Beverly's Reviews > The Woman at the Light

The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady
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's review
Jul 27, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

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. Written with a sharpness of reality, and laced with doting language, I was often torn by my feelings for the heroine. I admired her strength to make the best of her circumstances. But, the sugar-coating of her relationship with a runaway slave had me letting go of my realistic meter in order to move on with the story. The setting and focusing on topics not normally seen in women’s fiction – the female lighthouse keepers, the industries of the Key community – wrecking, cigar factories elevate this story above the ordinary. Quality storytelling, delightfully original characters and beguiling secrets makes for an entertaining read. Put this book in your beach bag and you will not be disappointed.

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