Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship's hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. "Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?" he whispers in despair.
Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn't defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and "mind the Light," finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be--honorable, wise, faithful--she finds herself falling in love with him.
But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren's business partner, cousin, and best friend--and Daphne's fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.
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Second book in Nantucket Legacy series
Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the second novel in the Nantucket Legacy series. Jane Macy is thrilled that her husband, Captain Reynolds “Ren” Macy is returning home after being gone on the Endeavor for over six years. They had been married less than a month when he departed. Ren is thrilled to see his wife, but he is unprepared for the twin children by her side. As Ren settles back into island life, he is surprised by all the changes that have taken place in his absence and not ready for those to come. After being greeted by Jane, she collapses. Daphne Coffin, Jane’s sister, will need all of her strength to help Ren and the children through the trying times ahead. Daphne trusts that God will help her guide Ren and that He will speak to his heart. She finds the journal of Great Mary in her sister’s bedside and begins reading it. It provides comfort, wisdom and guidance. Abraham, a sailor from Ren’s ship, is loyal, smart and kind and he is falling in love with Patience, their Indian maidservant. Then a bounty hunter shows up to take Abraham back to his master. What can Ren and Daphne do to keep Abraham safe? Great Mary experienced a similar situation and her insight will prove invaluable to Daphne. Come along for the voyage to Nantucket in Minding the Light.
Minding the Light is a well-written novel that pulled me into its world. I was pulled into the story and my attention was held by this dual timeline story. Ms. Fisher did a wonderful job at incorporating her research (of the area, people, whaling industry, the two time periods, the Quaker beliefs). The author’s descriptive writing brought the book alive. I could imagine the waves hitting the island, the smells (which had me wrinkling my nose), the homes lit by candles, well--you get the picture (pun intended). Daphne is a good character with strong faith. She was the perfect counterpart for Ren as she guided him on the path to be a father, responsible businessman, and a man of faith. It was fascinating to learn about the Quaker customs and beliefs as well as the Cent School. I liked that the author provided a glossary of nineteenth century Nantucket words at the beginning of the book along with a cast of characters. While Minding the Light can be read alone, I recommend reading Phoebe’s Light (just to read and enjoy). The two stories (Daphne and Great Mary’s) are equally fascinating, and I like how they complimented each other. In Minding the Light, we get to see relationships develop, a man grows in his faith, a rift divide a family, secrets revealed, and two children get acquainted with their father. Minding the Light is an intriguing historical novel. I cannot wait for the next novel in the Nantucket Legacy series.