From a critically acclaimed and beloved storyteller comes a sweeping novel set aboard the Morning Light, a Nova Scotian merchant ship sailing through the South Pacific in 1912.
Kay and Thea are half-sisters, separated in age by almost twenty years, but deeply attached. When their stern father dies, Thea travels to Nova Scotia for her long-promised marriage to the captain of the Morning Light. But she cannot abandon her orphaned young sister, so Kay too embarks on a life-changing journey to the other side of the world.
At the heart of The Voyage of the Morning Light is a crystallizing moment in Micronesia: Thea, still mourning a miscarriage, forms a bond with a young boy from a remote island and takes him on board as her own son. Over time, the repercussions of this act force Kay, who considers the boy her brother, to examine her own assumptions—which are increasingly at odds with those of society around her—about what is forgivable and what is right.
Inspired by a true story, Marina Endicott shows us a now-vanished world in all its wonder, and in its darkness, prejudice, and difficulty, too. She also brilliantly illuminates our present time through Kay’s examination of the idea of “difference”—between people, classes, continents, cultures, customs and species. The Voyage of the Morning Light is a breathtaking novel by a writer who has an astonishing ability to bring past worlds vividly to life while revealing the moral complexity of our own.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this uplifting historical novel, a brokenhearted orphan sails across the ocean and finds a kindred spirit. Set in the early 20th century, The Voyage of the Morning Light introduces us to Kay, a young woman who’s just lost her father and sets sail from Nova Scotia with her much older sister, Thea, and Thea’s sea captain husband. At first, Kay’s fears and uncertainties about leaving her frontier home loom large, but when a fascinating stranger joins the sisters’ expedition into the balmy South Pacific, the waters ahead promise beauty, adventure, and healing. We were swept away by Marina Endicott’s gorgeous, poetic writing, which immersed us in the rhythms of shipboard life and the inviting environments of Micronesia. Kay and Thea don’t just discover new places, they discover themselves—and we get to come along on their once-in-a-lifetime journey.