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Friday, August 19, 2022

The Light House Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

The story surrounding Grace Darling set in the remote Farne Islands who operated the lighthouse along with her father but who could never become an official light house keeper because of her sex, combines the best of a number of genres. History in plenty, the courage and daring and innovation shown by a woman in 1838. Saving a group of shipwrecked survivors was the beginning of the story and the ties that were forged during that operation are then brought forward again in 1938 when Hannah Emmerson seeks refuge with Harriet now a light house keeper in Rhode Island to wait out her pregnancy. Her mother in Ireland is too ashamed of her daughter and just wants the whole story to be swept under the carpet and out of her sight. Just nineteen Hannah starts on her journey to America and her entire life changes as a result. Both 1838 and 1938 with the lighthouse as the main background are depicted very vividly. The life of lighthouse keepers in 1838 was not an easy one - apart from the isolation, it demanded loyalty and hard work and constant attention to detail. In 1939 with the addition of technology it became easier but the principles of hard work and attention to detail remained. The lives of these two women are detailed very descriptively and one is drawn into the whole saga of how these lighthouses work. Give the background of 1938 and WWII added more interest to the story. This book was a free download from Amazon and I am grateful as it opened a new vista for me - lighthouses and the courageous women who manned them.

4 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I read a few books about lighthouse keeper and we have quite a few lighthouses in close driving distance. Women manning them is a new area to explore. Glad you enjoyed this and shared with us.

Lark said...

Lighthouses do make for a great setting! I love reading about the people who lived and kept them all those years ago.

Dorothy Borders said...

Lighthouses have always fascinated me and a novel set in a lighthouse is definitely something I would be interested in reading. Thanks for bringing it to my attention with your review.

Katherine P said...

I absolutely loved this one! It was the first Hazel Gaynor book I'd read.