The Woman at the Light
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The Woman at the Light

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  130 reviews
One afternoon in 1839, Emily Lowry’s husband vanishes from Wreckers’ Cay, an isolated island off the coast of Key West where he tends to the lighthouse. As days stretch into months, Emily has no choice but take charge of Wrecker’s Cay and her husband’s duties tending the light to support her three children—and a fourth on the way. Unexpected help arrives when a runaway sla...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 1st 2012)
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3.5 stars

Emily Lowry and her husband, Martin have worked the lighthouse at Wrecker's Cay in the Florida Keys for three years. When Martin disappears while out fishing, Emily, pregnant, is left on the remote island with her three children. The position as lighthouse keeper is compensation from the government for the loss of their home and property at Key West. With children and no home or income, leaving is not an option.

When a storm washes a slave ashore several months after Martin's disappearan...more
Oh my goodness, there are so many adjectives to describe this book...beautiful, engrossing, seductive, haunting, mysterious, educational...I could go on and on. This is a book finished 5 days out that I can recall word for word certain sections of the book because they were either so beautiful, gut wrenching or had me on my seat!

To the reader of this review, I am already at almost 400 books for 2012, so normally I read a book and move on. It is impossible with this book. The characters were so d...more
(Warning: This is a tad super long. I'm just flailing over this book. That ending. My emotions. Love this book. It might just be the type font...not Helvetica! Wahoo.)

Key West. New Orleans. 1800's. At the heart of Joanna Brady's The Woman at the Light is a truly beautiful story that proves that nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to true love. (cue Disney theme song)

Emily Lowry and her family were living on an isolated island called Wreckers' Cay, when her husband suddenly disappeare...more
Tara Chevrestt
At first, I really loved and enjoyed this book. The narrative is very engaging. The descriptions are just right. The story is different. Can't say I've ever read a tale quite like this one. It gets major points for a unique story line.

It goes from New Orleans to Wrecker's Cave and the workings of maintaining a light house back in the 1800s to Key West to Cuba. It addresses slavery, greed, and how cruel and deceitful people can be.

When Emily's husband disappears, the story immersed in mystery as...more
Holly Weiss
I commend Joanna Brady for her captivating debut novel. I had not before read about the outer islands of Key West or of nineteenth century women lighthouse keepers. The book is part history and part an unusual love story. Emily Lowry, the main character, does not always make good choices but she pushes on through her grief and is a memorable, determined heroine. Descriptions of life on the island are realistic and well written. I could smell the sea air and feel the fears and joys of the charact...more
Mary Ann
Apr 04, 2012 Mary Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mary Ann by: Goodreads giveaway
Shelves: first-read-books
Note to future readers, please be mindful of the dates in the first few chapters, as she tends to jump from one year to another, then back. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and learned some things I did not know. The main character is strong woman who goes thru many very difficult challenges along the way. It is an emotional roller coaster that makes you want to keep reading, with many surprises, some I figured out, other's blew me away.
I want a month in some deserted island in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida. That's what I thought throughout this whole book.
Otherwise it was a decent story, maybe a little bit slow at the beginning. But it could really just be the audio book.
I didn't really understand Emily and her emotions. What did she really feel for her first husband? She goes back and forth with her emotions but never as sad as a real woman would be if her husband disappeared. The same goes for the losses of her fam...more
I am happy to say that I received this book free by winning the giveway here on Goodreads First Reads. Friday night I picked it up and could not seem to put it back down. The author really pulled all the stops on this book and kept you wanting to know what happened next. The main character in this book was someone to inspire to in a way. She took life by horns and didn't let anything hold her back. Even through the heartaches she wouldn't sulk around feeling sorry for herself but kept perseverin...more
Alison Kenney
Just couldn't get into this and didn't think the story or the writing were that realistic/engaging.
What can I say? My mother-in-law gave me another great book to read. The Woman at the Light is about a woman, Emily, who lives on Wreckers Cove (I think that is what it was called) with her husband (Martin) and 3 children in the 1800's. They were the Lighthouse keepers. At the beginning of the story, you meet Emily as an old lady, as she goes to the graves of her 2 deceased husbands and the only man she has ever loved, then she tells her story. It starts with you discovering that her husband, Ma...more
This was a highly read-able historical fiction novel with a strong heroine and a unique setting - Key West in the mid-1800's. I definitely learned some things about lighthouse keepers of the time, the "Wreckers", and slavery. I thorougly enjoyed Emily's story. I would recommend this great book for anyone interested in well-researched history with a bit of mystery and a forbidden love story. I thought it was really good.
Ann Woodbury Moore
I found this historical romance both entertaining and unbelievably over-the-top--if such a combination is possible! (SPOILER ALERT) In 1839, Emily Lowry and her husband maintain the lighthouse on an isolated island off Key West, Florida. One afternoon he never returns from a fishing trip, leaving her alone with three children and another on the way. Emily struggles to keep up with the lighthouse duties and receives unexpected help when a runaway slave washes ashore. Andrew is a godsend and, unde...more
I enjoyed learning about Key West's history and I wanted to love the lighthouse keeper like I did when I read a little bit about Ida Lewis but I found instead someone that at times I cared for and then at others I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up.
I could not put it down. Excellent writing and a tale well told. As a person with numerous "eras" in my own long life, I could relate to the immense changes that took place in the protagonist's life and how she dealt with them. May you write many more, Joanna Brady!
I so wanted to like this book. The story was somewhat interesting but does lack some details at important parts. I would get to the end of a page and think.... What!?! Go back and read about the very little written.
Goodreads Gift. Brady captured the history of the period very well. She presents an emotional tale while weaving in issues of slavery and feminism. I could not put the book down! Remarkable storytelling.
Jill Choate
Maybe it's the narrator but I just want to slap the main character. It will keep you weaving until the end but that's all I can say for it.
Lisa Helms
AWESOME! I loved this book. Could not put it down. I look forward to reading more from Joanna Brady.

Loved it!

Amy Bailey
Jo Butler
When her husband disappears during an afternoon’s fishing, Emily Lowry grits her teeth and keeps tending the Wrecker’s Cay lighthouse in his absence. She has little choice – during the 1836 expansion of Key West’s naval base Martin and Emily’s land was commandeered, so she has nowhere else to go.

Emily keeps the lighthouse’s lamp burning, but it is a lot of work. She has three children, and another is on the way. Storms bring damage to the windswept island which must be fixed, but just when Emily...more
Kathleen Kelly
I love lighthouses, so when I found out this book was about lighthouses I grabbed the chance to read it. The main concept of the story is the disappearance of Emily Lowry's husband Martin. He leaves one day to go out to sea and just does not return. Emily hopes against hope that he will return, but as time goes by, the likely hood of that happening grows slim. Emily is left with three children and one on the way and is also responsible for the maintenance of the lighthouse and seeing that it is...more
This was such an interesting book, I loved the setting I felt like I was on this isolated island with Emily and just the name Wreckers Cay brought to mind the waves and rocks and I could just picture it in my head . I guess I never realized that so many widows took over the lighthouse duties after their husband’s had died I found it fascinating.

I also liked how this book dealt with the race relations at the time I found it very honest. It was also fascinating to see the city of Key West come to...more
I haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 2/29/12
Just received my copy and hope to start soon. I have 9 others plus my current read in front. 3/20/12
Started this morning, 4/26/12
Finished, 4/28/12

Emily's husband went out to fish and didn't come back. Captain Lee and Alfie broght his empty boat back with them when they brought the monthly supplies out to the island. Emily lives on a remote island in the Florida Keys and now that her husband is gone, she needs to tend the ligh...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
I received a free eARC of Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady from NetGalley.

The description of Woman at the Light caught my attention. While true to that description I found the book itself to be lacking.

Characters: The main character, Emily Lowry, is certainly strong in some areas but weak in charting her own course. She just went with the flow. Her actions were not consistent with what I expected. Character development was not that strong in the book.

Plot: The story line moved at a good pace....more
Clare Cannon
Historical romance set in the mid 1800s about a woman who lives at the lighthouse with her husband and children. Her husband disappears before the story begins, and what follows is the ups and downs of her struggle to maintain the lighthouse without him. When a light-coloured slave washes up on their island seeking refuge, things get complicated. (view spoiler)...more
Book rating = 3+

Brady’s debut novel, The Woman at the Light, is an emotional tale exploring the intricate web of love, survival, and cultural mores through the eyes of a woman coming into her own in early nineteenth century Florida Keys community. The story follows the trials and tribulations of Emily Lowry to shape her identity from naïve bride at eighteen to astute businesswoman at the end of her life. Emily is a product of her times and environment – based on her gender, class, and race. Writ...more
Update -- My book group met to discuss this book today (Oct 27). Everyone LOVED it! They loved the strong female lead character, the historical aspects of the story, all the research that went into it. One of our members is from New Orleans so of course she loved the New Orleans portions. We discussed the deceitfulness of Dorothy. Pedro was an interesting character for us. We all agreed that we liked him though.
I loved this book! Joanna Brady did extensive research on the histo...more
The Woman at the Light is a story that covered salvaging and slavery. The story begins with mysterious disappearance of Emily Lowdry's husband, Martin. Emily refused to give up on him. She hoped that Martin would eventually showed up and stayed at Wrecker's Cay as a lighthouse keeper to wait for him. The story does flip from the present and the past of Emily's life when she met Martin until the past catches up with the present.

Emily married Martin Lowry out of the conception of romantic love. Sh...more
Stephanie Cowart
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley.
This is a great example of what good historical fiction should be. There was a compelling story, interesting characters and a well-researched time period.
The story was told as a flashback through a woman remembering her life. I really enjoyed the time period and learning about how Florida was settled and developed. The occupation of a light house keeper was a highly valued one in that time due the huge amount of trade don...more
I would not recommend this book to a friend, but gave it three starts for a couple reasons. I appreciated the evocation of a time and place that I knew nothing about, and I finished the book. But, the main character Emily was rather flat; she did not change or grow much, and I didn't really like her. Her many relationships reminded me of the character Inez in Inez of my Soul (Isabel Allende?) who used sex and relationship in to gain power and status. Emily didn't have many likeable qualities and...more
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Captain Lee 2 19 Apr 02, 2012 05:45PM  
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