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The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean E.…
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The Lightkeeper's Daughters (2017)

by Jean E. Pendziwol

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15312117,989 (4.17)17

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THE LIGHTKEEPER'S DAUGHTERS is a book that I felt from the beginning was just my kind of book. I love books with dual storylines. Also, I was quite taken with the cover and blurb.

THE LIGHTKEEPER'S DAUGHTERS is about two twin sisters that were born at the beginning of the 20th-century to a lightkeeper and his wife on an isolated island. There, they grew up with their two older brothers. Several events, when they were older, would permanently change their lives and, in the end, make them move away from the island. Now one of the sisters, Elizabeth, is back and living in a nursing home.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
I loved how this story came together; how it was woven through time and generations. Women, past and present, who were brought together by chance yet were tied to each other in a bond stronger than blood.

Highly recommend this book!

Update: I originally gave this novel a 4 star review, which, for me, is an excellent review. I reserve 5 stars for books that are unforgettable, life-changing, or create moments in time, mind, or heart that the reader will forever be left with the impact of the words on the page. That’s a big challenge for an author. To achieve this using 26 letters strung together intricately in such a way to convey the emotions needed to reach the standards I require.

The reason I changed this book to a 5 star? It just would not leave my mind. I wanted to open the pages and continue on with the story. I know how the book ended but it seems like there is so much I yearn to know about the characters, all of them. It’s not because the author did not develop them properly, but because she DID! You become invested in them and what to know more.

Again, this book is a wonderful yet heartbreaking read. Please don’t let it pass you by. ( )
  sgilbraith | Feb 8, 2019 |
The story is told by two narrators. First, we have the perspective of Morgan, a teenage girl, being raised in foster homes after the death of her grandfather. When she tags a fence at a senior residence, she is given community service at the home. Reluctantly she begins to scrape and repaint the fence. While completing her job, she meets a blind, resident named Elizabeth. While talking to her, she finds out she used to live on Porphyry Island with her parents, brothers and twin sister Emily. Her father was the lighthouse keeper and his journals have just been delivered to Elizabeth, having been found in the beached boat belonging to her brother Charlie. Elizabeth is the second narrator of this story. It is told in two timelines, the past being read from the journals and being told from Elizabeth's memories, and then there is the growing relationship in the present between Morgan and Elizabeth.

This is a beautifully written story. The setting is amazing, who wouldn't want to live in a lighthouse on an island in one of the largest lakes in North America, Lake Superior. The idea of the secrets that are written in the journals from the past, coming to light in this shared manner is intriguing. I loved how they were revealed, bit by bit, page by page. It wasn't until about halfway through the story that I began to suspect a few things, and a mystery began to reveal itself. I don't want to share anymore about this story, because I do not want to ruin this book for anyone. At first I found Morgan hard to take. She was crude, short tempered, and a bit nasty. Elizabeth was soft spoken, very sharp and could be a bit flippant when she wanted to be. Eventually, they became friends and learned to read each other very well. As they shared the history of Elizabeth, her family and Porphyry Island, they blended well, like they had known each other all their lives. Elizabeth's story is well written, and it was actually based on journals found in the lighthouse, although the real family was much larger. As the story went on, I developed a real empathy for both Morgan and Elizabeth. Their lives were irreparably changed by situations beyond their control, the love they had for family members and their will to survive and take care of things. It was easy to admire and respect both these women.

This book was a family drama, historical fiction, and a mystery all woven together by a wonderful author that created a book that needs to be read slowly, digested and thought about. I read this book over several days, and am sad that it is now ended. This is the first book I read by Jean E. Pendziwol and this one was recommended to me by The Traveling Sisters. I am so glad I picked this one up. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
This beautifully written novel by Ms. Jean Pendziwol was a revelation to me. It amazed me with it's beautifully written language, and the heartrending story of two twin sisters Emily and Elizabeth who grew up on the shores of Lake Superior. The descriptions of the Lake and the island where the lighthouse was located are so very beautifully written. It was indeed a magical place for two little girls to grow up. DaughterThe timeline begins in the early 20th century, and the story continues to the present day. They were born to the lightkeeper of Porphyry Island and his part Ojibwa wife. The book's narrative goes back and forth between two narrators (Elizabeth and Morgan), and between two time frames - 1930 and the present day. The novel flows easily between the narrators and timeframes, and weaves a magic spell as beautifully written fiction does. I was entranced and spellbound throughout and had to make sure I had tissues handy at the end. At first the almost blind elderly Elizabeth and the young 17 year old Morgan appear an unlikely pair, but they both sense a connection between them, and as the story progresses, the friendship and love grows between them. I cannot recommend this wonderful novel enough. It is so beautifully written and so believable. I was surprised to find out that this is Ms. Pendziwol's first adult work of fiction. She is noted as a children's author.

"The wind was light but strong enough to fill our sail and send a trail of ripples out from the stern. The sea rolled, large, lumpy waves that heaved across the still surface and tumbled little "Sweet Pea" about like a cork." The Lightkeeper's Daughter - Jean E. Pendziwol

It felt like I was in that little boat with Emily, Elizabeth and their brother Charlie. This is a truly wonderful novel with a beautiful story. I hope you will take the time to read it and be mesmerized like I was. ( )
  Romonko | Jan 20, 2019 |
4.5 stars. I just tore through this book.
It'll be hard to explain how engrossing this book is with its description alone.

Elizabeth is an elderly woman in assisted living. Her childhood was spent living on a small island with her father as the lighthouse keeper. He closest friend in life her twin Emily.

Morgan is a teenager in foster care. Community service at the home causes her to meet Elizabeth.

The story begins with Elizabeth's father's diaries being recovered. There are some secrets in her family that she wants to get to the bottom of.

Very entertaining, especially hard to put down in the later chapters. Once the reader has their own questions, there's just no stopping till they're answered.

( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
So lovely was the loneliness Of a wild lake, with black rock bound, And the tall pines that towered around.

The Lake Edgar Allan Poe ( 1809-1849)
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To Richard
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The black lab is aging.
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Book description
amazon ca The Light Between Oceans meets The Language of Flowers in this beautiful debut novel by an acclaimed Canadian children’s author.

Elizabeth's eyes have failed. She can no longer read the books she loves or see the paintings that move her spirit, but her mind remains sharp and music fills the vacancy left by her blindness as she ruminates on the secrets in her family's past.

When her late father's journals are discovered on a shipwrecked boat, she enlists the help of a delinquent teenager, Morgan, who is completing community service at the senior home where Elizabeth lives. An unlikely relationship develops between the two as they work to decipher the books and are drawn into the musty words he penned more than seventy years before as he manned the lighthouse on Porphyry Island.

In the process they come to realize that they are both connected to the isolated island, their lives touched by Elizabeth's enigmatic twin sister Emily and the beautiful but harsh Lake Superior environment. While the discovery of Morgan's connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.

Combining an emotional story of human connection with a mystery spanning decades, this tale of family, identity, and art will captivate and resonate with readers.
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When her late father's diaries are discovered after a tragic accident, Elizabeth, whose eyesight has failed, explores the diaries and the mysteries of her past with the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service at Elizabeth's retirement home.… (more)

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