The Lightkeepers Daughters

The Lightkeepers Daughters by Jean E Penziwol

This was a book we enjoyed, with most of the group awarding it 4 out of 5 marks.

(quote from, reviewed by D R Meredith).

Jean E. Pendziwol’s debut adult novel is a compelling read, rich in historical detail and descriptive narrative. An exploration of the life of a lightkeeper and his family living on an isolated island in Lake Superior, and the secret that twists and eventually blights the close-knit relationships between family members. Poignant and in many ways sad, The Lightkeeper’s Daughters slowly reveals a story of love, commitment, and self-sacrifice that underlies the bond between twin sisters, Elizabeth and Emily.

Elizabeth Livingstone spends her days in a care home on the edge of Lake Superior thinking of the past, remembering Porphyry Island and the lighthouse and her father the lightkeeper. .

Also at the care home is Morgan, an orphan and foster child brought in after her grandfather’s death. Possessing only her grandfather’s violin and four unframed watercolors, Morgan is nearly a juvenile delinquent.

Morgan and Elizabeth meet and the angry teenager and the nearly blind elderly woman form an unlikely bond. Morgan is mesmerized by three paintings owned by Elizabeth. Morgan recognizes the style as identical to the watercolors owned by her grandfather.

But there are other questions that are answered. The night Elizabeth hears Morgan play the violin, and sees the sketches hidden in the violin case, sketches drawn by Emily in 1943, Elizabeth knows that her story, her past, is also Morgan’s past.

Pendziwol’s descriptive narrative creates a detailed mental image of Porphryr Island without losing her readers in overwrought prose, while the unexpected twist at the end is one that any mystery writer would envy.

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters is a story of commitment, identity, and familial loyalty that will leave one in tears. Five out of five stars.