The Lightkeeper's Daughters

The Lightkeeper's Daughters

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth's eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family-- a past that suddenly becomes all too present when her late father's journals are found amid the ruins of an old shipwreck. With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own-- to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth's father manned the lighthouse seventy years before. As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan's connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781443452212
Characteristics: 311 pages ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Light keeper's daughters


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rthomson1954 May 09, 2018

This is another tale related by a young person (court ordered, in this case) assisting an elderly woman with limited vision by reading journals to her. As the story unfolds, both women unlock secrets to their past lives which bond them together, even as their time spent together is causing them to grow close emotionally. The description of life as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper on Porphyry Island (Lake Ontario) was delightful, and the end was a surprise twist!

Apr 19, 2018

This is a beautifully written story with lots of descriptive language and imagery. The author, Jean E. Pendziwol, is skilled with her character development and it was nice to read a book set in my own province. A young teen, Morgan, has grown up in foster care with little knowledge of her family. She is put under "restorative rehabilitation" for spray painting the property of a retirement home. She must spend this time fixing what she has done. While working at the retirement home, she meets an elderly woman, Elizabeth, and agrees to read to her from some journals written by her father as she is no longer able to see. From here, the reader moves through past and present and comes to understand that there is a connection between these two ladies. Family, specifically the love between two sisters is the prevalent theme in this story. There is a huge reveal at the finale that i was not expecting, summing up some of the unanswered questions throughout the book. The story is lovely and I recommend it to others looking for an excellent read from the Historical Fiction genre.

Mar 05, 2018

A great story backed by the beautiful Canadian landscape and the harsh elements I know so well. The characters were relatable and engaging, even the difficult ones. I would've given a slightly higher rating if the end hadn't been quite so confusing. It shouldn't be so complicated that the reader has to re-read and trying to figure things out several times. From the comments, I see I was not alone in that respect. The rest of the story was lovely though.

Jan 09, 2018

This was a good read. The writing described the scenery in Lake Superior so well, it was vivid and alive. A haunting story but a good read.

ehbooklover Jan 09, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, its beautifully described setting (Lake Superior), the plot twists, and the author's ultra-engaging writing style. An emotional and moving story that I couldn't put down!

Dec 13, 2017

Don't get me wrong, I loved this book, but I couldn't help feeling a bit uneasy about the "borrowing" of plotlines from both The Light Between Oceans and Orphan Train. If you have read either of these you will know what I mean. It is beautifully written and held my interest right to the very end.

Dec 01, 2017

A good historical drama based around a family secret kept for many years and the loving bond between twin sisters. Interesting account of the isolated life of a light-keeper's family in a remote location. Beautiful, descriptive writing brings the setting of Porphyry Island and Lake Superior to life. My one complaint about the book was the strong, foul language of Morgan's character. It was a jolt to the senses in contrast to the otherwise beautiful writing and seemed to be out of place.

Oct 23, 2017

The Lightkeeper's Daughters: a tad syrupy; generic characters outnumber idiosyncratic ones, as the presence of many are fleeting vis-à-vis the expansive timeline of the book. Then, there's the continual recitation of geographical place names for the plethora of islands, bays, channels, which, in a way, somewhat inhibits scene setting. Nonetheless, references to Port Arthur and Fort William are pleasantly nostalgic, compared to the crass Thunder Bay moniker. These minor structural shortcomings aside, Pendziwol weaves an absorbing, convoluted tale, wherein chance and fate vie for primacy in determining the evolving experiences of each and every life. Perhaps the key lynchpin in shaping the future course is the foundational upbringing we receive, incomplete knowledge of which results in what may be termed a lingering void. This narrative depicts a last opportunity quest seeking illuminating revelation. The true numerical element of the novel's title only crystallizes towards the end. The initial default assumption subtly wrong foots the reader. Nicely done.

Oct 07, 2017

Kudos to Ms Pendziwol's leap from children's books to an adult audience. I loved this book. However I would not consider this an easy breezy summer read. It requires one's undivided attention, especially the last 2/3rds of the book. I had to go back and re-read some of the end chapters as to refresh my memory of who was who. Heart warming and tragic at the same time. A great blend of friendship and family bonds.

Ponto1 Aug 30, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging tale of multi generational family bonds and the secrets kept to protect them. I would describe this read as a cross between a Light Between Oceans (Stedman) in terms of setting and themes, and the Notebook (Sparks) in the manner in which the story was related. The Canadian historical context and setting was an extra bonus.

I think i found my favourite summer read of 2017!

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