Join us this week—the week before launch of Phoebe’s Light—as each day we’ll be looking at a different aspect of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s latest release!
Enjoy this sneak peek at the lost chapter of Phoebe’s Light. Want more? Pre-order before 2/6 and receive the full lost chapter with your bonuses!
Phoebe Starbuck heard him say the words, but she couldn’t wrap her head around them to believe he meant what he said. “Thee is leaving Nantucket?” she asked. “Thee jests.”
“Nay, I’m not jesting,” Matthew Macy said in a serious tone that was most unlike him. “I’m to cooper on my father’s whaler. The Pearl.”
Her breath gusted out in a small gasp. “But why?”
He looked up. The wind blew loose strands of her hair across her mouth, and he seemed to stare at it a long time before swallowing hard and answering, “He asked me. I said I would.”
Quick tears stung her eyes. That wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear, nor the question she wanted to ask. How could this be? How could he leave her, now? With her mother ailing, her father in trouble with the law again. Matthew knew how she counted on him. He must know. He knew her so well.
The two had grown up together. Her father, Barnabas, paid Matthew to do chores. Today they were heading home from taking the head count of Barnabas’s sheep, gathered in the shearing pens at Miacomet. Anyone who could hold an oar had something to do with the whaling industry, but for Phoebe’s father. He was convinced whaling was naught but a passing whim. Instead, he held firmly to raising sheep, as his great-grandparents, the first settlers to Nantucket, had done. It provided him a surfeit of spare time to pursue other business ventures. Failures, all.
Phoebe walked away from Matthew, angry with him, angry with her father, angry with life. Why did things have to change? She had turned fifteen last month, and her waist was pinched into a miserable corset that made her feel as if she might snap in two. A month ago, she could’ve raced Matthew over these hills and beat him home. No longer. A whalebone stay was laced up the front of her dress and dug into her stomach whenever she bent or breathed. How she hated corsets! How she hated change.
“Aw, don’t be upset, Phoebe,” Matthew said, catching up with her. “I just signed on this morning. You’re the first one I’ve told, other than my mother.” So that explained why he’d been taciturn and brooding all afternoon.
She spun around. “I care not at all what thee does,” she said, though even she could hear the lie in her words. “Go! Go chase those poor whales!” Her throat thickened, and hot tears pricked at the back of her eyes. She was going to start crying in front of him at any moment, and she didn’t think she could bear that.
She whirled, turning her back to him, and started to hurry along the rutted footpath that wound through the low hills. Matthew called to her once or twice to hold up, but she ignored him and kept on toward town.
More about Phoebe’s Light
Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.
Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. The Search won a 2012 Carol Award. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. The Letters is a finalist for a Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research.