Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Light Before Day by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Nantucket Legacy series)

The Light Before Day by Suzanne Woods Fisher

“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom—a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.
As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.
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About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.
Guest Post from Suzanne
The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.
Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.
Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.
Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19thcenturies. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.
But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

My Thoughts

The Light Before Day is the final book in the Nantucket Legacy series.  We finally get to find out how the story ends.  The Light Before Day is a well-written and researched novel.  The author captured the era with the language (people spoke in a formal manner) along with the descriptions of the buildings, ships, clothing plus the inclusion of historical events.  The whaling industry is on the decline as the number of whales has greatly diminished and abolition of slavery is a heated issue.  While The Light Before Day can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the trilogy in order.  The book has a gentle pace that suits the story.  Great Mary’s journal sections moved along at a faster clip, and they add depth to the story.  It can be hard to wade through the more formal language (thee, thou, thy), but it is how Quaker’s talked.  The Light Before Day is told from Hitty and Henry’s point-of-view.  I enjoyed seeing each sibling’s perspective. There is romance in the story as Henry and Hitty look for suitable mates (a condition of the will).  However, the heart wants what the heart wants.  I enjoyed getting to know the grown-up Hitty and Henry.  They faced a challenge with the inheritance.  The twins wanted to find a way to help improve the island with the money, but their idea of improvement is not always in alignment with others.  Henry and Hitty may be twins, but they have different personalities.  While one is gregarious, the other is contemplative. The Light Before Day includes drama, mystery, romance, faith, good works, friendship and familial bonds.  I am giving The Light Before Day 4 out of 5 stars.  There are discussion questions, author’s note, and a section on what is true/false included in the book.  If you enjoy historical fiction, you will not want to miss reading The Light Before Day.  The first two books in the Nantucket Legacy series are Phoebe's Light and Minding the Light.

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway.  Click here to enter and Good Luck! Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am featuring The Skeleton Makes a Friend by Leigh Perry.  I hope you will stop by to see what I thought about the latest A Family Skeleton Mystery(there is a giveaway).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Blog Stops
The Avid Reader, November 4
Texas Book-aholic, November 5
Godly Book Reviews, November 5
Among the Reads, November 8
Blogging With Carol, November 9
Mary Hake, November 10
Carpe Diem, November 11
Simple Harvest Reads, November 12
Janices book reviews, November 13
Captive Dreams, November 14
Bigreadersite, November 14
By The Book, November 15
Pause for Tales, November 16
Book by Book, November 16
Have A Wonderful Day, November 17
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17


  1. I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you for the review. I love reading Suzannes’s books.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  3. thanks for the review and post ^_^