Keeping the Good Light
Ages 12 and up
Recommended by the New York Public Library, “Books for the Teen Age”
Winner, New York State Marine Education Association’s Herman Melville Book Award
Soon to be released on Kindle
“Gr. 5-9. Whether she’s spearing eels with her brothers or exploring the shoreline with renegade Ralph, Eliza Charity Brown is not easily contained by the tedium of life at Stepping Stones Lighthouse off the coast of Long Island. In the tumultuous year beginning in September, 1903, she experiences great loss, liberation from her routine, and heart-wrenching romance with a feckless dreamer. She also encounters the strict social expectations of a traditional community, where young women do not go abroad at night or think independently. Eliza does both, and consequently is expelled from her beloved school. When she sees a loveless marriage as her only viable option, she is rescued, at the last moment, by a job offer that takes her away from the closed society of City Island. The plot is engaging and enriched with substantial historical detail, bringing time and place vividly to light. Eliza’s personality is vibrant and irresistible; secondary characters are varied and multidimensional. Formal diction is appropriate for the narrative and, in contrast, the dialogue is more natural. Overall this is an outstanding book with a truly contemporary heroine in a historical setting. Readers of L. M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series will find in Eliza a kindred spirit.”—Carolyn Noah, School Library Journal.