Phoebe’s Light By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I knew where Nantucket was and of course I had a general idea about the whaling industry in the past, but I knew NOTHING about the actual life and facts this vocation entailed!
Ms. Fisher’s talented writing made me feel as if I was on Nantucket Island watching the people and on the ship experiencing the work of the crew and captain. Amazing! Phoebe Starbuck was an 18 year old teenager in the 1760’s. Upon her birthday she was given a much coveted diary of her great-grandmother, Mary Coffin Starbucks who wrote it 100 years earlier. The wisdom of “Great Mary” as she was called was legendary. Throughout the story pages of the diary are shared, giving the reader glimpses into the founding of Nantucket Island. Most of all Phoebe’s great-grandmother’s experience and faith helped her face insurmountable odds. I loved great Mary’s wise writings. Some of them I wanted to write down and keep!
Her childhood sweetheart, Matthew Macy had turned away from God and Quaker church so she ended relationship with him that was to end in marriage. She shows that young teens 350 years ago in many ways are not different than they are today. She had a crush on the dashing and wealthy Captain Phineas Foulger and just KNEW he was the one for her to marry, not even bringing God into the equation! Suddenly he asks for her hand and after a hurried she on cloud 9. She convinces him to let her sail with him on his next whaling expedition, something totally unheard of. Surprisingly he agrees!
This is where the adventure and suspense begins. The descriptiveness of the living and working on a whaling ship were incredible! I was riveted to the book! Poor Phoebe’s dreams and life were overturned, especially her stomach. Her suffering with sea sickness and the harsh environment made me think I was going to have to go take some Pepto-Bismol at some points!
She learned that seeking your own way instead of God’s will not work out like you think. But her story also shows that He will take care of us even in our foolish choices. Another incredible read from Suzanne Woods Fisher. I can’t wait for the rest of the books in this series!

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