Review: The Lightkeeper’s Daughters, by Jean E. Pendziwol

The Lightkeeper's DaughtersThe Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters is a stark story full of silences and turbulence, secrets and revelations, initiated through Elizabeth, an aged woman who is blind, and Morgan, the girl who serves community service for misdemeanors by being a companion to Elizabeth.

Insert into this unlikely relationship the discovery of Elizabeth’s father’s journals, found aboard a shipwreck, and we’re taken into the hardships of a family isolated as the lighthouse keepers on Prophyry Island.

Pendziwol handles the two timelines extremely well, alternating between the exigencies of life in a lighthouse in the 1920s, and the present, building the mystery of Elizabeth’s past along with the development of a meaningful relationship with her recalcitrant helper, who is nearer to her than either of them realize.

The writing is vivid, deft, never precious, Pendziwol’s understanding of the duplicity of Superior’s northern shore intimate and credible. This is one of those rare books which brings together all the fine elements of writer’s craft.

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