Book Review: The Light Before Day

The Light Before Day (Nantucket Legacy) by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a story written in the same time and setting as Moby Dick. Henry Macy returns from a three year whaling journey to find that his Grandmother Lillian Coffin has left her entire fortune to him and his twin sister Hitty, but with severe requirements including their beliefs and whom they should marry.

As Henry seeks wisdom he finds journal entries from an ancestor of his who helped settle the island of Nantucket nearly 100 years prior, yet her wisdom is timeless. With fortune hunters on the prowl, Hitty and Henry have to sort through the fortune and decide if it is worth keeping it or allowing it be given to their thieving uncle.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is creative in her methods to narrate the story. With journal entries from their ancestor, she manages to tell a story within a story, helping to foreshadow the ending. Character development added depth as Isaac turned from a quiet introvert who was mocked by others to a citizen who would be pivotal to the island’s salvation. And Ben, the trusted family lawyer took a darker turn as desperation influenced his once-pure motives. And Henry, a man plagued by indecision finds his own voice through the aid of the unwanted inheritance.

As Hitty and Henry sort through their personal love lives and beliefs, it is clear that even from her grave Grandmother Lillian Coffin will have the last say. This book was enjoyable and I would recommend it as three stars for its easy read and its straightforward characters.

Leslie

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