If you read by blog regularly, you know I LOVE historical fiction. I also live in Massachusetts, so when the two things combine I am always interested in the story. Daughters of Nantucket is a beautifully written, wonderful story centering on three women in Nantucket in the mid-1800’s: Eliza, the wife of a whaling ship captain; Meg, the wife of a Black shop owner; and Maria Mitchell, the real-life astronomer. This is a fantastic read and I was amply impressed by the fact that this Julie Gerstenblatt’s first novel! I look forward to her next one.
Highly recommended! Thank you for my digital preview copy and for having me as part of the tour!
Daughters of Nantucket
Author: Julie Gerstenblatt
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
Buy Links: NOT affiliated with BBNB
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughters-of-nantucket-julie-gerstenblatt/1141439250
Author Website: https://www.juliegerstenblatt.com/
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.
“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.