THE WOMAN AT THE LIGHT by Joanna Brady opens on Wrecker’s Cay in 1839, where Emily Lowry soon learns that her lighthouse keeper husband has not returned from a trip in his boat. Suddenly she is alone with her three young children, keeping not only her hearth and home, but also the lighthouse beacon burning. Wrecker’s Cay is isolated, and life there is lonely. So when a young black man with manacles attached to his hands washes up on their shore, there’s definitely time for tension to unfold. Who is he, and what is his story? Can he be trusted?
There are surprises at every turn in this rich historical fiction story that I devoured. Having spent time at many lighthouses, as well as in Key West and New Orleans, I found myself enjoying the descriptions of life in these places as much as the lovely story that unfolds of love against many odds. Brady’s brilliant handling of details that enrich her work combined with her emotional storytelling has me looking forward to reading more by her.