IN-PERSON: Julie Gerstenblatt "Daughters of Nantucket" with Whitney Scharer
Julie Gerstenblatt, presents her debut historical novel, Daughters of Nantucket, a gripping saga of the days leading up to Nantucket’s historic fire of 1846 and its dramatic aftermath. Julie will be in conversation with Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light.
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ABOUT THE BOOK
For fans of Jenna Blum and Christina Baker Kline this debut historical novel is a gripping saga of the days leading up to Nantucket’s historic fire of 1846 and its dramatic aftermath as three very different women must pull together when their lives are irrevocably altered in the wake of this infamous disaster.
Authentic and engaging, Gerstenblatt’s debut fiction creates a vivid portrait of three women’s lives converging at a prime inflection point in the history of Nantucket, and the history of American commerce, civil rights, and social change. When a massive fire breaks out in the middle of a July night, the three women are brought together, and each is forced to reevaluate her priorities and answer the harrowing question: “What—and whom—would you save?”
Eliza Macy, wife to a whaling captain at sea for years on end and mother of three daughters, fights to conceal her financial troubles and keep her feelings for an old flame at bay, all while reckoning with the sincerity of her so-called “progressive” values.
Maria Mitchell, a character based on the real-life female astronomer born and raised on Nantucket, runs the island’s library, the Atheneum, and spends her nights stargazing and charting calculations by candlelight, aiming to discover her own comet. She also tries to define her undeniable attraction to another young woman on the island.
Meg Wright, a pregnant free Black woman, a wife and mother, who along with her husband experiences push back when they try to relocate their successful shop to Main Street, also fights to keep the island’s schools integrated so her young daughter can receive an equal education.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post 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.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Whitney holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her short fiction, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications including Vogue, The Telegraph, The Tatler, and Bellevue Literary Review. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, was published by Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019, and was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Parade, Glamour Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Booklist and Yahoo. Internationally, The Age of Light won Le prix Rive Gauche à Paris, was a coups de couer selection from the American Library in Paris, and has been published in over a dozen other countries. Whitney is the recipient of a 2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Fellowship in Fiction, and has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Arts and Ragdale. She teaches fiction in the Boston area and is a co-founder of the Arlington Author Salon, a quarterly reading series. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA, where she is at work on her second novel.