Usually, when I hear anything remotely related to “Daylight Savings Time,” I want to throw things. Last night, however, it occurred to me that I’d have an extra hour to get my next review read–The Light Before Day. And that’s a good thing.
Because when it comes to Suzanne Woods Fisher, I tend to like to read slowly… savor.
So, while the rest of Ridgecrest slumbered all snug in their beds, with visions of clocks rolling back in their heads, I sat in my trusty booth 14 at Denny’s, got my 1667 NaNoWriMo words written, and then settled in for a long autumn’s read.
About ten minutes into the book, I peeked at the back to see if there’d be a fourth book. My throat constricted as I saw advertisements for other books by Ms. Fisher… but none about Nantucket.
For a moment, I almost decided that I wouldn’t read the book. Yes, I’d requested the review copy. No, it wouldn’t be right to receive a free book and then not take a moment to help other readers decide if they wanted it. However, the idea of saying goodbye… Ouch.
That left a conundrum. Violate my conscience (unconscionable!) or disappoint myself (disappointing is an understatement)?
And that’s when the thought hit me. Would I be wasting my time having read the first two if I gave up on the third just because I didn’t want it to end? Would I want readers to do that when my final books appeared? And lastly…
Note: Links are likely affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Additionally, I requested a review copy of this book–opinions are freely given and uninfluenced by anything except great writing.
Is the Nantucket Legacy Worth the Time to Read?
Dumb question, right? Anyone who has read any book by Suzanne Woods Fisher knows that her books are always worth the time to read.
But this series holds something that few others do. Among the pages of these books, you find characters who creep into your heart and build a home there. Like friends and family, you sometimes want to hug them and others wish to shake them.
The settings begin to feel familiar—as if you know which way to turn as you walk down the street. Sometimes, I’m convinced that if I needed one of the series’ famed “pieces of eight,” I could find that tree with no problem. I’d dig, just like Great Mary Coffin did.
It won’t be a popular thing to mention, but I’m going to. One of the things I loved and respected most was that the human rights issues addressed in these books held a strong authenticity that most historical novels do not. The Quaker roots of the people in the series make those human rights attitudes realistic—believable.
Yeah. I’m going to say it.
Too often, modern sensibilities are thrust into historical fiction without regard for the plausibility of it. It’s as if every author thinks they’re the only person making an “unusual” character by giving that person modern ideas regarding “rights” whether racial, gender, or otherwise. Yeah. It’s not believable and irritating.
Because you see, when we rewrite history to make people hold ideals they didn’t, when we sanitize the past with the disinfectant of today’s values, we lose the ability to learn and grow. The few people who really did stand out, no longer do. And the people who were otherwise fine, upstanding, life-changing people in every other way either look too perfect or are ignored because they are insufficiently modern in their ideals.
Suzanne Woods Fisher chose to address the topics she did in a beautiful way—by using what was authentic in a specific group and showing how that played out. And I thank her for it.
Should this series be read? Definitely.
Should it be finished? Absolutely.
When? Well, sooner than later, I always say. I look forward to what she delights us with next.
The Light Before Day is on tour with Celebrate Lit.
Book: The Light Before Day
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 2, 2018
“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”
After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom—a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.
As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.
Find out more about this amazing deal at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/thelightbeforeday
About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.
Guest Post from Suzanne
The Mortgage Button
In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning.
Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.
Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.
Have you ever seen a mortgage button?
It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.
Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.
Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.
But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.
The Avid Reader, November 4
Just the Write Escape, November 4
Texas Book-aholic, November 5
Godly Book Reviews, November 5
Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7
Among the Reads, November 8
Blossoms and Blessings, November 8
Blogging With Carol, November 9
A Baker’s Perspective, November 9
Mary Hake, November 10
Connies history classroom, November 10
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11
Carpe Diem, November 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12
Simple Harvest Reads, November 12
Inspiration Clothesline, November 13
Janices book reviews, November 13
Captive Dreams, November 14
Bigreadersite, November 14
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 15
By The Book, November 15
Pause for Tales, November 16
Book by Book, November 16
Have A Wonderful Day, November 17
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway