The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

by Hazel Gaynor


$14.10 $16.99 Save 17% Current price is $14.1, Original price is $16.99. You Save 17%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, July 19


From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062698629
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 20,601
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from the Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she has published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of 'Ten Big Breakout Authors' for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had no idea of the women lighthouse keepers and when I began to read the stories I can remember always being so interested in lighthouses when I was younger! But had no idea it was an option for women. The descriptions of the moods of the ocean was so vivid I could almost feel that chilling sensation, which made it so fearful. Didn't think anything could top "The Girl Who Came Home" . Went to Ireland a few years ago and fell in love with the people, the history and the beautiful countryside. Thank you so much . Shirley
gaele More than 1 year ago
Separated by a century and thousands of miles, 22 year old Grace Darling and 19 year old Matilda Emmerson are both inexorably linked by a locket, portrait and book: their stories tied by chance and fate are infused with history of the time. Grace Darling has lived all of her life in the lighthouse, a steady helpmate to her mother and father in the house and with the responsibility of the light. While her other siblings have left for the mainland, marriage and positions of their own, Grace has maintained her helpmate status with the light, trimming wicks, carrying oil, polishing, cleaning and keeping watch from her exalted position in the air. Constantly collecting shells and watching the birds, seals and ships, spending time in deep discussions with her father or helping her mother with the house. Life is simple and quiet, just how she likes it. A sentiment she reinforces regularly with visits to ‘the main’, a quick row from her lighthouse perch. Matilda Emmerson is 19 and in disgrace: she’s pregnant and a life that was focused on the ‘show’ with her father a prominent local politician in Ireland. Raised with a level of wealth and status, Matilda’s relationship with her mother is always strained, never more so now that she’s turned up pregnant and won’t name the father. Not quite a love match, Matilda is being sent to a previously unheard of distant cousin in Rhode Island until her return to the family fold. A ticket on a transatlantic ship with a chaperone hand-chosen by her mother – and she’s off to the unknown. Meeting distant cousin Harriet in Newport, the secrets and Harriet’s brusque and ‘ask no questions’ attitude have piqued her interest more than ever. Meeting the artist and assistant lighthouse keeper gives her a friend who listens, an uncomplicated flirtation that has its roots in the life of Harriet and her time before Matilda arrives. And an old chest at the home in the foot of the lighthouse provides stories of the past, holding answers that will later be important. Told in 2 perspectives from the 1800’s and one from the 1900’s, the tales of Grace Darling and Matilda are inexorably tangled together: a locket from Grace being held and worn by Matilda providing a link to her history and the women who, when men were at war or needed support, worked to keep the lights burning. Not a story that is quick moving, but beautifully written as the links from past to present come into focus, questions, secrets and great storms, some one hundred years apart become the connection point to these women, allowing their determination, desire for self-direction in a time when it was unheard of, and a journey of self-discovery for a young Irish immigrant as she connects with her past, self and family. Beautifully written with inclusions of historic fact and people, descriptions of views and isolation from the tower view of the lighthouse, and shows how the time alone with thoughts and tasks provide a way to better understand yourself and your place – the story moves quietly. Each new moment adding another layer to the overall impression and emotional climax to Matilda’s story: tossed through an epic storm that will fix the newly adopted changes in her life into a foundation to move on. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
macjam47 3 months ago
I first read about THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER on Cathy Ryan’s blog Between the Lines and knew I had to read it. This book is about two women, separated by 100 years, who struggled to find their way while remaining devoted to their families. What did each have to give up to remain true to themselves? THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a historical fiction set in 1838 at Longstone Lighthouse on Farne Island. Grace Darling assisted her father in maintaining the lighthouse and it is where she lived with her mother and father. Living and working in a lighthouse during any time period must surely require a great amount of tenacity and a profound love of the sea. One eventful night a terrible storm hit and events that followed changed Grace’s life forever. Paralleling Grace’s story is the story of Matilda Emmerson. In 1938 Matilda became pregnant and was sent away from her home in disgrace to live with Harriet, an assistant lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. Matilda wasn’t sure she could stay with this strange woman, but as the story progressed through the difficulties between them, the two learned to get along and even developed an admiration for each other. As the stories of each young woman evolve, it is evident there is some connection between them, but you are left guessing while hints are revealed as their stories progress. The author crafted characters that were beautifully fleshed out and believable. I had no difficulty keeping the many characters sorted out. The storyline was clear, and the locales colorfully painted. The author told both stories without confusing the reader. This well researched historical novel was told with great authenticity allowing the reader to feel connected to the story. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was so absorbing, I couldn’t put it down. I will definitely read more by Hazel Gaynor. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a five-star story.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Refreshingly realistic and yet still an endearing tale of a woman in a man’s world
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
I love lighthouses! And I loved the story - but at times I felt it dragged a little. I loved the settings, and the back and forth between story lines. Very lovely book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOve every minute of this book. It was a great story that spanned a century. Highly recommend.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Author Hazel Gaynor's historical novels frequently deal with stories in two different time periods- A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home among them. Her latest intriguing novel, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter continues in that tradition. Grace Darling lives with her parents and brother in 1838 at Longstone Lighthouse off the coast of England. She is a great help to her father, the lighthouse keeper, learning all there is to becoming a lighthouse keeper in her own right. It would be her dream to take over for her father, but alas, her brother will take over as women are not encouraged to hold such jobs. When a terrible storm blows through and a nearby ship sinks, it is Grace and her father who jump into a boat to rescue several men and one woman who washed up on a rock. The woman, Sarah Dawson, was traveling with her two young children to visit her brother George Emmerson in Scotland after losing her husband. The story of how Grace risked her own life to save others becomes legend, with newspaper stories written about her bravery. Artists wish to paint her portrait, people ask for locks of her hair and small pieces of her clothing, and she and her father even get to meet a duke and duchess who honor them. In 1938, Matilda Emmerson finds herself pregnant and sent by her proper Irish parents to Newport, Rhode Island to stay with a distant cousin, a female lighthouse keeper named Harriet. Matilda is to give birth to the baby, give her up for adoption and return home to forget the whole thing. Harriet is a bit brusque, and keeps to herself. Matilda hears her crying out for someone named Cora in her sleep, but when she asks about Cora, Harriet rebuffs her. Matilda finds a trunk with a portrait in it of a woman who has some connection to herself, and sets out to find out who the woman is. Matilda begins to enjoy her life in Newport, making friends with a local artist named Joseph, and when she discovers a secret that Harriet has been hiding, her life begins to make sense to her. (The secret is a doozy!) The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter is a wonderful book for young adult women to read as well. Through Grace, Sarah, Matilda and Harriet, we see independent women trying to make their way through a male-centered world, overcoming obstacles and tragedy. and finding their own strength. I liked that there were male characters who supported these women- Grace's father, George Emmerson and Joseph- and who valued these women for their strength. Gaynor combines great characters with compelling storylines. The Lighthouse Keeper is a poignant read, and I enjoyed learning about life in a lighthouse. I also found Grace's brush with fame interesting, and not so different from what happens in today's tabloid-filled world where people get their fifteen minutes of intense fame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cobh Ireland - 1938 Matilda Emmerson, age 19, is leaving Ireland to sail to New York along with her companion. Matilda is from a wealthy family, however, her dalliance with a British soldier has left her pregnant. Now, she is to spend the remainder of her pregnancy with a relative, Harriet Flaherty, a reclusive lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. When the baby is born, she is to put the child up for adoption and then she will be allowed to return home. At first, Matilda is put off by Harriet. She is not the comforting person she was expecting. Instead, she is a gruff speaking, heavy smoker. 1838 Sarah Dawson is sailing with her two small children to Scotland for a month to visit her brother, George Emmerson. Sarah has recently lost a stillborn baby shortly followed by the death of her husband. Grace Darling, age 22, lives with her parents. Her father is the Longstone Lighthouse keeper and Grace has done the work with her father for years. It is a job she would like to take over from her father. Climbing the 99 steps to the top has become difficult for him. Grace loves the job and is eagerly learning everything she can. She has no interest in marrying and leaving the lighthouse like her 7 siblings did. George Emmerson is an artist who lives on the mainland across from the lighthouse. He met Grace one day when he visited. She gave him a piece of sea glass that she had found. He has been betrothed to his cousin for many years but he does not truly love her. He cannot stop thinking about Grace and she also thinks about him a lot. As Sarah Dawson and her children are nearing the end of their journey, a giant storm is brewing. The captain of the ship knows that the ship has structural problems but chooses to press on to their destination. A huge shudder and the ship breaks apart hurling Sarah and her children into the sea. At dawn, Grace can see people perched on a rock and she and her father brave the waters to try and rescue them in their row boat. Sarah is on the rock holding her children tight in the freezing cold. By the time Grace and her father reach them, the children are dead. Sarah is beside herself with grief but Grace is especially kind to her and comforts her until the storm abates and her brother, George Emmerson, arrives to take her home. Grace soon becomes known as a great heroine and people want to meet her, paint her portrait and shower her with congratulations for saving people. She is glad when the attention slows down somewhat. The story follows all of the characters through most of their lives. This is a good story and I liked the characters. What I didn’t like was the way it switches back and forth between time periods each time dropping one more hint to bring it all together. This story is based on a real person. Grace Darling is well known and here is the official website if you wish to read more about her: There are many female lighthouse keepers in history. One of my personal favorites is the Key West, Florida Lighthouse and I stop in each time I visit Key West. Not only is it beautiful, but Barbara Mabrity, widow of the lighthouse keeper, became the keeper when her husband passed away and served in that capacity for 32 years. Mrs. Mabrity’s daughter was to have written a book about life in the lighthouse but I have been unable to find a copy of it. People who love lighthouses should enjoy this book.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
found myself quickly immersed in this story, a story of life and death, and love and losing. The author did a wonderful job of melding the centuries, with the lighthouse guiding the lives of people chosen to operate them. When you know that this book is based on a true story, and see how fragile life is. A story woven with love, and I didn’t see some of it coming, but you might want to keep the tissues handy! We span decades and centuries and the book comes together beautifully, intertwining a family, but making you want to hold your loved one’s close. A story that will linger! I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher William Morrow, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
Beautiful story, and kept me flipping until the last page.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Enjoyable story story inspired by courageous women lightkeepers of the past
Anonymous More than 1 year ago