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The Woman at the Light

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  631 Ratings  ·  159 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,438)
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Jul 11, 2012 Naomi rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mar 19, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
(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
Dec 04, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Once I could get past the fake southern accent of the narrator, I liked the uniqueness of this story. Even though the ending was predictable and a bit too perfect for my tastes, the tale itself was engaging. I liked the MC for the most part. She was a young mother. Her husband has gone missing and she is in charge of operating a lighthouse in Florida. She had young children but she didn't really feel like a mother. Her kids came into play every now and then when they needed tending or what not. ...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 really liked it
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.
Sep 12, 2012 R.Z. rated it it was amazing
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!
Oct 10, 2012 Barbarac rated it liked it
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
Alison Kenney
Aug 03, 2014 Alison Kenney rated it it was ok
Just couldn't get into this and didn't think the story or the writing were that realistic/engaging.
3.5 stars rounded down to 3.

It is a good story that keeps you reading, with a variety of characters and an interesting topic (female lighthouse keepers in the 19th century with a hint of abolitionism).
I got a little bit annoyed by the cliches ("I let out a breath I didn't realise I was holding" is cheesy...) and the fact the quotes in French were translated in brackets. If you can't make the foreign language work in the story, don't use it.

I would still recommend it as a good, fast read.
Mar 23, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
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
Jul 21, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 19, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it
Based on the lives of widowed female lighthouse keepers of the Florida Keys the story The Woman At The Light is a good work of historical fiction. The story is about Emily Lowry who helps her husband
Martin tend the lighthouse at Wreckers Key, a tiny island off the coast of Key West in the early 1800's. Martin leaves one morning on a fishing trip never to return. Emily stays at Wreckers Key to provide for her children and keep them away from Key West and yellow fever outbreaks. Realizing she is
Jun 05, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
This is a 4&1/2 star book. It is very well-written and very hard to put down, especially the last 100 pages. It features a heroine who is a woman ahead of her times and a cast of characters that are hard to forget. Emily Lowry takes over lighthouse duties when her husband goes missing from their island home, Wrecker's Cay, near Key West Florida in 1839. This starts a series of events in her long, eventful life. It is a book that might not be for everyone. Emily becomes involved with an escap ...more
Ann Woodbury Moore
Jan 13, 2014 Ann Woodbury Moore rated it liked it
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
Jan 31, 2013 Tressa rated it it was ok
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.
Alice Harbin
Jun 30, 2016 Alice Harbin rated it it was amazing
Wow! what a book! At first I was annoyed because the plot reminded me so much of the book, The Light Between the Oceans. However, the similarity ended after 50 or so pages. I kept thinking that I had read this book before, but I never quite convinced myself that I had.
I was disappointed when main character, Emily, lost her touch with reality for me when she began to come into money, not only a lot of money, but repeatedly. Additionally, there was too much foreshadowing of the conclusion.
In the
Dec 11, 2012 Michelle rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 30, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 29, 2013 Jill Choate rated it did not like it
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
Apr 03, 2012 Lisa Helms rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
AWESOME! I loved this book. Could not put it down. I look forward to reading more from Joanna Brady.

Loved it!

Feb 05, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing

Let me start off by saying that I loved this book. (Of course I loved it! I picked it out, didn't I??) The Woman at the Light is filled with many topics that I tend to gravitate to in a novel. For starters, it's a historical fiction that takes place in the early 1800's. Our main character is a strong, independent woman. The storyline revolves around the issues of slavery. And as an extra added bonus, we have a bit of a love story happening.

The Woman at the Light takes place on an isolated island
Jo Butler
Nov 24, 2012 Jo Butler rated it really liked it
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
Kathleen Kelly
Jul 03, 2012 Kathleen Kelly rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 11, 2012 MissSusie rated it really liked it
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
Apr 26, 2012 Tami rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Clare Cannon
Jul 22, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it it was ok
Shelves: adults
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
Jul 27, 2012 Beverly rated it really liked it
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
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Captain Lee 2 20 Apr 02, 2012 05:45PM  
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