Lighthouse by Eugenia Price {book review}


Lighthouse by Eugenia Price {book review}

 

Summary:      A MAN AND A DREAM

The man is James Gould – founder of the Southern dynasty whose rich, courageous life was chronicled in New Moon Rising.

His dream is to leave the cold New England hills of his birth and make a life for himself in the magnificent, untamed, post-Revolutionary South.

How Gould pursues his strange ambition, the exotic people and places he encounters along the way, and especially the beautiful and strong-willed young girl who comes to share the dream and the life he has chosen, make up the core of of this novel.

My Reaction:   

I read Eugenia Price’s books years ago. I liked them then. I find much more depth to them now, being decades older.

This is the first of the St. Simons’ trilogy. When I first read this book I was likely still living in New England, had not been anywhere else yet. Now I have lived away for over a decade (this time) and long for home. Because of that I think I can identify strongly with James Gould’s character, which was in fact a real person.

Almost a decade ago I made a brief side trip to Savannah. I tried and failed to find St. Simons. I did see the light at Tybee Island, and a good bit of historic Savannah, and Charleston, which made reading this book all the more enjoyable, in spite of the changes even since the book was written.

As to the writing, if one can dare to review Miss Price’s superb writing. I’m thankful it is not in the first person. It is from James Gould’s point of view, but in such a clever way that others are drawn in as well. In some ways I wish the book were more romantic and less realistic. That is how I remember her books. There were some difficult passages of life, but they were real, and dealt with as such.

There are so many levels in this book. There are cultural differences, character development, relational issues, family, political, personal aspiration, friendship, and the difficulty of maintaining one’s livelihood amidst the perils and turmoils of the day. All of these issues are seen within the framework of the individual’s faith in God, which is peripheral throughout the book. Only at one point does it come to a head, and that very tactfully.

Such a good read. When it has finished soaking in, I will read the next book in the series, New Moon Rising.

Goodreads Review:  Lighthouse by Eugenia Price
My rating:  4 stars

About the Author:  Eugenia Price was born in Charleston, WV, June 22, 1916, to Walter (a dentist) and Anna Price. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer and entered a poem in her school’s literary magazine.

She was raised as a member of the Methodist Church, but had left the church behind by the time she graduated from high school, at the age of 15, in 1932. She decided to leave writing behind to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in dentistry.

She attended Ohio University for three years, declaring herself an atheist during this time. In 1935, she became a student at Northwestern Dental School, the only woman admitted that year. She studied dentistry for two years, but writing continued to draw her.

In 1939, she was hired to work on the NBC radio serial In Care of Aggie Horn. She continued as one of the writers for the show until 1942. She left NBC, going to work for the Proctor and Gamble show Joyce Jordan, M.D. from 1944-1946. In 1945 she founded her own television and radio production company, Eugenia Price Productions, developing other serials for Proctor and Gamble.

In 1949 Eugenia Price underwent a profound life change, giving up her college atheism to embrace Christianity. She considered a career change, but accepted a position with WGN Radio as writer, producer, and director for Unshackled, another radio serial. The popularity of the show led her to a lecturing career throughout the United States and Canada for several years.

Price began yet another career in the early 1950s when she was approached by one of the owners of Zondervan publishing. The 1953 publication of Discoveries Made from Living My New Life, a chronicle of her newfound faith and the experiences that led her to it, launched Eugenia Price into a new career as an inspirational writer.

Other inspirational books followed, addresses issues of importance to women and children and other self-help concerns and urging readers away from advances in psychology and analysis and toward a life based on Biblical tenants. Many of her inspirational books are still in print, a testimony to the comfort and empathy many readers found in her works.

Eugenia Price gained a much wider audience though when she began publishing historical romances set in the American South. These novels were praised as “compelling sagas that blend personal stories of love and tragedy. . . with the dramatic events of a region’s history.”

Her first historical romance, The Beloved Invader, was inspired her visit to Saint Simons Island, Georgia and based on one of the island’s nineteenth-century inhabitants. The Beloved Invader was published in 1965 and followed by two other romances, New Moon Rising (1969) and Lighthouse (1971), to form the St. Simons Trilogy.

Her historical romances made Price a frequent member of the best-seller lists and brought her millions of readers. Although she continued to write and to publish inspirational works, it was her romances that brought her the greatest attention.

Eugenia Price died May 28, 1996, in Brunswick, Georgia of congestive heart failure and is buried in the Christ Church cemetery, Frederica, GA. Many of her books remain in print and have translated into 17 languages, charming readers of all ages and nationalities. Her manuscripts are housed at Boston University.

View all my Goodreads reviews

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