The Light Before Day

  • Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
  • Publisher: Revell
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Release Date:October 2, 2018
  • I Rate it:    
  • GenreChristian
  • Purchase on Amazon

Book Summary

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when they should marry and whom–a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side–and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher surprises and delights with this story of hope and renewal, love and redemption, arriving just when most needed.

Book Banner Image

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.

Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.

Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.

Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.

But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

About The Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher has a specialty: she writes about real people living in faith-based communities. With over 750,000 copies of books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, ranging from children's books ('The Adventures of Lily Lapp' series) to novels ("The Choice") to non-fiction books ("Amish Peace: Simple Living for a Complicated World").

When Suzanne isn't writing, she's probably playing with puppies. She's been involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind for over fifteen years. Raising puppies, she says, is like eating a potato chip. You just can't stop at one.

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne's website at

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Book Review by Bree Herron

I have often seen the light before day, waking up in the wee hours of the morning for some self-reflection time. To experience a sunrise is always a breathtaking moment. Through this book, we see how sometimes family knows best and that love comes at the most unique times.


This book is filled with charcters that are family and friends by the end of the story. I may have said that about almost every other book in the series, but it is true. Ms. Fisher has this way of creating characters that just stick with you, in your heart and in your mind.

Enjoyable Moments

I think my favorite part of this book was how Lillian had tricks and such to throw at her family still. They weren’t mean but more meaningful in order to shake things up for them in a great way.


I find myself sniffing the sea air each time I have returned to this series. I feel close to this setting and always soothed by the time period, as well. I couldn’t imagine not revisiting this book or series.


I hate when a series comes to an end, but I totally loved this book and the conclusion it held. It isn’t easy to make readers want more and feel completed at the same time, but this book managed to do just that. I can recommend this book and the series without even blinking. It is a choice that will make you ready to curl up and just read. 

I Rate it

How do you mourn the end of a series, or do you rejoice in having read such a series?

**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Find out all the details and enter to WIN at The Light Before Day Celebration Tour Giveaway.

Professional Reader Affiliates

NetGalley Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved 200 Book Reviews 2016 NetGalley Challenge Reviews Published Great Escape Tour Host BethanyHouse Blogger Reviewer

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  1. Maryann

    I love reading historicals and this book intrigues me. I love the setting.

  2. Lacey Waters

    I’ve never heard of a mortgage button before, I found this post so interesting! Thank you.

  3. Emma

    I mourn slightly when I reach the end of a good series!

  4. Robin in NC

    I usually feel a bit of both, especially if it was a really good series.

  5. Vivian Furbay

    Haven’t read any books in this series but would like to.

  6. Sarah L

    Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  7. Kara Vaughan Marks

    This sounds really interesting–I’d love to read it.

  8. Marisela Zuniga

    This sounds like an amazing book to read!! The cover is beautiful, thank you for sharing your review


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