Episode 459 | Jean E. Pendziwol Interview

Today’s author interview is with Jean E. Penziwol, the author of The Lightkeeper’s Daughters.

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“Jean Pendziwol’s beautifully written novel captured me from the very first page. Its descriptions of the windswept lightkeeper’s station of Elizabeth’s and Emily’s youth are so crisply rendered I felt I was standing on its shores watching the great ships cross the stormy waters of Lake Superior. Even more than its vivid evocation of a unique time and place, The LightKeeper’s Daughters is a sensitive and moving examination of the nature of identity, the importance of family, and the possibility of second chances.”—Heather Young, author of The Lose Girls

With the haunting atmosphere and emotional power of The Language of Flowers, Orphan Train, and The Light Between Oceans, critically acclaimed children’s author Jean E. Pendziwol’s adult debut is an affecting story of family, identity, and art that involves a decades-old mystery.

Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth’s eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family, especially her beloved twin sister, Emily. When her late father’s journals are discovered after an accident, the past suddenly becomes all too present.

With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenager performing community service at her senior home, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own, to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth’s father manned the lighthouse and raised his young family seventy years before.

As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan’s connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals will shake the foundation of everything Elizabeth thinks she knows and bring the secrets of the past into the light.

Jean E. Pendziwol is an award-winning Canadian author of books for adults and children. Her most recent publications include her debut adult novel “The Lightkeeper’s Daughters” which was released July 2017 and became an instant bestseller in Canada, as well as “Me and You and the Red Canoe”, a quiet lyrical picture book set in northern Ontario. She was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for “Once Upon a Northern Night”. Her children’s books include the critically acclaimed “No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons)” which continues to be used as a valuable resource for teaching fire safety and was featured in the McDonald’s Canada Happy Meal Books campaign. She lives in the shadow of the Nor’Wester Mountains near Lake Superior and draws inspiration for her stories from the rich history, culture and geography of the area. She has three adult children, a loveable mutt, and a coop of temperamental chickens, all occasionally tormented by visiting deer, foxes, wolves and bears.

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