I received a free eARC of Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady from NetGalley. I want to start first with what Goodreads says about the book:
One afternoon in 1839, Emily Lowry’s husband vanishes from Wreckers’ Cay, an isolated island off the coast of Key West where he tends to the lighthouse. As days stretch into months, Emily has no choice but take charge of Wrecker’s Cay and her husband’s duties tending the light to support her three children—and a fourth on the way. Unexpected help arrives when a runaway slave named Andrew washes up on their beach. At first, Emily is intensely wary of this strange, charming man, whose very presence there is highly illegal. But Andrew proves himself an enormous help and soon wins the hearts of the Lowry family. And—far from the outside world and society’s rules—his place in Emily’s life, as steadfast now as the light, will forever change their futures. When Emily’s family is ripped apart once again, she faces untold hardships that test her love and determination and show how the passionate love of a defiant, determined woman can overcome any obstacle.
The description of Woman at the Light caught my attention. While true to that description I found the book itself to be lacking.
Characters: The main character, Emily Lowry, is certainly strong in some areas but weak in charting her own course. She just went with the flow. Her actions were not consistent with what I expected. Character development was not that strong in the book.
Plot: The story line moved at a good pace. Again I felt that much of the development was weak. This was a pleasant book to read. It just did not have the tension I expected.
Worldbuilding: The historical setting is interesting. The history of Key West is accurate. I did feel that it was not totally true to the feelings and actions of people of that era. Everything sounded sugar coated.
I have very lukewarm feelings about the book. This is the first book by Joanna Brady that I have read so I don’t know if this is typical of her writing or story telling but based on this book I probably will not pick up anything else she has written.
St. Martin’s Press published Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady in 2011.