About the Book
Book Title: Minding the Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 3, 2018
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.
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.
Guest Post from Suzanne
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).
There is nothing better than being transported back in time by an author's talented writing skills. I love how the author has included historical facts about Nantucket and placed it in the story with realism. I have never been to Nantucket, but after reading the book, I feel like I know about its history better. It's interesting to read about the Quakers and their lifestyle during the early 19th century. It must have been very hard to live during this time period as the characters seemed to struggle with finances. To say that whale hunting intrigued me would be an understatement. The men were brave to fight the waves and live at sea for long periods of time.
I was saddened by the abruptness of the demise of a beloved character at the beginning of the story. What I did like was how the author once again uses her historical knowledge to introduce readers to laudanum. Many people during this time period used it for different ailments, but as we find out it can be harmful as well. I liked Daphne a lot and loved her fierce protection of her niece and nephew. It surprised me that their father, Ren returns after six years to think his children would welcome him with open arms. He sure has a lot to learn about children and one of them should be to put their needs first.
Being a captain does have its responsibilities but being gone for so long, would put a real strain on any relationship. I wonder if he will step up and care for his children ? Maybe he can take a lesson from his friend Abraham who tells him, "There is no secret , sir. Children require time." The story is quite a journey into the workings of a ship and what a sacrifice it can be on families that are left behind while their family members are at sea. Daphne is not quite sure where Ren stands when it is discovered that a new ship has been bought that was not approved by him.
I appreciate how the author shows us the different ways that people lived and how slavery was a way of life for some. I could feel the pain as Patience shared about her past. She is very loyal to the family but doesn't share much of her past. It leads me to believe her life has not been easy but she is very humble. She reminds me to be thankful for what I have and not be envious of others.
There is so much to like in this story from the intrigue of a possible poisoning, peace, revenge, hate, prejudice, the high seas and lessons that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned. I learned a lot about the Quakers and their traditions thanks to the brilliant writing of the author. The story flows with ease and I kept wondering who Daphne would end up with. I absolutely loved the surprise ending and can't wait for the next book in the series. Thank you for reminding us to see through the darkness and be set free in the light.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and Baker Publishing Group. The review is my own opinion.
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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. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway