Bad characters, bad writing, poor plot – not a bit of it. Minding the Light had me riveted. Read my book review below.
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My penny’s worth
I have been eagerly waiting for the 2nd book in the Nantucket Legacy Series, after reading Phoebe’s Light. Would Minding the Light proved to be just as good? Well, my friends, I ate up the pages!
The bad character
Oh, my word, I disliked Lillian Swain Coffin, she is everything I loathe in a Christian. My heckles began to rise at the mention of her name. I mourned for Jane and Daphne having a mother like Lillian. Yes, I wept. Suzanne Woods Fisher did a commendable job with her bad guy (well woman in this case!). How I wanted to shake her. Now calm down Margaret, she is only a character in a book. I know, I know, but you see how she affected me. And it is great to hate a bad character in a book, it shows powerful writing.
Yes, Great Mary is back with her wisdom, and there is one particular quote from the book that will stay with me. It is referring to the story of Elisha from the Bible. A native Indian is talking to Great Mary, “God has a great and good future for you. Can you not see? God surrounds with his protection, with his presence. (Mary is) Like Elisha. Eyes closed. (If Great Mary opened her eyes…)
“What might shift in my heart if God were to unveil my eyes and show me that despite my fears and uncertainties, I’m surrounded by his powerful protection and presence. This Wampanoag had given me a great blessing. He reminded me not to fear the future, but to embrace it. To welcome whatever will come with open arms. For we are not alone on this journey.”
This is what I needed to hear. I am thankful that God has used Minding the Light to reveal to me what I need to do, just like Mary, I need to open my eyes and embrace the future.
So if it isn’t a bad book what is so great about it?
Let’s just say that within its pages there are secrets, loss, love, guilt, awakenings, transformations, hypocrisy, risk, reconciliation and regrets. Is that enough? Oh and the question of slavery, both religious and actual.
And the writing is just beautiful.
“A frown darkened Patience’s brown eyes, and she gave a nod. Such an economy of words out of this woman, and yet they clattered into the room like stones down a dry well.”
All of the characters are strong and powerful. Do I need to say more?
There are times to ponder.
“Tis all about the keystone, Mary. Think on that.”
And situations that melt your heart. I cried too, oh have I said that already!
Would I recommend Minding the Light.
Just go out and get a copy, is that recommendation enough? But read Phoebe’s Light first.
I have to give this book 5*****
*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*
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About the Book
Book Title: Minding the Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 3, 2018
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.
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
Eight 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.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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