Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,542 ratings  ·  339 reviews
From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the
Paperback, 383 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê Here's the blurb:
“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

Here's the blurb:
“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
5+ stars!

Excuse me, while I dust off my Favourites shelf to make room for this beautiful, spellbinding, unforgettable novel that has secured a forever spot in my heart. Not only does this mesmerizing book belong on my Favourites shelf, it easily takes top spot as my favourite read of 2018! I simply cannot imagine anything surpassing the love I have for this story.

I have such a soft spot for books involving lighthouses. There is something about them that I am drawn to – they have such a secretiv
Angela M
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

“My sister Thomasin used to say she imagined the stairwell was a long vein running from the heart of the lighthouse. In one way or another, we have all attached human qualities to these old stone walls so that it has become another member of the family, not just a building to house us .”

When a novel is based on the life of a real person, it’s many times a dilemma for me on how to rate it because I inevitably try to find out more about the person when I’m reading the book and then I’m
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 huggable stars to The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

When you have a favorite author, you count the days until her next release. The day came for Hazel Gaynor and The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, and it lived up to my every expectation!

First of all, in case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with lighthouses. I grew up near one, my husband proposed to me there, and we later married near another. There is something both mystical and majestic about them, along with their steadfast beaming light
Diane S ☔
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Two strong, able women, a century apart, and their lives as keepers of a lighthouse.


The settings, lighthouses are one of the things I seek out on my vacations. I love them and the role they have played throughout history.
Grace Darling was a real person, and as always that sets a different tone to the story, an authenticity if you will. She did live in a lighthouse on Farne Island and did help rescue nine people when the steamer, Fecfashire broke apart during a horrific storm. He
Norma * Traveling Sister
Captivating, affecting & heart-wrenching!

This was my very first HAZEL GAYNOR book, and I must say that I absolutely loved her writing style. I was immediately drawn into this extraordinary story by her beautiful storytelling right from the very first page and had me totally immersed, entertained, and interested throughout this entire book.

THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by HAZEL GAYNOR is an absolutely stunning, sad, moving, heartwarming, and an excellent historical fiction novel that was i

4.5 Stars

”I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
-- Louisa May Alcott

When I was a child, there was an older man, a former sea Captain who lived in a tiny cabin overlooking one of the lakes in our town. He got by on doing odd jobs in the neighborhood and on whatever else he might have received. I know my father had somewhat of a soft spot for him, where my mother disliked his rough, unmannered ways. Through him, I heard stories of life on the wild seas, and about ligh
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. This is the story of two main characters Grace and Matilda, a century apart, so there is a dual timeline.
Part of the story was based on the real story of Grace Darling, who with her family, lived in and ran the Longstone Lighthouse off the coast of Northumberland in 1838, where she and her father were involved in a rescue after a shipwreck. Grace Darling became a real hero.
Matilda is a young unwed woman in Ireland, in 1938, who finds herself with child and is s
Holly  B
I listened to most of this one on Audible and really enjoyed the book and the narrator. The story drew me in early and I adored the character of Grace. She was told that she would never find a husband if she hid away in her "tower" and that she shouldn't expect a "tide to deliver one." The whole lighthouse setting was intriguing.

The timeline alternates from the Longstone Lighthouse in 1838 to Ireland in 1938. A century apart the two stories will connect the family ties that link the characters a
Elyse Walters
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Settings are either in Ireland.....
or America...
Back & Forward storytelling...
Between two centuries....
1938... and 1838

With 100 years between Grace and Matilda, ... in this historical fiction...they will link together.

I enjoyed this story - but felt the style in which this book was written… Jumping back-and-forth 100 years was a little jarring.... spoiling my enjoyment of ‘being-here-now’.

Harriet is the third female in this novel you’ll meet.

All three of these women are resilient in their
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

A lovely story that was inspired by true events. Charming and vivid this was an easy and entertaining read. A story about strong women that is beautifully imagined and written

I love books where a lighthouse or the Island become an extra character in a story and The Lighthouse Keeper's daughter is my first novel by Hazel Gaynor and I really enjoyed the read.
This is an historical fiction story where a mystery and a love story and a true event all marry to give the reader this page tur
To me, there is nothing like a well written, inspiring, historical fiction. It can and does move you into a realm where you are placed inside of a character, a place where for a time you live as they lived, a place where you feel a sense of kinship, of belonging, or coming together with what is good, courageous, and noble. This is what the book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter did for me.

A book that inspires one is a treasure and this book written so beautifully about a young woman named Grace
DJ Sakata
My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:

“Mam was at her snoring again. Thought it was the cannons firing from Bamburgh to signal a shipwreck.” He opens one eye. “Don’t tell her I said that.”

I’ve seen how often women marry and become less of themselves, like scraps of pastry cut away and reused in some other, less important way.

She is utterly in thrall of him and I am ashamed to feel a prick of jealousy as I observe her, knowing she will never look at me that way. Daughters never hold their mother’s affec
Brenda - Traveling Sister
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was an unexpected gem I stumbled upon thanks to HarperCollins Canada. I quickly added it as a group read for the Traveling Sisters and along with Norma, Lindsay and I two other sisters joined in on the discussion with us.

It’s an emotional gem of a story that is so perfectly paced and took us on the best possible emotional journey I could imagine. The characters crept into our hearts and haven’t let go.  This story and the characters are unforgettable and compelli
Kate Quinn
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ARC of this book for the purpose of offering a cover quote if I enjoyed it, and I certainly did. Hazel Gaynor (I loved her LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, co-written with Heather Webbe) shines a brilliant light here on female courage and endurance in the face of storms both internal and external. Quiet Grace Darling becomes a heroine of the Victorian age when she performs a daring rescue at sea, and finds her fame harder to endure than the solitude of her lighthouse-bound life. A century ...more
When I picked up The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, I expected to enjoy it since I love Hazel Gaynor's writing but what I didn't expect was to feel so many emotions while reading the book or to finish the book a sobbing mess of tears! 

Gaynor's novel is inspired by the true story of Grace Darling, a lighthouse keeper's daughter and is an extraordinary novel that is just gorgeously written and heartwrenching. Gaynor masterfully weaves the story of Grace in 1838 with the story of Matilda Emmerson in
Dale Harcombe
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1938 Matilda Emmerson is sent by her parents away from Ireland and off to America in disgrace. In America she is to stay with a reclusive relative Harriet Flaherty, who is a lighthouse keeper in Newport, Rhode Island. The other story takes place in 1838 when a fierce storm blows up off the Northumberland Coast. Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, urges her father that they must go and help try and rescue any survivors from the shipwreck that occurs. These actions and her bravery bri ...more
Heather Webb
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lighthouse keeper is such a solitary pursuit, it makes one wonder what sort of person would choose it as a profession. A heroine, as it turns out. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a beautifully rendered tale of Britain’s most famous lighthouse keeper, Grace Darling, and an American keeper in Newport one hundred years later, whose lives are linked by history and tragedy. Gaynor’s inspired prose portrays the vast landscape of sea and sky, and her characters captured my heart--I even shed a te ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER is a dual storyline book about two women living 100 years separate. In 1838 Northumberland, England, Grace Darling lives on the Farne Island where her father is the lighthouse keeper. Grace and her father save some shipwreck survivors during a terrible storm and that makes her celebrated all through England. In 1938, young Matilda Emmerson is sent away to Newport, Rhode Island from Ireland after becoming pregnant. She's staying with her relative, Harriet, an assi ...more

Title: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter
Series: Standalone
Author: Hazel Gaynor
Release date: October 9, 2018
Cliffhanger: No

Like a curious child pushing open doors to rooms they are forbidden to enter, I tug on the distant threads that connect me to them, determined to unravel the tangled knots of the past so that I can find the place where their story ends, and mine begins.

This was my very first Hazel Gaynor book, and I absolutely loved her writing style. A lot of historical fiction begins a bit
Beth McCraw
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my heart!!! A new favorite author and a beautiful story ❤ ...more
Karen M
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Two time periods, two stories, and two young women who are so intertwined that I found myself, at times, wanting to read both stories at the same time. If the author dwelt too long on one character, I became impatient to read about the other character, so I just read as fast as I could and devoted as much time in my day as possible to reading.

In 1938 we meet Matilda. A potential disgrace to her political Father and a complete disappoint to her distant Mother. Matilda has been banished to America
Susan Peterson
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could, I’d give this book a million for each tear I shed, one for each time I smiled at the beauty of this story.
I’m wiping tears, my throat clogged, having just finished The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. I was so incredibly moved by this story...Grace’s and Matilda’s. I was brought to tears throughout, but there were also so many moments of love and exultation.
This book is filled with passion and the joy of living life to its fullest; a wondrous story of mothers and daughter
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
5 stars to this "I want to be a lighthouse keeper" book. I must admit that I completely forgot that I read "The Cottingly Secret" by this author and I loved it, so it's no surprise that I adored this one too.

Two alternating timelines and stories here, but both all about women and lighthouse keeping. One storyline is 1838 England and fleshes out real-life heroine Grace Darling. She spots shipwreck survivors and insists on setting out with her father to rescue them. Gaynor is such a great storytel
Louise Morris
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking and inspiring stories of four women tied together by tragedy and courage. It is also a look at what lighthouse keepers and their families go through. Highly recommend this book. Hazel Gaynor has yet again written another novel that touches the heart and lifts the spirit.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, but I can't bring myself to round up to 4.0. A captivating book, and the main characters are nicely fleshed out, especially the true "heroine" of the book, Grace Darling. It's an easy read, and would be a good companion on an airplane, or on a beach, or on a winter weekend when it's too cold to go out.

I've classified this as a historical novel for two reasons. Grace Darling was a real person in the 19th century, and the author has tried to flesh out who she was, what she thought, wha
Maureen DeLuca
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like/love reading historical fiction - you should enjoy this one! Very good read !!
Maureen Timerman
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I found myself quickly immersed in this story, a story of life and death, and love and losing.
The author did a wonderful job of melding the centuries, with the lighthouse guiding the lives of people chosen to operate them. When you know that this book is based on a true story, and see how fragile life is.
A story woven with love, and I didn’t see some of it coming, but you might want to keep the tissues handy!
We span decades and centuries and the book comes together beautifully, intertwining a fa
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I finished The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor, I had such large feelings that I barely knew what to say. I felt such a genuine reverence for every single character that I just had to sit still and quiet, hold my book, and absorb everywhere the story had taken them. That feeling has turned into having a hard time forming my feelings into a review that makes any sense at all. I think I’ll start by saying that Ms. Gaynor has used dual timelines and multiple POVs in this story str ...more
Rhonda Ruff
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching and wonderful! The story sends you through so many emotions! I love the dual storyline and how it all tied together.
Laura Gelinas
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, favorites
“Even the brave were once afraid.”

“My dear Gracie. This lighthouse wouldn’t function without you. This family wouldn’t function without you. You, my dear child, are the light around which we all turn.”

My third book by Hazel Gaynor, and she is fastly becoming one of my favorite authors! Enraptured by the beautiful writing, and the story of such powerful women. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter was such a wonderful book!

Based on the true story of Grace Darling who saved many shipwreck victims, inc
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Hazel Gaynor is the acclaimed New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of five novels. Her debut, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, and THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. She was also selected as a WHSmith Fresh Talent title in 2015 for A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. Her nov ...more