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The Lightkeeper's Wife

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3.19  ·  Rating details ·  429 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Alone on the tip of the cape, Hannah Snow is on the verge of her most heroic rescue yet.

On 19th century Cape Cod, Hannah Snow shouldn't even be in the water. Her husband, John, would be furious--it's his job to tend to Dangerfield Light. It's certainly not women's work, and his quick trips out of town don't give her permission to rush toward the tattered ships. But she doe
...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2014)
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Tara Chevrestt
Reading the blurb on this and viewing the cover, you wouldn't think for a moment that it's a story about women's roles in society, about pirates, about lesbian love. Thus, this is one full of surprises.

First of all, it's not explicit. Second, there's a lot to like about this book. Let me think of where to start...

1. I love the many women in this story who battle with what society expects of them and what their heart tells them to do. Hannah is called to the sea and driven to rescue sailors in ne
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

A seaman's life for me.

Hannah was worthy to be a seaman, and Annie/Blue turned into a seaman as well as a pirate.

Hannah and Annie knew nothing about each other, but they had things in common: both were headstrong for women of the 1800’s and they both loved the sea.

THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE goes back and forth between Hannah's life and Annie/Blue's connecting both characters’ lives without their knowing.

THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE is about enduring life and living a passion. You will feel Hannah's frustr
...more
Renee
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
I couldn't get past chapter 2 because of the inaccuracies for the time period. It says in the first chapter that this is supposed to be set in 1843 but the characters dialogue does not reflect this. She said the lighthouse had a kitchen sink in it, which wasn't invented until the 1860's, and that's in Europe, not even when it eventually made its way to the US, let alone into a building like a provincial lighthouse. She supposedly received a penny for each lobster she caught when she was a little ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. In "The Lightkeeper's Wife," Hannah has only been married to John for a couple years. Their marriage is fairly comfortable but Hannah finds herself wanting to be able to do more to help run the lighthouse where they live. However, it is the 19th century and during that time, that is really a man's job so her husband is not happy to have her help at all, which means that it is very boring for Hannah. One night, Hannah helps rescue a man who is very lost himself and her life will never ...more
Stacy Mar
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was totally not what I expected upon reading the description and just based on the cover art. You sort of get the idea of the regurgitated woman living by the sea idea....and because of this, I almost did not even bother to read.

However, I think it contains one of the most distinct stories I have ever read inside a novel. And let's also speak of the originality of the story and it's characters.

At first I did not enjoy the way the story kept changing between past and present and between
...more
Nancy Baker
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
My first instinct was to give this book only one star, but in all honesty, I did enjoy the images projected of life as a lighthouse keeper and even that of life on the high seas. Obviously, my opinion differs greatly from others who have read this book.

Hannah was a strong woman who felt that being a woman should not bring limitations to what she was capable of achieving or doing. A father who raised her to feel at home in the water and to take pride in honest hard work, Hannah's mother felt she
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Dana
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Lightkeeper's Wife showcased two remarkable women trying to take control their lives in a world dominated by men. These are just the type of characters I love to read about, but I couldn't have predicted how powerful their stories would be. Hannah, the lightkeeper's wife, was a determined and brave young woman who worked the lighthouse with her husband even though her parents and society didn't approve. Alice was another woman set on breaking free of female stereotypes when she convinced the ...more
Angela
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's the 1800s in New England, and Hannah's husband fails to return to the lighthouse one night. There's where I thought Hannah began her journey of self-discovery, and navigating her way as a strong woman in patriarchal culture.

But I was wrong. Hannah began that journey when she married John, when she decided to run out in storms and help sea-drenched sailors keep from drowning when their ships went down, and when she disavowed her feelings for Tom.

Hannah had little fear, and demonstrated chi
...more
Dee Gurganus
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very good read. I was first intrigued by it because of "Lightkeeper" in the title because of my love of lighthouses. What I found was a very intense story about the trials and tribulations of maintaining a lighthouse in the northeast in the 1800's. In addition, it spoke to the role of women during this time. Ms Johnson starts two stories that I could figure out how they were going to tie together. But when the outcome was revealed I was totally surprised and then saw the foreshadowing ...more
Carol
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hannah should not be in the water saving ship wrecked sailors. Her husband would be furious. Its his job to tend to the lighthouse at Dangerfield to warn the ships off of the rocks. But when the ship Cynthia Rose runs aground John is away getting supplies and Hannah rushes out into the storm. She can only rescue one sailor out of the water Billy. When Hannah gets word that her husband John will not be returning she sinks into grief so deep. With Billy's help she continues to man the lighthouse. ...more
Margi
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some good twists but not really all that well written. The best part of the book was the setting, I felt like I was at the lighthouse and in the water with Hannah. The characters were ok, Billy being a little over the top at times. It is definitely a book about gender and discovering sexuality. By reading the back of the book one would not get that. I felt like that was an added as an afterthought even though the author wanted it as a theme of the book.
Laurie
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
ugh.
Julie
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

The Lightkeeper's Wife by Sarah Anne Johnson is an intriguing historical novel that offers an illuminating perspective into women's roles in the mid 1800s. Close attention to details provides the story with historical accuracy but it is the unusual but realistic storyline that makes it such an interesting read.

Hannah Snow's husband John inexplicably vanishes during a routine trip for supplies leaving her to maintain the lighthouse and save the survivors from the shipwrecks. One of her
...more
Sara Smith
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started out how I judged it from it's cover, but then it quickly changes pace talking about female pirates, which I thought was very interesting. Women who had to dress as men to be safely at sea as independent spirits rather than bound by society's rules.
Kim
Feb 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Liked it up until the relationship between Billy and Hannah started. Sucked.
Sarah
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mirella
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Hannah Rescues Billy From a Shipwreck, She Will Change Both Their Lives Forever.
Hannah Snow shouldn't be in the water, saving shipwrecked sailors. Her husband would be furious—it's his job to tend to the lighthouse at Dangerfield, to warn the ships off the rocks. Sailors know that the Dangerfield coastline is treacherous, but the waves constantly pull them down into the deep anyway.
But when the ship Cynthia Rose runs aground, John is away buying supplies, and Hannah rushes out into the stor
...more
Keri
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

I was really intrigued by the premise of The Lightkeeper's Wife. Historical fiction focusing on strong women is always a favorite of mine. In The Lightkeeper's Wife, Hannah's husband, the lightkeeper off the coast of Massachusetts, disappears, which leaves Hannah to save the survivors from the shipwrecks. When she saves Billy from a wreck, there is an instant connection between them, despite talk from the rest of the town about her keepin
...more
Leone (She Reads too Much Romance)
I was immediately drawn to everything about this novel when I selected it for review. The design of the cover, the synopsis and the chosen writing flow of the author herself. What I think stands out to me the most about this novel is how uniquely different it stands apart from anything that I have read this year.

The Lightkeeper's Wife had everything I was looking for and even traits I was surprised to find as I read through the pages. This novel contains romance, suspense, mystery and I honest
...more
Sarah
This book was a total surprise. I am always drawn to books set in New England, Cape Cod and the islands in particular. This one also had the promise of a lighthouse setting and shipwrecks - both very romantic and haunting images.

I did not expect the understory at all, and I think the book was very well-written. It had so many themes. The way Hannah deals with her grief is palpable and I liked her character a lot. She was believable and heroic. I was not a big fan of Annie. I did not understand
...more
Linda
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hannah Snow is the lightkeeper's wife............that is until he doesn't come home from a trip to town. Hannah is determined to be the lightkeeper now that her husband is gone and so she spends her time tending to the lighthouse lights and going out to sea when a ship is wrecked on the nearby shoals. One rescue she makes is of a man named William Pike, or Billy, as he prefers to be called. Billy has secrets but Hannah is drawn to him for some reason and he to Hannah.

Together Hannah and Billy ta
...more
Rosemarie
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I must admit, this was not one of my favorite books. The positive: the plot was interesting. I enjoyed reading about mid 19th century Cape Cod, pirates, and keeping of the lighthouse. Throughout the first two-thirds of the book, it appeared there were two separate stories; however, the author did tie them together - just after I figured it out. So the twist was good. What I didn't like about the book were the handful of sex scenes, which I felt were not necessary to the plot and were a bit gratu ...more
norcalgal
Jul 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical
You'd think that since I made it that far, I might as well continue, but I got to about 75% of this book then it became a DNF. I also have to confess that I skimmed quite a bit of it, especially the parts describing the manufacture or handling of boats, schooners, skiffs or any other sea vessels. I just did not care to read what I felt was a maritime manual.

The story was flat and somewhat boring. I was curious to see how Hannah's story and Blue's would intersect, and where "Billy" came into it a
...more
Debbie
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thanks Net Galley and Sourcebooks for the e-galley in exchange for an honest review!

I loved this story and was totally shocked with one of the plot twists regarding Billy. It definitely kept me interested and was very entertaining.

Historical fiction is a new genre for me and this one helped make me glad that I decided to indulge in this genre. Although there is no way I would have wanted to live in this era. Ha!

The story was well written and jumped from present time to past time. I really came
...more
Sara Diane
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I got this from NetGalley to preview.

I really wanted to like this book--the main character started off interesting, and I've always had a thing for lighthouses (blame it on Pete's Dragon). But this story started off decent and then it just got slow and muddled and then it fell right into obligatory diversity.

What might have been a good story about a strong woman became a story about hiding who you are. And then, without supportive narrative, the two main characters are suddenly attracted to each
...more
Lisa D - Sassy Cat Chat
The Lightkeepers Wife by Sarah Anne Johnson is a story about loss, love, and finding your way. It was beautifully written and I enjoyed that aspect of reading this book very much.

I have to say though, that the story wasn't exactly my cup of tea. It wasn't bad - I just think maybe it's not for everyone.

This is a book where you can easily give plot parts away and ruin the story for someone else - so I will refrain from doing just that.

The novel is enjoyable, the characters are well developed, a
...more
Emily
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books I thought would be interesting and Barnes and Noble happened to have it on sale for my Nook. The premise was interesting. The story is about a woman, Hanna, who's husband, the lighthouse keeper, goes missing one day. Hanna rescues a man, Billy, when his ship goes down. This book mixed the present and the past and one of my biggest problems with this book was that the two didn't flow correctly. The plot "twist" was very obvious from the beginning and frustrating that it ...more
Jeweleye
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cortney
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really adored this book. It was a quick light thing that I picked out to read during a snowstorm and then maybe a quarter of the way in I found myself thinking 'wouldn't it be great if this happened, and then this, and then that'.

Most of my love for this book comes from what I wanted to happen actually happening. I've probably recommended it ten times just for that alone. The characters were enjoyable, the plot was fun & honestly I'd pack it in my vacation bag for a reread because it was j
...more
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Sarah is the author of The Lightkeeper's Wife, The Very Telling, The Art of the Author Interview, and Conversations with American Women Writers. Her interviews appear in The Writer's Chronicle, Glimmertrain Stories, Provincetown Arts, and The Writer where she is a contributing editor. Her fiction has appeared in Other Voices, and she is the recipient of residencies in fiction from Jentel Artists' ...more

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