Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Posted July 10, 2018 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, romance, Suzanne Woods Fisher / 14 Comments

about the book

SERIES: Nantucket Legacy #2
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2018
PAGES: 328

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.

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Other Books In This Series

I am so enjoying this Nantucket Legacy series by Fisher, especially due to the (fictional) journal entries from (not fictional) Mary Coffin Starbuck that are interspersed throughout each novel. Mary was an integral figure in Nantucket history, and I love seeing the island’s earliest days (17th century) through her eyes. It’s fascinating to see how Nantucket came to be, to glimpse its earliest days as well as what it has become a couple hundred years later (19th century) and her great-great-great granddaughter’s story.

Speaking of whom… Daphne is a kind, compassionate heroine who is perhaps stronger than she realizes. Or at least stronger than she lets on. In the face of blatant hypocrisy close to home and more subtle hypocrisy among her peers and elders, Daphne holds true to what she believes. As it pertains to her own heart and as it pertains to the intrinsic value of all humans, no matter the color of their skin or their origin. I suspect, had I lived in the 19th century or she lived in modern times, Daphne and I would have become great friends.

Ren is a dashing sea captain who comes home to face great surprises – and great grief. The road ahead is not an easy one for Ren, and it will cost him more than he expects. Yet, watching his transformation throughout the course of the book was inspiring. He must deal with the same hypocrisy as Daphne, yet instead of letting it make him stronger (as Daphne has done) he has allowed it to sour his opinion of the Quaker faith. I admit that there is much i don’t understand about the Quaker faith, much that gives me pause. Still, my husband has Quaker roots in his not-so-distant family tree and so I am always eager to learn more about what shaped his mother’s family.

Bottom Line: One thing I learn from reading historical fiction is that there really is nothing new under the sun. The circumstances may be vastly different, and the day-to-day life may alter considerably from one generation to the next. But some things remain ever true: The human heart is sinful; religious people sin too; Jesus is the Light of the World; Grace is amazing. In Minding the Light, we see all of the above, plus a richly-detailed history so vividly told that you can hear the sea gulls in the air, the waves lapping against the shore, the bustle of people at the wharf, and the bells ringing through the town. Engaging characters and a compelling history combine with all I’ve already mentioned to deliver a story that you won’t want to put down!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 2 / Warm, rosy glow of sweetness

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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.

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8 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.

1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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).

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter.

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

What about you? Have you been to Nantucket?

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14 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

  1. Patty

    I just got a notification from Starbucks that it is double star day=) Maybe I need to take a drive!

    On another note, I really enjoyed the first book in this series and look forward to more.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on “Minding the Light” by Suzanne Woods Fisher and for being part of the book tour.

    I love Suzanne’s books and can’t wait for the chance to read this one.

    I’ve never been to Nantucket but I’m sure I would love it. Working on our bucket list and may just have to add it to the list. 🙂

  3. Melissa Andres

    I’ve never been to Nantucket, but would love to someday. I’ve also not read the books in this series, but I’ve heard good things!

  4. Dianne Casey

    I have never been to Nantucket, but I would really like to read about the early days and history of Nantucket.

  5. Perrianne Askew

    I have never been to Nantucket, but it sounds like I need to add it to our bucket list. This series sounds like it needs to be added to my wish list as well.

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