About the Book
Book: The Light Before Day
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 2, 2018
“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”
After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom—a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.
As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.
Find out more about this amazing deal at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/thelightbeforeday
About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.
Guest Post from Suzanne
The Mortgage Button
In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.
Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.
Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.
Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.
Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.
But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.
I have always enjoyed historical books. When I find an author who writes in that genre I am always excited to read their latest book. This author has not disappointed me at all in her vast knowledge of Nantucket and a time period I love to read about. The Quakers were quite intriguing to me. They seemed very strict and kind of stuffy. It was disheartening to read how people were still believed in slavery . I appreciate that the author put this in the book to show how even back in the early days discrimination was prevalent. It is sad to think that because of the color of your skin, you were not allowed to get a proper education. I really liked the authentic language the author used such as thy, thou and thee. I grew up reading from The King James Bible where those words were used throughout the book. It felt familiar to me and I became comfortable as I continued reading.
It is easy to get cozy reading the authors books because she has a way of breathing life into the characters. Yes, I felt like I was in Nantucket watching the waves crash against the ships as they headed out. I loved getting to know Hitty and Henry. Their grandmother really must have been a miserable person to write such a horrible will for them to follow. I had to ask if it was worth all the hoops they had to go through to get their inheritance. My answer is absolutely for one main reason. They both decided that they were going to use the money to improve their surroundings and the people who lived there. Did they have obstacles to overcome? I couldn't keep track of all the people, nasty remarks and unwanted relatives that tried everything to stop the good Hitty and Henry were trying to accomplish.
The story is quite an adventure with surprises, deceit, loss of life and moments of clarity for people in Nantucket. When tragedy strikes in Nantucket, will neighbors help each other? Is it possible that we get so busy that we forget to look around us? I loved how the story shared wisdom, hope and a light that always shines. The author has given us a story that is rich in history, touches on subjects not many like to talk about and gives us a glimpse into what greed can do to a person. There are heroes in this story that you will discover. They may be the person who speaks out against slavery, or the person who saw beyond looks and found love or it may be the one person who trusted God and was led to the light of freedom and hope.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway