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Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she's doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a "minder" on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.
Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary's journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe's shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way--just in time.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
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8th day of the ninth month in the year 1767
Phoebe Starbuck flung back the worn quilt, leapt out of bed, and hurried to the window. She swung open the sash of the window and took in a deep breath of the brisk island air tinged with a musky scent of the flats at low tide. It was how she started each morning, elbows on the windowsill, scanning the water to see which, if any, whaling ships might have returned to port in the night. It was how most every Nantucket woman greeted the day.
Drat! She couldn't see the flags among the jumble of bobbing masts.
Phoebe grabbed the spyglass off the candlestand and peered through it, frantically focusing and refocusing on each mast that dotted the harbor, counting each one. And then her heart stopped when she saw its flag: the Fortuna, captained by Phineas Foulger, the most-admired man on all the island, in her opinion. And the ship sat low in the water — indicating a greasy voyage, not a broken one.
Today Phoebe was eighteen years old, a woman by all rights. Would the captain notice the vast changes in her? She felt but a girl when he sailed away two years ago, though her heart had felt differently. What a day, what a day!
"Make haste, Phoebe dear," her father called up the stairs. "Something special awaits thee."
The morning sun brightened the room as Phoebe scooped up her clothes. She tugged on a brown homespun dress and combed her hair until it crackled. She wound her thick hair into a flattering topknot, pinned it against the back of her head, then covered it with a lace cap. She gave her bedroom a quick tidy-up, plumping a goosefeather pillow and smoothing the last wrinkle from the bed.
Downstairs, Phoebe smiled as she entered the warm keeping room, its fire crackling. Father, the old dear, a small and gentle man, sat at the head of the table with a wrapped bundle in his hands and a cat-that-swallowed-the-canary look on his weathered face, seamed with lines.
"There she is, my daughter, my one and only. Happy birthday, Phoebe." He rose and held the seat out for her. When he stood, she noticed the patches on his overcoat, the sheen at the elbows, the fraying threads at his sleeve cuffs. Not today, she thought. Not on this day. I will not worry today.
Barnabas Starbuck was considered the black sheep of the Starbuck line — oddly enough, because of sheep. Her father had continued to raise sheep for profit, providing a very modest income at best, despite the fact that all his kinsmen were deeply enmeshed in the whaling industry and growing wealthy for it. The gap between Barnabas Starbuck and all other Starbucks had widened enormously in the last decade.
Phoebe loved her father, but she was not blind to his shortcomings. He was a kind and generous man but lacked the business acumen common to his relations. Barnabas Starbuck always had a venture brewing. New enterprises, he called them, always, always, always with disastrous results. He would start an enterprise with a big dream, great enthusiasm, and when the idea failed or fizzled, he would move on to something else.
For a brief time Barnabas fancied himself a trader of imports. There were the iron cook pots he had ordered from a smooth-talking Boston land shark, far more pots than there were island housewives, so many that the lean-to still had pots stacked floor to ceiling. Oversupply, he had discovered, was a pitfall. Thus the pots remained unsold and unwanted, rusting away in the moist island air.
And then Barnabas had an idea to start a salt works factory in an empty warehouse on Straight Wharf but once again neglected to take into account the high humidity of the island. The drying process needed for salt production was so greatly hindered by the summer's humidity that the salt clumped and caused condensation on all the warehouse's windows.
Her father was quite tolerant of his business failures. "Just taking soundings!" he would tell Phoebe with a dismissive wave of the hand. "Part and parcel of the road to success."
What her father refused to accept was that all roads on Nantucket Island led to the harbor. Nearly every islander understood that truth and was involved, to some degree or another, in the making of tools necessary to outfit whaling and fishing vessels. Phoebe had tried to encourage her father to consider investing in sail making, blacksmithing, ironworks, rope manufacturing. Anything that would tie his enterprise to the sea. But he was convinced whaling was a short-term industry, soon to fizzle out.
Phoebe had a dread, and not an unfounded one, that her father would soon be declared Town Poor by the selectman. The Starbuck kin had made it abundantly clear that they had reached the end of their tether to bail Barnabas out of another financial failure.
And what would become of them then? The Town Poor were miserably provided for.
Not today, she reminded herself as she poured herself a cup of tea. I am not going to worry today. Today is a special day.
Leaning across the table, her father handed her a brown parcel, tied with twine.
"A gift? I thought we had agreed no gifts this year." And here was another sweet but conflicting characteristic to her father — he was a generous gift giver, despite a steady shortage of disposable income.
"This is an inheritance," he said, beaming from ear to ear. "It has been waiting for thee until the time was right."
Carefully, Phoebe untied the twine and unfolded the paper, both items to use again. Inside the package was a weathered book, bound in tan sheepskin. When she opened it, she had to squint to read the faint ink. "What could it be?" She looked up at him curiously.
"What could it be? Why, none other than the journal of Great Mary!"
Great Mary? Phoebe's great-grandmother, her father's grandmother. Great Mary's father, Tristram Coffin, was one of the first proprietors to settle the island. Mary was his youngest daughter, regarded as a wise and noble woman, a Weighty Friend to all, oft likened to Deborah in the Old Testament. "I thought the existence of Great Mary's journal was naught but rumor."
"Nay! Nay, 'tis truly hers. Passed along to me from my father and given to him by his father. 'Tis meant to be passed from generation to generation, to whomever would most benefit from the wisdom of Great Mary. For some reason, my father felt I needed it the most."
Reverently, Phoebe stroked the smooth brown sheepskin covering. "And thee has read it?"
He was silent for some time, staring into his teacup. "Truth be told, I always intended to but never found the time." His smile disappeared and he looked uncharacteristically chagrined.
"The script is faint, my eyes are weak ... Ink is so vulnerable to humid conditions." He put down his fork and wiped his mouth with his napkin. "And then ... I have been so busy with my enterprises."
Phoebe had to bite on her lip not to point out the irony of this conversation. "I thank thee, Father. I will take good care of it, and when the time is right, I will take care to pass it on to the person who most needs Great Mary's wisdom."
It was only after breakfast, as Phoebe knotted the strings of her black bonnet under her chin, swift and taut, eager to hurry to the harbor and catch a glimpse of the Fortuna's captain, that she realized the sharp point of irony was jabbed not only at her father but also at her. For she was the one in this generation, amongst dozens and dozens of Starbuck cousins, to whom the journal of wisdom had been passed.
* * *
A fine, fair morning it was, with the air washed fresh by the rain. The countryside was soft, shades of green, hints of yellows and reds with the coming autumn. Matthew Macy tipped his hat to bid goodbye to the constable and left the gaol, tucked away on Vestal Street, heading toward the wharf where his cooperage was located. A second-generation cooper, Matthew was, with the knowledge of barrel making passed down from his late father. Late ... but not forgotten. Never that.
He filled his lungs with crystalline air, happy to be outside on this lovely morning and far away from the wretched gaol, at least for the next ten hours. After that, sadly, he was due to return.
He strode down Milk Street, turned the corner, and paused to stop and look down toward the harbor. It was a view that always affected him. How he loved this little island. Thirty miles away from the mainland — not too far but far enough. The rain last evening had chased away the usual lingering fog, and even cleansed the air of the pervasive stink of rendering whales. At the moment the sea was calm, shimmering in the morning sun, but it could change in the blink of an eye, with nary much warning, into a deadly tempest. How well he knew.
Main Street was slick from last night's rain. The markets were setting up for the day, and he had to move deftly to avoid the clusters of townspeople, horses and boxcarts, wheelbarrows and wagons. Every corner swarmed with people: seamen and merchants, black-cloaked Quaker matrons holding tightly to their children's hands, somber men in their broad-brimmed hats, rat catchers and peddlers, all going about their lives.
In front of him, he saw a bonneted Quaker maid step right into the path of a fast-moving horse. He veered around two old salts and leaped into the street to swiftly rescue the woman. As he yanked her toward him and away from imminent danger, he heard her gasp.
"Matthew Macy, take thy hands off me!"
Bother. Of all the Quaker girls on the island to rescue, this one had to be Phoebe Starbuck. He lifted his hands in the air to show her that he heard and obeyed. "'Tis you, Phoebe? Hard to discern who is under that enormous coal scuttle. But then, that is what the Friends prefer, is it not? To wear blinders to life going on around them."
Ignoring him, Phoebe tugged at her bonnet, straightened her skirts, and dusted herself off.
"Do I not deserve a thank-you for saving your life?"
She frowned. "Saving my life might be an overstatement." Another horse and cart thundered by, its wheels splashing her skirts, and she added, "But I am grateful for thy quick thinking."
"Had I known it was you ..."
She glared at him. "Thee might have let the horse run me down, no doubt."
"I was going to say ... I might have let the Quaker brethren come to your rescue. But then ... they all seem far more interested to hurry and greet the Fortuna than to notice a damsel in distress."
As he looked around the street, he realized he had unwittingly spoken truth — a crowd was growing near the harbor — though he had meant only to sting Phoebe. Being around her brought out a streak of malice in Matthew that he could not restrain. He seldom left her company without cutting her, or the Friends, with some small criticisms.
As she recovered her composure, her dark brown eyes started snapping. She glanced up Main Street. "How did thee sleep last night? Was the stiff wooden plank comfortable enough for thee? And was a breakfast of gruel fully satisfying?"
"Happily, I am a man with simple needs. I can sleep anywhere and eat anything."
"How delightful. The Nantucket gaol sounds like a suitable arrangement for thee."
And then her attention was diverted by the sight of someone she spotted, and Matthew used the opportunity to excuse himself. As he rounded the corner to Water Street, he turned his head and stopped abruptly. The sun was shining down on Phoebe, lighting her like a beam. Her bonnet brim was turned up and she was smiling as Phineas Foulger, captain of the newly arrived Fortuna whale ship, and his abominable daughter, Sarah, approached her.
Why was Captain Foulger so soon off the ship? Most captains waited until the ship's cargo was unloaded, anxious to overlook every barrel of precious oil and ensure it was accounted for in the warehouse.
Then he saw the look on Captain Foulger's face as he caught sight of Phoebe.
A sick feeling lurched through Matthew. His mouth went dry, his palms damp.
Why should he let himself be bothered? Many a night in gaol he had reminded himself that apart from his brother and mother, he cared for no one and nothing.
* * *
It was hard to control the smile that strained to burst over Phoebe's face at the sight of Captain Phineas Foulger advancing in her direction among the crowds of shoppers, sailors, and vendors, his elbow guiding his daughter, Sarah. Phoebe had to suppress the impulse to call out and wave, and the even greater one to rush toward the captain. When he did draw close, he took notice of her and stopped abruptly. The corners of his hazel eyes lifted, crinkling, and she took that as solid evidence of his approval, but she could also see he clearly did not recall her. Had she changed so very much?
Suddenly seeming to remember the presence of his daughter, the captain took a step back. Sarah's cold gaze swept over Phoebe's homespun dress, and she said with a thin-lipped smile, "Hello. How pleasant to see thee."
"And thee as well." In a pig's eye, Phoebe thought, all the while she returned as warm a smile at Sarah as she could muster. She hoped Sarah Foulger could not tell the way her heart suddenly flew to her throat at the sight of her father, Captain Foulger, so tall and handsome. Salt-and-pepper hair, trimmed beard framing his chiseled cheekbones, sun-bronzed skin.
Behind Sarah stood a fine-boned half-Indian boy, small and thin for his years, with large sad eyes that were almost too big for his face. His knitted sailor's cap covered a head of thick brown curls. His arms were full of packages. Phoebe turned her attention toward him, mindful that she was "oversmiling" at the captain — and the sweet boy beamed in return.
Suddenly the captain's eyebrows lifted in surprise. "Well, I'll be blowed —'tis Phoebe Starbuck?"
His smile was so warm, so open, her heart leapt, capturing her devotion all over again. "Welcome home, Captain Foulger," she answered. Oh, welcome, welcome home! You take my breath away. "A greasy voyage, I trust?"
"Extraordinarily successful," he said. "God blessed the voyage beyond measure." His eyes appraised her. "Thee is looking ..."
Thee's looking right womanly, Phoebe hoped were the words to come.
"... quite contented," the captain said.
Contented? How does one look contented? 'Twas a compliment, she decided, though she would have preferred that he noticed how she had matured in his absence. "Today happens to be my birthday," she said. Why on earth was she telling him that? She supposed she wanted him to know that she was no longer a girl, no longer just Sarah's peer. Just Sarah's seamstress.
Phoebe rushed on. "My eighteenth birthday."
Rather than impressed, he seemed amused. "Is that right?" Sarah made a slight social cough signaling impatience and the captain glanced at her. "Sarah, did thee know it was thy friend Phoebe's birthday?"
Sarah gave her a thin smile, barely disguising her lack of interest.
The captain turned his attention back to Phoebe, hazel eyes twinkling. Oh, how they twinkled! "And what has thou received today?"
She dropped her head and lifted her drawstring purse. "My great-grandmother's journal."
The captain's face, alit with good-natured amusement only seconds ago, suddenly lost its smile and was replaced by a quizzical expression. His eyes riveted to her drawstring. "Great Mary's journal? I thought its existence was a legend."
Excerpted from "Phoebe's Light"
Copyright © 2018 Suzanne Woods Fisher.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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What a wonderful beginning to a new series! The author has obviously done a great deal of research into life on Nantucket Island. It is interesting to think about moving to an island in the present time, with ferries and airplanes to get you there or to leave if one desires. Not so for those who left everything for Nantucket in the late 1700's. Fleeing religious persecution, the settlers arrived on an island that held no welcome other than the smell of the sea and a whole new way of life than they had ever experienced. Learning many wonderful lessons from the diary of a brave ancestor, Phoebe realized that allowing your light to shine can occur in many different and unexpected ways.
I picked up this book at first because of the title and the cover. When I read the description, it sounded different and interesting. This is the first book I've ever read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I found it a very quick read, that caught my attention from the very beginning, and was totally transported. I loved the reading of Mary Coffin's diary and how it helped and inspired Phoebe. There were lots of surprises throughout the story and the end was great. I look forward to more stories in this new series.
Very slow, struggled to get through it. Enjoy most of her other books.
All of Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish books have been great, so I expected the same when she went a little different direction -- delving into the history of another group of people, the Quakers. And after finishing Phoebe's Light, I found my expectations met -- another great story by one of my favorite authors. The story was filled with a wide range of characters -- some easy to love and some not so much so. Adventure, love, disappointment, danger -- all these added up to a great tale that kept me engaged from start to finish. And I learned a little history about some of the early religious and cultural elements of our country that I was not familiar with. This was a great read, and I look forward to the next book in the series. I recommend Phoebe's Light to fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher's writing and anyone interested in a good story with some interesting history.
Phoebe's Light is such a character infused, character building story. You are so twisted up into the story you are so unaware of what is goin on around you - time sips by - I almost burned my pan of chicken. You can get so enthralled with the lives of the characters, who is really who they really are - who has secrets, who is a good person, who needs to be safe on the sea. What is going on? This thing is so full of information of the times and of whaling I was amazed at what I found out, and about Nantucket. This author is amazing, she knows what she is writing about - she is very thorough. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
I asked Revell Publishing for the chance to read and review this book and was chosen to do so. This book is a Historical Christian Fiction book. It goes back and forth between the mid-6500s and the mid=1700s. It is actually two stories in one. It works very well. There is a glossary at the beginning of the book. I did read it, but even if you didn't, you wouldn't be lost as the words are pretty self-explanatory. I enjoyed this book so much that I finished the book in three days. That is doing well, for me as it usually takes a week. I did not want to put the book down, nor did I want it to end. You know I do not provide a synopsis of the book as you can read that for yourself on the book. cover I give you my opinion. I think that Suzanne Woods Fisher did an excellent job on this first book in the new series. She portrays the community well. You feel like you are right there. She shows how areas were settled and turned into communities. She gives a look at a whaling community also. She does both of this without being like a textbook, full of description and interest. The characters in this book are very well developed. You feel that Phoebe could be you or your close friend. You see the community and the other main characters through her eyes. Even the minor characters are quite well developed and you feel you know something about them, at least would recognize them if you lived in that community. The story flows very well. Even the moving from one story to the other and back is done very skillfully. It is not jumpy or choppy in any way. The editing was also superb. Poor editing can ruin a perfectly good book in my opinion. This is a Christain book, but it is not preachy. It gives a nice look at the Quaker religion. It also shows how religion and religious persecution were some of the reasons we became our own nation. It also gives a glimpse of what whaling was like and why it was done. I would recommend this book and give it five stars. You will not be disappointed if you enjoy Christian historical fiction.
Phoebe has been the one to take care of her fortune hunting scheme of a father since the death of her mother several years ago. Phoebe has come to the crude realization that her father will mortgage anything and everything, including the roof over their heads to fund his business inventions and the like. She has always had her eyes set on the handsome, older gentleman Captain Foulger and takes advantage of hooking her line to him and marrying him against everyone's wishes. What she does not realize is that the Captain is only interested in an old journal that she has just became the owner. The journal is her great-grandmother's, one of the first settlers of Nantucket. In it there is a secret that could change the life of whomever reads it. As Phoebe sets sail on the Fortuna with her new husband, the Captain, she tries to avoid a childhood friend, Matthew. He has joined the crew as the cooper but really has joined as a favor to Phoebe's father to watch over her. AS the days wear on and Phoebe comes to realize that her marriage is not everything she thought it to be, her friendship with Matthew grows deeper. Will Phoebe be able to save everything near and dear to her or will life play a cruel joke on her instead? I am a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher and have enjoyed the fresh eyes she gives to Christian fiction. Normally I am not a big reader of Quaker fiction but I opted to try this novel due to her being the author. I almost gave up after reading at it for two days because of the Old English language of "thee" and "thy". I'll be the first to tell you that I do not like reading books written in that style. I am so glad I stuck this one out though. The story of Phoebe and her great-grandmother are exciting. You not only get to learn about the Indians that lived on Nantucket in the late 1600s but you also get to learn how Nantucket was settled by the Americans. As you are reading you get to leave the island and sail to the tropical islands and experience life at sea all the while going back to the 1600s. I was pleased to learn that we do not get to finish reading the journal and that it will make appearances in the other books of this series. I am fascinated to see how it transforms others lives in the family. I suggest you pick up this book with an open mind to the Old English language and give yourself plenty of time to get into the book during your first read. You might be like me and find that you cannot put it down because you have become so invested in everyone's story. Thank you to NetGalley and Revel for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review written in my own words.
This is the first novel in Fisher's new debut series Nantucket Legacy. It contains a dual timeline that is interwoven quite well: Phoebe's story from the 1700's and her great grandmother, Great Mary's, from the 1600's. Phoebe is a Quaker and descended from one of the original families who settled Nantucket Island in order to escape from the persecution that we receiving from the Puritans (Now that's a twist since the Puritans left England due to their religious persecution!). I loved the glossary at the beginning that explained the Quaker terms that Fisher included as many of them were definitely not part of my vocabulary. Fisher's historical research of both the time periods was very evident in her storytelling. There were several things that kept me from giving it a 5. I thought the first half of the book although interesting moved rather slowly and could have used more action. Usually Fisher's books have a more prominent romance aspect. This book definitely had a lighter romance side although a strong historically developed plot. Once Phoebe and Captain Folger were on the ship, there seemed to be no connection between them, even from the beginning; and they had just been married. The characters were quite varied. Captain Folger was a jerk from beginning to end, and I couldn't believe that Phoebe never did catch on to the fact he was probably after the journal and what it revealed. He also ran roughshod over his crew and let his first mate use his cat o' nine tails on the boys for insignificant breaches. And to leave Phoebe on an island and go off without her was inexcusable. Phoebe started out stubborn and self absorbed; and even though she was warned away from Captain Folger, she could only focus on being wealthy and secure. I did feel sorry for her continued sea sickness on the ship. I can't imagine being that sick for that long. As Phoebe began to rely more on God, she began to stand up for herself and take control of her life. I absolutely loved Silo and the relationship between Phoebe and he. Loved the role his scrimshaw carvings allowed him to speak to others. Overall a good read and I look forward to the next book: Minding the Light. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
So rich in historical detail! I loved learning about an era and location in history that I knew pretty much nothing about, and now I'm fascinated. I'm not usually a fan of a dual time-line story, but the author balanced it perfectly, with Phoebe and Matthew's perspectives told in third person POV, and the journal entries of her great-grandmother Mary in first person. The majority of the book is about Phoebe and her growth through harsh trials, which is enhanced by the parallels of Mary's growth in the well-placed excerpts. The pace of the book was rather slow at first, but I've found that with this author's beautiful writing I appreciate the time she takes to build the setting and develop the characters so that when the pace quickens and the plot climaxes, I'm completely enthralled and invested in the outcome. Hard lessons are learned, secrets are revealed, yet Phoebe's stalwart faith supports her and encourages those around her when they need it most. I'm loving this new series by one of my favorite authors and am looking forward to more! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Phoebe’s Light is an intriguing tale! Suzanne Woods Fisher shares a rich and vivid story as she regales readers with the history of Nantucket, whaling, and the Quaker faith. Phoebe Starbuck is an engaging heroine, and I enjoyed the intertwining of her story with that of her great-grandmother Mary Coffin. Mary Coffin Starbuck was an admirable historical figure, and I delighted in the imagined journal entries and personality Fisher created to bring her character to life. I enjoyed Phoebe’s Light and look forward to discovering more about Great Mary and her heritage as the Nantucket Legacy series continues. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
I believe in giving honest reviews, and this one will be the same as all my other. Honest. My thoughts on this book? Ugh. That’s right. Ugh. I was very disappointed in how this book turned out. I am usually a big fan of all of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s novels but this one was……well, frankly, bland. Very bland. I could not get into it easily. It took me many tries to actually get to the end of the story and by that point I was so frustrated with the way it was written that it lost all appeal to me. That said, I personally can not give this book more than 2 stars. However, just because I found the characters lacking and the story line flat, does not mean that you or someone you know may feel the same way, so I do still encourage you to give it a try. It’s just not a book for me. Does this mean I have given up on reading Suzanne’s books? Absolutly not. Sometimes, an author goes through down times just like every person in life. I will definitely give the next book in this series a try and hope that it’s not quite so bland. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was plain to see that Author Suzanne Woods Fisher did a lot of research into the history of this time. Her writing about the Quaker life was extremely interesting, and I appreciated the glossary that she included. The characters in Phoebe’s Light were strong and well developed. There are some you’ll love, some you’ll strongly dislike, and some things will make you wonder, “What in the world was she thinking!” All flowing together in a thought-provoking way. (Sorry, I don’t want to give any spoilers so can’t say more.) If you enjoy historical fiction, with some clean romance mixed in, this is definitely a great book for you and I highly recommend it. I look forward to book 2 in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review
*My Thoughts* Suzanne Woods Fischer is a popular in-home name for readers of Christian Fiction. She's written dozens of books, and she's very well known for her Amish Fiction. A beautiful storyteller, her books always bring to mind that of a grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren in the living room by the fireplace. Her newest series is not an Amish series but follows a series of Quakers. And let me tell you, this series is going to be her best one yet if Pheobe's Light is any indication. Skillfully written in stunning detail, Suzanne masterfully shares (in a timeslip, no less), the story of Great Mary through a journal. Phoebe is given the journal for her 18th birthday but has little interest. At the end of each chapter, Suzanne would insert a page or two of Mary's journal to impart wisdom and shed light on Quaker life in the 1600s. Rich with historical detail, I found myself entranced in both stories, and couldn't decide which I looked forward to more each time I picked this delight up. Throughout the story, Pheobe learns the importance of family and that people and riches aren't always as they seem. Desperate to show Phoebe and the world he's changed, Matthew is an endearing character who I ached and rejoiced alongside throughout the story. With beautiful detail, Suzanne makes you feel what her characters feel, smell what her characters smell, and see in your mind's eye both the beauty of Nantucket and the horrors her characters may face. A captivating story, Phoebe's Light is not one to be missed. _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Phoebe's Light... 5 stars! *I received this book from the publisher, but was in no way required to give a positive review.
It's amazing to me how much I can learn about history from reading a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher and Phoebe's Light did not disappoint. With her detailed descriptions of the surrounding area and time I felt as though I was right there on Nantucket Island in the 1700's. The raging sea felt so real I honestly felt seasick just reading it. Several times I had to put it down for a few minutes and start up again. Can that really be possible? So many great charactors kept me turning the pages but Phoebe remained my favorite. She was a strong, caring devout Quaker. I became so involved in her situations that I kept feeling the need at times to advise her! The extras including the glossary of words used during that time period (like a different language), questions at the end, and the note from Suzanne at the end were a great addition and interesting to read. This book is a great, great read! I received this book from Revell Books and was not required to give a positive review.
Historical fiction not to be missed Phoebe's Light Nantucket Legacy #1 By Suzanne Woods Fisher Phoebe Starbuck has always known what she wants and no one can dissuade her once her mind is made up. And Phoebe has decided that Captain Phineas Foulger is the man she is to marry. Though he is considerably older than her - she knows that he is perfect for her. Phoebe's stubbornness just strikes Matthew Macy as wrong - she was once promised to him. But that was before he was put out of the church, before he lost his father, and before his family was in debt. Phoebe still has an effect on Matthew but her head and heart have seemingly been turned by the Captain's charm and perhaps his wealth. When Phoebe gets her husband, she soon finds herself on an adventure like she always desired but following her own desires may not be just what she had always dreamed it being. Worse Matthew has been employed by Captain Foulger as the ship's cooper. But Matthew has made a promise to Phoebe's father to be there when she realizes the mistake she has made. Soon the sea has made its presence known to Phoebe and little gives her comfort aboard ship. Only the gift of Great Mary's journal from more than a century ago offers her distraction. And marriage to the Captain is not what she expected though her fragile health aboard the ship surely has some bearing upon his manner. Phoebe's Light takes the reader on two different journeys Phoebe's and Mary Coffin's. Mary grew up in Puritan Massachusetts, a land where religious freedom is just a dream for the Quakers and Anabaptists who sought it within the colony. This intolerance led the Coffin family to settle on Nantucket. But Nantucket wasn't the easy life that Mary's father led them to believe rather it was one of hard work on a land not willing to be easily tamed. Together these two stories come together and offer a glimpse into the early days Nantucket Island while America was still a group of colonies under the rule of a distant monarch. This is the first book in a new series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Nantucket Legacy if this book is but a taste of what is forthcoming is sure to delight fans of historical fiction. Focusing on Nantucket's Quaker roots one is struck by the intolerance of those seeking religious freedom for those seeking the same. This book is also an examination of how one goes about determining the path one's life should follow. Is there an inner urging? Is this self? Or is it God? I highly recommend this book it is an interesting and enjoyable read that one will enjoy sharing with a friend or two and perfect for a book club discussion. I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The history geek in me is so intrigued by the overarching story told in Fisher’s new Nantucket Legacy series. While each book focuses on a ‘modern-day’ (at least so far as 1767 is more modern than 1660) storyline, it also zeroes in on Mary Coffin – a real historical figure who had tremendous impact on a young Nantucket. Through Mary’s author-imagined journal entries (Fisher includes an author’s note at the end that details what is fact and what is fiction), we get more insight into this fascinating historical figure. As far as the 1767 thread of the story, Phoebe is the kind of heroine you like a lot but still want to shake for part of the book – yet you also end up being really proud of her by the end. There’s a bit of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ flavor to Phoebe’s story, too. Her father is an eccentric whim-chaser who always has a new (quirky) venture brewing, to their financial detriment. There’s a Gastonish character – a beast disguised as a prince – and a prince-type character disguised as somewhat of a beast. The allusion to this classic fairy tale doesn’t dominate the tale – and may not have even been intended by the author – but especially as the story begins the similarities come to mind. As Phoebe’s reading of Great Mary’s diary progresses, we begin to see more intersection with the 1767 thread (Phoebe’s thread), as surnames merge between the two. How it all fits together becomes part of the story’s intrigue in both timelines, and there’s more than one mystery to solve as we sail along. While some aspects of the story are fairly predictable, I wasn’t sure, ultimately, how either thread would play out – and there were some bumpy moments when I feared (and discovered) the worst! Bottom Line: Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher detours from her typical Amish genre to spotlight Quaker history and that of Nantucket. Both Mary Coffin and Phoebe Starbuck, though not without their flaws, are admirable heroines and the men they truly love are the best of heroes. The history here is as richly atmospheric as the setting, and while the thees and thous take a bit of tedious navigating this story is an enjoyable read with the promise of more fascinating stories to come! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Her choices affect more than she ever imagined... Despite the popularity of author Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish fiction I've somehow missed out...until now. A novel about the Quakers and the earlier history of Nantucket piqued my interest. I remember reading some about the early Quakers in my history books but really didn't know a lot about them. Phoebe's Light brought the people, the place, and the era to life. I had mixed feelings about Phoebe herself. I found her to be naive to the point of foolishness but she clings to a deep faith that could move mountains. And Matthew. Aahh, Matthew. He is a truly flawed character, he is refreshingly honest about his doubts, and he is completely loyal to those he loves. A couple of historical anachronisms didn't deter me from enjoying the story. And I loved learning some of the whaling and Nantucket-specific terms that I didn't already know. There is a helpful glossary at the beginning that you can refer back to if need be. I loved Suzanne Woods Fisher's dual timeline aspect in Phoebe's Light, Mary's diary entries from the 1660's were a fascinating look into the founding of Nantucket and Phoebe in the 1760's found inspiration and wisdom from reading the diary. If you are looking for an interesting story set in a little known period of American history you should check out Phoebe's Light. (I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
I think it is safe to say that Suzanne Woods Fisher is best known for her Amish fiction. With this new series, Nantucket Legacy, she is branching out to bring us insights into the beginnings of the Quakers in America. My family is descended from those original Quakers so I found this to be especially fascinating. The Quakers came to America because of oppression only to find persecution again on the mainland of America. This part of the story shows how they settled on Nantucket Island to get away from that persecution. It also tells the story of how the settlers went from raising sheep to becoming whalers. If you are worried about this being a mostly historical story, don't be. Suzanne brings her usual elements of romance, mystery, and suspense to the story. The romance between Phoebe and Matthew was wonderful but my favorite part was the love story between Phoebe and her father. The underlying story line is an old journal from Great Mary. I thought that Suzanne did a wonderful job of flashing back and forth between the current time of 1767 to the past of 1658. Great Mary was known to have deep insight into situations and through her journal Phoebe gains wisdom. The journal contains secrets that will help the current generation and generations to come. Knowing that there is a secret hidden within the journal it becomes the object of desire to those who would use it for self gain rather than the good of all. I just didn't want the story to end. I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment. Reading the sneak peek at the second book was torture! But I did enjoy all the extras that were included at the beginning and ending of the book. It was a win-win for me. I got to enjoy a delightful story and then learn some very interesting facts about our forefathers. Treat yourself and pick up a copy today! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Suzanne Woods Fisher posesses a knack for creating fascinating stories that simultaneously entertain, inform, and inspire. Her newest novel does all of this and more as the first book in her Nantucket Legacy series. Lauded for her Amish novels, Fisher turns her attention to colonial Nantucket and the early beginnings of its Quaker faith community. Life, love, and faith intertwine amidst the challenging and often harrowing setting of the whaling trade as fact and fiction merge in this captivating tale. As always, Fisher creates situations that cause her characters to probe their faith beyond the external, often prompted by someone who doesn't "follow the rules," a characteristic that makes her one of my favorite authors. Interspersed experts of Great Mary's journal broaden and add layers to the story, and unexpected plights escalate the tension. And while the ending satisfied, I am already eager for the next Nantucket Legacy novel. Don't miss Phoebe's Light. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Revell Publishing for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Phoebe’s Light ( Nantucket Book #1 ) By: Suzanne Woods Fisher Phoebe’s Light is book one of a new series, Nantucket by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I have read several of her Amish books and loved then. I don’t think that I have read a book on the Quakers before.The author surely did her research on Phoebe’s Light. It seem like you was reading two book in one. It seems that the storyline is going in a different direction, historical and not Amish. If you are a big fan of history , then you will love Phoebe’s Light.
What a book to get lost in, and thank goodness there is a sequel, I didn’t want to leave, and yet I did want a conclusion. This book is a perfect blend of history, romance, adventure and mystery, and boy do things explode when facts begin to unfold, and surprises sure abound. Can you imagine reading the thoughts of your Great Grandmother, you never met, it would be such an irreplaceable treasure, and this is the gift that Phoebe is given. Now why would the Captain be interested in the thoughts of a young girl? Thank goodness it is very hard to read, but we get to peruse it, and I enjoyed reading it, and then it is a story in itself. This is a new series that you really don’t want to miss, and I am glad I was given the chance to enjoy. I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.
Wonderful story. I love the story within a story. Phoebe learns a hard lesson while on a whaling ship. I love the history of the whaling ships and the Quakers. I did not want to put the book down. I had to find out how Phoebe would get through her trip on the whaling ship. I received a copy of this book from Revell and Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I am a huge fan of this author. Everything that she releases I have to read. I have never found a dull or boring book by her. This one is no exception. Carefully crafted, Carefully researched, find yourself on a journey that you cannot wait to see where it takes you. Realistic characters that seem like they are leaping off a history book, thrilling and heartwarming story line. This is a new series from the author, and it is different then previous books that she has written. I am very excited for book 2. I was provided a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program. All thoughts are my own.
The author ventures into the stories of the Quaker movement and from the Amish stories for which she is so well known and writing with such excellence. In Phoebe's Light we get a taste of what life was like in the 1660s and 1770s in the Massachusetts area and specifically on the island of Nantucket which lies offshore of Massachusetts. While the Quakers had come to America's shores from Brittany to escape persecution and the freedom to seek faith as they believed, they soon found that persecution was in the newly formed colony as well. Life revolved around the boats and what could be gleaned from the ocean leaving the islanders dependent on the shipping industry to provide their support. Whaling soon became their means of livelihood but such a dangerous occupation it was. This story follows two interwoven timelines. Reading from a journal written by a Quaker woman in the 1660s, Phoebe as a descendent of this woman, comes to understand much of her own life. The author's careful research and treatment of historical information is excellent. Characters are well fleshed out and you can really get into what they are thinking and feeling as you read. The descriptions of the sea voyages and life aboard a whaling ship captivate. I believe that Phoebe's light is that inner light that the Quakers believe is in man and comes from God. While our faith might differ from that which these Quakers believed, the book is good reading and a good story for Christians to read. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Revell, to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.