Book Review (+ Tour Giveaway): Phoebe’s Light

26 Feb

About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Impressions:

Fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s contemporary and historical Amish books are going to love the new direction this author is taking. Phoebe’s Light is an historical romance novel featuring the New England Island of Nantucket. I loved the setting, the creatively told dual story lines, and the characters that found a way into my imagination and heart.

Phoebe Starbuck, descendant of the hardy settlers of Nantucket Island, is a determined young woman — determined to turn her family’s fortunes around and determined to have her heart’s way. She has faith in God, but only as far as it goes along with her own plans and dreams. Matthew Macy left the Quaker fellowship years ago. He also left behind his belief in God’s goodness. Danger and secret betrayal are companions on the two’s journey. But so is God’s provision revealed in a forgotten journal from the past.

I loved the dual story lines Fisher weaves together. The main story is told in a straightforward third person style, but is supported through the journal entries of an early Nantucket settler, Mary “Great Mary” Coffin. Fisher deftly adds historical details and figures to create a fictional story that is believable and riveting. Her portrayal of colonial Nantucket and its whaling trade are spot on. She sprinkles the narrative and dialog with phrases from the day and industry that is long gone. But you won’t be lost, there is a great glossary included at the beginning of the book. I also learned a great deal about the Quakers as Fisher naturally includes their beliefs and practices within the novel. Characters are real and relatable with their struggles, doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The two main characters’ faith journey is realistically portrayed as well. The romance is sweet and satisfying, as is the epilogue that brings the reader closure on all the doings on the island. Fisher’s signature voice shines through. The only complaint I have is the use of a few modern phrases that jolted this reader from the story. But those were few and didn’t spoil the overall reading experience.

Phoebe’s Light is just the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series. It’s a great start, and I look forward to many more visits to Nantucket!


Audience: older teens to adults.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Revel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins


1 ¼ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 cup grated carrots (4 large)

1 apple, shredded

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla


Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15

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Maureen’s Musings, February 27

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

5 Responses to “Book Review (+ Tour Giveaway): Phoebe’s Light”

  1. James Robert February 26, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    Congrats on the tour and thank you for your review ad the giveaway as well.

  2. Debbie Clatterbuck February 26, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Phoebe’s Light sounds so intriguing. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the review and giveaway. Good luck everyone!

  3. Amada (pronounced: February 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    I totally agree! I am a Suzanne fan and I LOVE this new direction! I can’t WAIT for the next book!

  4. Kay Garrett February 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you being part of the book tour for “Phoebe’s Light” by Suzanne Woods Fisher! I enjoyed reading your review as well as the information on the book and guest post.

    Love this author and I’d very much love the chance to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. NZ Filbruns February 27, 2018 at 2:34 am #

    I just read this book last week. It started out slow, in my opinion, but before too long I could hardly put the book down.

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