Daughters of Nantucket
Author: Julie Gerstenblatt
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
“Gerstenblatt’s distinctive tale, a triumph in storytelling, celebrates the courage and tenacity of women.” —Booklist, starred review
Set against Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846, this sweeping, emotional novel brings together three courageous women battling to save everything they hold dear.
Nantucket in 1846 is an island set apart not just by its geography but by its unique circumstances. With their menfolk away at sea, often for years at a time, women here know a rare independence—and the challenges that go with it.
Eliza Macy is struggling to conceal her financial trouble as she waits for her whaling captain husband to return from a voyage. In desperation, she turns against her progressive ideals and targets Meg Wright, a pregnant free Black woman trying to relocate her store to Main Street. Meanwhile, astronomer Maria Mitchell loves running Nantucket’s Atheneum and spending her nights observing the stars, yet she fears revealing the secret wishes of her heart.
On a sweltering July night, a massive fire breaks out in town, quickly kindled by the densely packed wooden buildings. With everything they possess now threatened, these three very different women are forced to reevaluate their priorities and decide what to save, what to let go and what kind of life to rebuild from the ashes of the past.
Meg, Eliza and Maria each have their own struggles. But, when fire ravages their precious island, they are thrown together. Each must prioritize what is precious in their lives and what to save.
This story starts a bit slow, but you are just getting to know the characters. Each character has their own issues. Some with race, forbidden love, and just plain life. I loved learning about Nantucket and the whaling industry during this time. How hard it was on families! Add in this terrible fire, which I knew nothing about, and this is a unique story!
This is a novel which should have been right up my alley….Nantucket in 1846! But, honestly, I think I just was not in the mood for this tale. So, read this and form your own opinion.
Need an uncommon historical fiction tale…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in education in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Grown & Flown, and Cognoscenti, among others. When not writing, Julie is a college essay coach, as well as a producer and on-air host for A Mighty Blaze. A native New Yorker, Julie now lives in coastal Rhode Island with her family and one very smart shichon poo. Daughters of Nantucket is her first novel.
Author Website: https://www.juliegerstenblatt.com/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughters-of-nantucket-julie-gerstenblatt/1141439250