In her mesmerizing adult debut set on the shores of the Great Lakes, critically acclaimed children’s author Jean E. Pendziwol delivers an affecting story of family, identity, and art involving a decades-old mystery.
Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth’s bones have aged and her eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills her days at the retirement home with music and with memories of her family, especially of her beloved twin sister, Emily. When her late father’s journals are discovered after a tragic accident, she seizes the opportunity to piece together the mysteries of her childhood.
With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service at the home, Elizabeth delves into the diaries—a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Each entry draws these unlikely friends deep into a world far removed—to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth’s father served as lighthouse keeper and raised his young family in the years before and during World War II.
As a complex web of secrets unravels, Elizabeth and Morgan realize that their fates are connected to each other and to the isolated island in ways that are at once heartbreaking and healing.
Both sweeping and intimate, The Lightkeeper’s Daughters takes readers on an enthralling journey to an unforgettable place.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Jean E. Pendziwol was born in Thunder Bay on Lake Superior and spent much of her childhood aboard her family’s sailboat, exploring the islands and bays of the inland sea. After working as a freelance writer and photographer, she spent several years focusing on raising her three children before publishing her first children’s book. She lives in Ontario, in the shadow of the Nor’Wester Mountains, with her husband, two of her three grown children, a loveable mutt, and three temperamental chickens, who sometimes lay eggs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the kind of novel you hug after you’ve finished but get wet with the tears you have wept whilst reading. It’s a poignant and gorgeous read all in one. When it’s sad, it’s sad – oh my goodness. But it’s also lyrical, poetic and crying to be read aloud. I need this to be a film as I need to hear the soundtrack for real I had playing in my head when I read this. There’s something very magical about a story woven with historical fact and once I’d found out just what kind of story and place inspired this novel, I was captivated. There’s so much historical mystery and suspense in this book. The author has carefully done her research and brilliantly woven it into a novel of intrigue and suspense. It’s also one of those novels where the setting is the story and the story is the setting. Lake Superior – the Canadian Side is highlighted and is also the star of the show. Glorious and slow paced, this novel drifts into your consciousness and hits on every one of your emotions. Love it and highly recommend. I also have to say – what a gorgeous cover! (And covers having seen the foreign editions!)
I really enjoyed reading this, but it certainly left me feeling a bit sad. It's a melancholy read with a cold, harsh, unforgiving lighthouse as the backdrop. Each of the characters are quite complex and it's well worth waiting to find out how everything ties together in the end.
I loved thia nook and read it in a day. A lot of twists and turns. This book would appeal to young and old alike. Beautifully written.....I could not put it down.
I always consider it a find when a book I’ve read stays with me. The Lightkeeper’s Daughters is one of them. Pendziwol’s story of the isolated life of a family in the early 20th century is such a book. Threaded into this historical accounting is the contemporary story of Morgan, a young woman lost and looking to find someone, something to grasp that will help her figure out where she is headed in life. Serving out community service hours as restitution for tagging a fence at the senior retirement home she discovers an unlikely link to her childhood and the reasons for her love of the arts. Pendziwol’s story unfolds with grace and a hard look at a life spent surviving on Porphyry Island where twin girls, Emily and Elizabeth Livingstone and their family live and work the lighthouse that keep the waterways of Lake Superior safe for her travelers. The joys of a childhood filled with nature and few restraints gently unfold like the wildflowers Emily draws. It is also the story of how dark secrets, kept hidden and locked away always find their way to the surface. It is a look back at life that we would call harsh and wild that parallels contemporary life of those who are dropped into the CPS system. I highly recommend this title to be picked up by libraries and hope that librarians will put it into the hands of teens. I wish to thank the publisher for generously providing an Advanced Reader’s Copy for my honest review.
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