cover image Hannah: The Lighthouse Girl of Newfoundland

Hannah: The Lighthouse Girl of Newfoundland

Don Ladolcetta. Tranquility, $30 (340p) ISBN 978-1-950481-29-3

Ladolcetta draws on his mother’s childhood in this moving chronicle of a hardscrabble Newfoundland family. In 1927, nine-year-old Hannah Greene finds happiness among her eight close-knit siblings, though their overworked and underpaid fisherman father, Joe, is unable to feed the family. Things brighten up after their grandmother finds Joe a job at the lighthouse on Pointe Verde, where the family will have more room, more money, and indoor plumbing. Ladolcetta intersperses the jovial and hardy life of the Greene family with a historical look at the culture of Newfoundland and the inner workings of the lighthouse. As the decades go by, the Greene family deals with sorrow—Hannah’s little brother falls through the ice and dies—and happiness—her oldest sister marries a man who has family in the U.S. The author also weaves in historical events such as the grounding of the Esmeralda, which provides an opportunity for Hannah’s siblings to salvage from the wreckage. Though the writing is a bit rudimentary, Ladolcetta offers a convincing view of a resilient family. This historical drama is worth a look. (Apr.)