About the Book
Title: Phoebe’s Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical romance
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Marcy, a man whom she loathes.
Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
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Guest Review from Mindy Houng
“Matthew, one more thing I ask of thee. Walk in the Light of God.” Bewildered, he blurted out. “How do I walk in the light when I only see darkness?” She gave him a soft smile before her eyes fluttered shut. “Then trust God in the dark.”
I don’t normally read Quaker-themed books (nor Amish-themed books, for which the author is well-known) and this is the first book by Suzanne Woods Fisher I’ve read, but now I can understand why she’s such a celebrated and beloved author. This book was indeed a powerfully moving book. The writing was engaging and transported me to Nantucket in 1767 amidst the Quakers. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and daily activities of the whaling community were all so tangible and real. The plot contained many twists and turns that kept me turning the pages and the layer of suspense and mystery was just enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. As each layer of the plot unfolded, I couldn’t contain the gasps of surprise! The plot, of course, was spearheaded by wonderful and memorable characters who will remain my friends for a long time. The faith aspect of the storyline was incredibly well-crafted and flowed naturally with the characters and their personalities. And there was quite a bit of unexpected dry humor thrown into the writing, especially through Great Mary’s journal, that had me bursting out laughing at times.
Phoebe is merely eighteen, an immature child who thinks she knows what she wants out of life and stubbornly persistent in obtaining it. That one goal is to marry an older widower who is Captain Foulger. Phoebe is intelligent, resourceful, full of sparkles and laughter and optimism, and faithful though she is flawed and makes mistakes. The recounting of her conversion story is beautiful and so hopeful.
Matthew is a barrel maker, trying to climb out of debt that his family incurred after their whaling ship got destroyed and his father and brother were killed. He’s always been cynical and skeptical and has been disowned by the Quaker society due to his insolence. Yet he is loyal and compassionate and smart and kind. His return to God is full of angst, heartbreak, and tears.
I really enjoyed the dual timeline of sorts that occurred through the reading of Phoebe’s great-grandmother Mary’s journal. What an incredible woman Mary was.
I am thankful I had the opportunity to read this book, though it’s outside of my usual genre. I learned a lot about the history of Nantucket as well as whaling and about the Quakers. Anyone who enjoys a well-written historical fiction will love this book.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher
A Stroll down Petticoat Row
Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.
Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.
Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.
First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.
After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!
Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
2 cup grated carrots (4 large)
1 apple, shredded
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup pecans or walnuts
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.
Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.
Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20
The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 20
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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0