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“They call me a heroine but I am not deserving of such accolades I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty”1838 Northumberland England Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty two years When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm Grace becomes celebrated throughout England the subject of poems ballads and plays But far precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes she in turn captures his heart1938 Newport Rhode Island Nineteen years old and pregnant Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace She is to stay with Harriet a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper until her baby is born A discarded half finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history As a deadly hurricane approaches two women living a century apart will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love


10 thoughts on “The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

  1. says:

    5 stars Excuse me while I dust off my Favourites shelf to make room for this beautiful spellbinding unforgettable novel that has secured a forever spot in my heart Not only does this mesmerizing book belong on my Favourites shelf it easily takes top spot as my favourite read of 2018 I simply cannot imagine anything surpassing the love I have for this storyI have such a soft spot for books involving lighthouses There is something about them that I am drawn to – they have such a secretive magical historic feel that intrigues me This breathtaking novel which strongly focuses on life as a lighthouse keeper follows two interwoven timelines one hundred years apart – 1838 in Northumberland England and 1938 in Newport Rhode Island Each timeline was eually intriguing for me – I was completely engrossed by every single word of this beautifully written multigenerational story My mind and heart were fully captivated from the very first sentence The start of this tale introduces us to twenty two year old Grace Darling whose entire life has been lived simply on Farne Islands as a lighthouse keeper’s daughter One day during a horrific storm Grace and her father bravely battle the sea in a row boat to rescue the survivors of a nearby shipwreck Grace’s courage and bravery during the storm is unexpectedly publicly celebrated and honoured making Grace a famous hero The unanticipated praise and attention is hard for Grace to accept and handleThe lighthouses in this story are characters of their own The author Hazel Gaynor creates an atmosphere so vivid and gripping that I truly felt myself as a part of this compelling and unforgettable scenery and cast of characters The isolated islands the damp and windy weather the sparse beaches where washed up treasures were found and cherished simple and uaint Cherry cottage As I was reading I could hear the echoes of the footsteps on the winding staircase as Grace climbed the lighthouse steps to proudly handle her daily duties Upon finishing this amazing novel I googled the name Grace Darling to find out this book is based on a true story Wow I had no idea This knowledge enhanced my love for this novel as I absolutely love historical fiction for that reason – I love learning about a time in our history that I knew little or nothing about This book is written so beautifully that there will be no choice other than to make its way into your heart I warn you to have plenty of Kleenex ready as this is an emotional journey that had me sobbing uncontrollably a few times I just love a good book cry As my lovely GR Traveling Sister Norma brilliantly stated as sad as this story is it is filled with so much warmth and love Heart wrenching and heartwarmingThis was a Traveling Sister read that we all adored To find this review along with the other Traveling Sister reviews please visit our blog at HUGE thank you to Edelweiss HarperCollins Publishers Ltd and Hazel Gaynor for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest reviewThe Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is AVAILABLE NOW It is an absolute MUST READ


  2. says:

    45 stars “My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse In one way or another we have all attached human ualities to these old stone walls so that it has become another member of the family not just a building to house us”When a novel is based on the life of a real person it’s many times a dilemma for me on how to rate it because I inevitably try to find out about the person when I’m reading the book and then I’m disappointed if the fictional character’s story is imagined than true although I shouldn’t be It is fiction So I decided I would read and rate this book before trying to find out about the real Grace Darling It looks like the author kept to some specific details of Grace Darling’s life She’s the daughter of the keeper of Longstone Lighthouse in Northumberland England She is a dedicated assistant to her father and in 1838 during a horrific storm they rescue survivors of a shipwreck It is this act that brings her unwanted fame and attention Among the survivors is Sarah Dawson who happens to be the sister of George Emmerson an artist who Grace has met and is drawn to There is a second story line a century later in Rhode Island where nineteen year old and pregnant Matilda has been sent from Ireland to live with a family friend Harriet also a lighthouse keeper until she gives birth There are so many novels with dual story lines in different times I enjoy these if the connection feels real and this was one of those stories This is actually one of the few dual time line books where I enjoyed both timelines eually I think it was because of the wonderful way Gaynor connects them the relationships the lighthouses a locket a painting and definitely the courage of all of the women It was notable that in these alternating narratives of the characters that Grace’s Matilda’s and Harriet’s were in the first person and the others in the third person This made for much intimate connections with the three women The writing is very good in places especially the description of the storm Considering that this wasn’t necessarily a short book I read it fairly uickly because I was always interested in finding out A cliche perhaps to say it was captivating but I was totally taken by each of these strong women and how they managed to move forward in spite of things that weren’t always easy to face In spite of a revelation towards the end that felt a bit much to me this book is deserving of five stars because I enjoyed it every step of the way I can’t say that I’ve ever had an affinity to the lighthouses I’ve seen but I’ll probably think about them in a different light the next time I see one This was a Traveling Sisters read I was a little late to the party but enjoyed everyone’s commentsI received an advanced copy of this book from William MorrowHarperCollins through Edelweiss


  3. says:

    5 huggable stars to The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ When you have a favorite author you count the days until her next release The day came for Hazel Gaynor and The Lightkeeper’s Daughter and it lived up to my every expectation First of all in case you didn’t know I am obsessed with lighthouses I grew up near one my husband proposed to me there and we later married near another There is something both mystical and majestic about them along with their steadfast beaming light signaling support to all those who need it Told in dual narratives of which I loved both in eual measure which is not always the case with dual narratives the first is set in Northumberland England in 1838 The Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands is tended by the Darling family which is where we meet young Grace Darling She witnesses a shipwreck in a horrific storm and convinces her father that they must help the survivors which in turn puts their own lives in jeopardy Grace is strong and cares for the lighthouse better than any of her siblings but when it comes down to who is next in line for the job it will be her brother and not her because she is female Even though she is celebrated as a hero throughout England for her efforts in saving the shipwrecked survivors no matter; she still cannot inherit the job at the light The second timeline is in 1938 Newport Rhode Island at another lighthouse Just 19 years old pregnant and unwed Matilda Emmerson is sent from Ireland to live with a distant relative in the United States There are connections amongst these characters and across timelines that are unexpected and beautifully executed Hazel Gaynor is a natural storyteller Her books are emotional charming and heartwarming Inspired by the true story of Grace Darling in The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter Gaynor has given us several formidable memorable and inspiring female characters who are the epitome of bravery and sacrifice that know no bounds This book gets my highest recommendation Don’t miss it Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for the ARC to review All opinions are my own The physical copy was purchased by me This beauty had to go on the shelf next to my other Hazel Gaynor books Ps Update I just now ordered the UK edition too 🤓


  4. says:

    35 Two strong able women a century apart and their lives as keepers of a lighthouse WHAT I LIKEDThe settings lighthouses are one of the things I seek out on my vacations I love them and the role they have played throughout historyGrace Darling was a real person and as always that sets a different tone to the story an authenticity if you will She did live in a lighthouse on Farne Island and did help rescue nine people when the steamer Fecfashire broke apart during a horrific storm Her life would be changed due to the notoriety this brought into her lifeThe atmosphere and the descriptions of the many natural items Grace collected These were beautifully describedThat this book showcased strong women who especially Grace in the late 18800s that women were not expected nor encouraged to do They each forged their own paths sdmirably if not always joyfullyThe writing Gaynor does a good job with these historical novelsWHAT I LIKED A BIT LESSThe dual timeline Although the timelines are connected through the lighthouses and a looser surprise connection this is far from my favorite way of presenting a story I usually end up liking one than the other The novel sometimes became lost in the details some just went on too long and the story bogged downAs you can see there were many likes than dislikes This was a sisters read and most absolutely loved it I liked it very much but with a few reservationsARC from Edelweiss


  5. says:

    Captivating affecting heart wrenchingThis was my very first HAZEL GAYNOR book and I must say that I absolutely loved her writing style I was immediately drawn into this extraordinary story by her beautiful storytelling right from the very first page and had me totally immersed entertained and interested throughout this entire bookTHE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR is an absolutely stunning sad moving heartwarming and an excellent historical fiction novel that was inspired by the true story of Grace Darling a lighthouse keeper’s daughter A fascinating story Some parts of this book was extremely sad and heartbreaking for me to read as it takes you on uite the emotional journey and I couldn’t help but feel right along with all the characters heartache loss and tragedy Even though there was so much sadness the book also had so much warmth and love emanating throughout that was so inspiring and empowering to read Just how strong resilient and brave these women were was absolutely remarkable and it was an absolute pleasure reading and learning Grace Darling’s story HAZEL GAYNOR delivers a vividly descriptive intriguing and beautifully written story here where she interweaves skillfully two different timelines spanning over decades and centuries Grace’s story in 1838 and Matilda Emmerson’s in 1938 Both of these women’s stories captured my heart and I found them both as eually compelling and not once did I feel like one was interesting than the other I have a fascination for books with settings of lighthouses and it was one of those books for me where the author’s beautiful prose moving storyline and endearing characters made this an all around fabulous read for me I love it when an author can bring out so many emotions from me while I am reading and for me that is one incredibly satisfying reading experienceNorma’s StatsCover Formidable somber breathtaking wondrous intriguing and an extremely fitting representation to storylineTitle Appealing intriguing interested and a simple but yet such a powerful representation to storyline WritingProse Well written vivid exuisite engaging captivating and fluentPlot Thought provoking powerful passionate emotional engrossing steady paced enjoyable and extremely entertaining Ending A sorrowful ending that I was extremely satisfied with as it ended historically correctOverall An enthralling and memorable read that had me totally engrossed emotional and interested from start to finish Would highly recommendThank you so much to HarperCollins Canada and Hazel Gaynor for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s E Proof in exchange for a reviewReview can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog


  6. says:

    45 Stars ”I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship” Louisa May AlcottWhen I was a child there was an older man a former sea Captain who lived in a tiny cabin overlooking one of the lakes in our town He got by on doing odd jobs in the neighborhood and on whatever else he might have received I know my father had somewhat of a soft spot for him where my mother disliked his rough unmannered ways Through him I heard stories of life on the wild seas and about lighthouses being a beacon to those at sea and for him perhaps like a parent welcoming a child home Because of him and his love for lighthouses I have always loved them for many years from afar but later on I began to try and explore as many as I could So for me this was another exploration into a new lighthouse through the pages of a story that is based on a true story The story of Grace Darling a twenty two year old young woman living in a lighthouse on the Farne Islands in 1838 her father the lighthouse keeper and she the lighthouse keeper’s daughter A title that would imply she was only that a daughter but she assisted in the running of the lighthouse In fact she wants no other life than this ”As Father is on first watch I leave the comforting light of the lamps and enter the dark interior of the staircase My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse In one way or another we have all attached human ualities to these old stone walls so that it has almost become another member of the family not just a building to house usA storm always stirs a desire for everyone to be safe inside the lighthouse walls but my sisters and brothers are dispersed along the coast now like flotsam caught on the tide and carried to some other place”When a horrendous storm causes a the shipwreck of the Forfarshire she convinces her father that they must come to the aid of those she can see shipwrecked on the rocks and they rescue the nine survivors risking their own lives in the process When this news becomes public it spreads further and soon people are flocking to see this brave young woman Among the survivors is a woman named Sarah Dawson sister to artist George Emmerson whom Grace has met He becomes one of many artists desiring to capture her portrait; he is already captured by herThere is an alternating story in an another time a hundred years hence that centers around Mathilda whose story begins with her leaving her home of Cobh Ireland and carrying a secret with her to Newport Rhode Island Her secret will become obvious as the months pass but her parents in Ireland will avoid the public shame she would cause them had she stayed Not that it was by her choice her mother has sent her to live with a family friend Harriet in yet another lighthouse Very poignant life affirming occasionally heart wrenching but also heartwarming historical fiction a novel reminding us of the best that is within us and inspiring us with the stories of these young women who didn’t allow their fears to conuer them but who rose to the occasion with the courage to face their future Many thanks once again to the Public Library system and the many Librarians that manage organize and keep it running for the loan of this book


  7. says:

    45 I enjoyed this book very much This is the story of two main characters Grace and Matilda a century apart so there is a dual timelinePart of the story was based on the real story of Grace Darling who with her family lived in and ran the Longstone Lighthouse off the coast of Northumberland in 1838 where she and her father were involved in a rescue after a shipwreck Grace Darling became a real heroMatilda is a young unwed woman in Ireland in 1938 who finds herself with child and is sent by her family to Rhode Island to stay with a relative to wait out her term the relative is a lighthouse keeper there The two stories are woven together beautifullyI love lighthouses have always thought I’d like to live in one We have many of them here in Michigan because of the Great Lakes and all the shipping done on them So I like to read anything having to do with themThere was a uote used in a letter in this book that really got to me and it was by Charles Dickens who I’ve never read“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul” This one really got to me


  8. says:

    Settings are either in Irelandor AmericaBack Forward storytellingBetween two centuries1938 and 1838With 100 years between Grace and Matilda in this historical fictionthey will link together I enjoyed this story but felt the style in which this book was written Jumping back and forth 100 years was a little jarring spoiling my enjoyment of ‘being here now’Harriet is the third female in this novel you’ll meet All three of these women are resilient in their own ways I liked this book enjoyed the characters AND the story yet it all felt a little thin to me What elevated my feelings wasn’t this story per say but rather learning that’s this novel was based on true events That ‘did’ add emotional depth I liked it fast easy read Truthfully I’ve found it hard to be ecstatic about much since reading Michelle Obama’s bookI did like “Florida” by Lauren Groff but that was very differentGrowth for me was involved Good story my mood for it was so so35 rating Rating Up as I honestly did enjoy the characters and appreciate the author’s research


  9. says:

    I listened to most of this one on Audible and really enjoyed the book and the narrator The story drew me in early and I adored the character of Grace She was told that she would never find a husband if she hid away in her tower and that she shouldn't expect a tide to deliver one The whole lighthouse setting was intriguingThe timeline alternates from the Longstone Lighthouse in 1838 to Ireland in 1938 A century apart the two stories will connect the family ties that link the characters and the strength the portrayedThe first half was full of suspense as the SS Forfarshire is hit by a tumultuous storm and Grace shows courage as she helps her father with the rescue of the survivors She becomes a bit of a celebrity in the area as the story spreads Later there is a romance that develops between Grace and the brother of a survivor but I didn't feel like it added much to the main story line of the women and their family historyOverall very enjoyable and beautifully written I could have passed on the added romance I have already bought a second novel by this author


  10. says:

    35 Stars A lovely story that was inspired by true events Charming and vivid this was an easy and entertaining read A story about strong women that is beautifully imagined and writtenI love books where a lighthouse or the Island become an extra character in a story and The Lighthouse Keeper's daughter is my first novel by Hazel Gaynor and I really enjoyed the read This is an historical fiction story where a mystery and a love story and a true event all marry to give the reader this page turner of a novelWe are introduced to two stories the first is based on fact From 1838 Northumberland England where Lighthouse keeper’s daughter Grace Darling along with her father is involved in the rescue of shipwrecked passengers The fictional 1938 story takes nineteen year old Matilda on a Journey from Cobh in cork Ireland on the TSS California across the Atlantic to New York to spend a few months with her reclusive relative at a lighthouse in Newport Each story is told in very short alternating chapters and I think this makes easy reading and I didn’t have a problem keeping track of what was happening Interesting and engaging characters are the heart of this story and I think readers who enjoy books by Kate Morton or Diane Chamberlain might well enjoy this novel