About the BookTitle: 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 Mitchell, 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.
My ThoughtsSuzanne Woods Fisher is an exquisite storyteller, and with Phoebe’s Light, she continues to hone her skill as a writer of historical fiction. Even when writing Amish fiction, I’ve always said that her stories had a much broader appeal than any niche audience, and that is certainly true here. Phoebe’s Light is rich in characterization, historical detail, and plot twists, a story that I didn’t want to put down for a minute. I won’t say that this is the best of Fisher’s books, because I tend to think that about whichever one I’m reading at the time, but Phoebe’s Light is certainly among my favorites.
|"Winter on Petticoat Row"|
by Janet Munro
Phoebe Starbuck was a well-drawn character that I loved, although I wanted to shake some sense into her for the first half of the book. Phoebe, a young woman “overly impressed by wealth, by luxury and lavishness,” and Captain Phineas Foulger, a man who “loved himself best of all” … there’s no way that marriage built upon deceit could last. The realistically-flawed Matthew Macy was a favorite, as was Captain Foulger’s cabin boy, Silo, who showed that the speaking isn’t the only way to communicate.
The dual timelines of Mary Coffin in 1658 and Phoebe in 1757 were skillfully written; I was equally invested in both stories and enjoyed following family lines. God’s faithfulness in spite of our shortcomings is reflected throughout, as is the contrast between a personal relationship with God versus religion.
I just can’t say enough good things about Phoebe’s Light. The whole Nantucket Legacy series promises to be excellent and I eagerly await the next story, Minding the Light.
I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
About the Author
She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.
Guest Post from Suzanne Woods FisherA 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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