cover image The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

Hazel Gaynor. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-269862-9

Lighthouse keeping, courage, and a complicated family history connect two women living a century apart in this wispy tale from bestseller Gaynor (The Girl Who Came Home). In the 19th century, modest, dutiful Grace Darling assists her father in rescuing the survivors of a shipwreck. Among them is a young mother, Sarah Dawson, who lost both children to the sea. Grace’s display of exceptional bravery in venturing out in the middle of a raging storm catapults her into sudden and unwanted fame. In the 1900s, Sarah’s descendant, the rebellious Matilda Emmerson—19, pregnant, and unwed—is sent from Ireland to Rhode Island to live with lighthouse keeper Harriet Flaherty, her distant, eccentric relative. While in Rhode Island, Matilda researches her family history, uncovering both Grace’s tragic, forgotten love story and startling revelations about her own parentage. Grace and Matilda’s lives parallel each other as both exhibit quiet bravery, fall in love with artists, and develop intense connections with the lighthouses they tend. Gaynor’s writing is capable, though the story is slight and the link between centuries feels tenuous at times. The novel will appeal to fans of low-key women’s fiction, but readers looking for drama won’t find it here. [em]Agent: Michelle Brower, Aevitas Creative Management. (Oct.) [/em]