One afternoon in 1839, Emily Lowry’s husband vanishes from Wreckers’ Cay, an isolated island off the coast of Key West where he tends to the lighthouse. As days stretch into months, Emily has no choice but take charge of Wrecker’s Cay and her husband’s duties tending the light to support her three children—and a fourth on the way. Unexpected help arrives when a runaway slave named Andrew washes up on their beach. At first, Emily is intensely wary of this strange, charming man, whose very presence there is highly illegal. But Andrew proves himself an enormous help and soon wins the hearts of the Lowry family. And—far from the outside world and society’s rules—his place in Emily’s life, as steadfast now as the light, will forever change their futures. When Emily’s family is ripped apart once again, she faces untold hardships that test her love and determination and show how the passionate love of a defiant, determined woman can overcome any obstacle.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
The Woman at the Light is a beautifully written debut novel by Joanna Brady.
Set in the early 1800's in New Orleans high society to the sparsely inhabited islands of Key West, this is a poignant and often heartbreaking tale of one woman's struggle to carry on and raise her children alone on an island after the strange disappearance of her husband. Reaching deep for strength she did not know she had, she earns her living as the keeper of the lighthouse on her island and over time, searches for ways to fill the void that the loss of her husband leaves. Throwing caution to the wind, she seeks comfort in ways that are unacceptable to society and sure to carry consequences.
A beautiful story of survival and forbidden love. I enjoyed the way the author expertly threaded bits of Key West's past and the women who had a place in history as light keepers. A keeper!
Title: The Woman at the Light
Author: Joanna Brady
St. Martin's Griffin
genre: historical fiction