Apr 20, 2018

Book Review: The Light-Keeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol, July 4, 2017, HarperCollins.
Setting: Lighthouse on Porphyry Island, Lake Superior, Canada

Between 1918 and the early 1930s, a lighthouse keeper on an island in Lake Superior kept journals that would later be read by an orphan teenage girl, Morgan, to a blind woman in a retirement home. 

The blind woman is Elizabeth, one of the twin daughters of the lighthouse keeper and his wife on Porphyry Island. Elizabeth and her twin Emily lived in the lighthouse until the death of their parents, when they were taken in by old friends.  Now an old woman, Elizabeth becomes interested in her father's newly found notebooks, as she has unanswered questions about all that occurred to their family so many years ago on the lighthouse island.  

The novel reveals the  complicated lives of Elizabeth and Emily, the twin girls, and their older brother Charles, growing up largely isolated on an island in Lake Superior, especially during the long harsh winters.  

There are secrets in the family, and Morgan, who reads the lightkeeper's journals to the aged Elizabeth in the present time, is curious about the twin Emily's nature drawings. Morgan has copies of Emily's drawings, which she found long ago in her grandfather's violin case. What the connection is, between her grandfather and the twins, is what drives Morgan to read the notebooks carefully. 

Comments: The book was very suspenseful at times, and I could not wait to find out more about the intriguing characters and their lives. The story makes for excellent reading. I was curious about the similarities of parts of the plot to another lighthouse novel, The Light Between Oceans, published in 2013. However, this novel's added complexity makes up for that coincidence that readers of both books might notice. Overall, I gave The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughters  5 stars.

Book beginning:
Arnie Richardson
The black Lab is aging. His arthritic legs stiffly pick their way along the well-worn path, stepping carefully over roots and carrying his stout form between the trunks of spruce and poplar. His muzzle, flecked with gray, tracks close to the ground, gathering the scent of his master's trail. 
Page 56:
....I pause for a moment, and I hear her whisper,"Oh, dear God. It was him. All those years later. Grayson." She isn't talking to me. 
Thanks to Harper Collins for providing a proof of the book.

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader


  1. I love lighthouses, and books about them are fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Here's mine: “LET ME LIE”

    1. What a life lighthouse keepers had to keep! Challenging, to say the least!

  2. HI Harvee!

    Hi Harvee,

    It is a charming book cover, so colourful. I love how suspenseful it sounds!

    Here's mine for today! http://bit.ly/briguella1

  3. This book sounds excellent. I read The Light Between Oceans and found it to have a compelling setting. I will add this one to my TBR pile. Thanks. My Friday Quotes

    1. Let us know how you like it compared to The Light Between Oceans.

  4. Sounds like an interesting story. I like the then and now aspect of the story. This week I have a thriller - What You Want to See by Kristen Lepionka. Happy reading!

    1. Done very well, the past and present in the same novel.

  5. This sounds like a lovely read. I'd love for you and your readers to check out THE UNINVITED CORPSE . . . https://www.facebook.com/elleryadamswritesmysteries/

  6. This one sounds really good! Happy weekend!

  7. This does sound like a good read! I'm intrigued and want to know more about what was in those journals.
    Jo-Ann at Inspiration Pie

  8. Love that typography and the colors! :)

    Lauren @ Always Me


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