Daughters of Nantucket

by Gerstenblatt, Julie,

Format: Print Book 2023
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"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.

"A memorable story of friendship and courage." --Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gerstenblatt's debut, a beautiful historical novel, is an engrossing and emotional nineteenth-century tale centered on three women living on Nantucket. She expertly weaves their narratives together, managing to address numerous issues of the times, including the abolitionist movement, the whaling industry, and the role of women in society, all of which become key themes. Nantucket during this time was a unique place. With men away at sea for years on whaling expeditions, women filled prominent roles in society, a fascinating, overlooked bit of American history. Eliza, Meg, and Maria, compelling and complex heroines, are neighbors, but their lives couldn't be more different. Eliza is a lonely whaling captain's wife. Meg is a Black business owner and mother facing racism, and Maria is an aspiring astronomer who oversees the island's artifacts and books at the historic Atheneum. A devastating fire in 1846 serves as the climactic focus of the story as these three women are thrown together to battle unimaginable difficulties. With some characters inspired by actual historical figures, Gerstenblatt's distinctive tale, a triumph in storytelling, celebrates the courage and tenacity of women."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Women -- Massachusetts -- Nantucket Island -- Fiction.
Fires -- Massachusetts -- Nantucket Island -- History -- Fiction.
Sex role -- Fiction.
Life change events -- Fiction.
Nantucket Island (Mass.) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher Toronto, Ontario, Canada :Mira,2023
Language English
Description 436 pages : map ; 21 cm
ISBN 9780778334323
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