursues what she wants. This is an entertaining read. I would recommend this book to readers.
  • Elinor M. (Roswell, NM)


    If I Could Give It A Ten, I Would!
    Simply stated, this is a fascinating and captivating historical novel. At its heart is a strong, determined young woman, the likes of whom would be difficult to encounter today. This protagonist was supported with many richly described characters and the history of the Key West area brought an engaging depth to the story. It is such an excellent read that I found it almost impossible to set aside when life's chores beckoned.
    In my opinion, I think it is a brilliant debut novel and would recommend it to friends and, definitely, as a book club choice.
  • Melissa K. (Oviedo, Florida)


    The Woman at the Light
    A compelling read! You won't be able to put this one down. Joanna Brady produced a novel of historical fiction at its best. Not nearly enough has been written about Florida's early history. Joanna Brady's novel is in the same league as Patrick Smith's The Land Remembered. I can't say enough about her talent as a writer and story teller. A must read!
  • Mary S. (Hilton Head Island, SC)


    Good, but disappointing
    I loved the history and the story for the first 3/4 of the book. The writing was exceptional and descriptive. The history of the expansion of Key West was something that grabbed my attention. However, when the story turned to Emily's "rags to riches" narrative, the plot turned unbelievable. Like so many books by new authors, the last 50-100 pages seemed like a frantic effort on the part of the writer to tie up loose ends rather than developing a satisfying conclusion. good book, not great.
  • Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)


    Woman at the Light
    Really enjoyed this book. Good story with love, loyalty and deception. After recently visiting Key West, it was interesting to get a bit of the history of the area. The Heroine, Emily Lowrie, shows so much strength in taking over the lighthouse and running the family. All of the trials she and her family endures and she continues to over come are engrossing to read. Joanna Brady gives us the gamut of emotions and adventure in this one for sure.
  • Mary B. (St Paul, MN)


    The Woman at the Light
    I enjoyed this book because it captured an era and setting not that familiar to me. Very strong female character added much to story. The first person narrative was well done. Going back and forth in time also made it very interesting. Details of people, feelings, weather and location seemed very real. I feel I learned much about a time and place I had not read about in other novels.
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