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Becky Hickman Advocates for Julie Gerstenblatt

Becky Hickman Advocates for Julie Gerstenblatt Picture

Julie Gerstenblatt has given readers a glimpse into the lives of three very different, strong-willed and determined women set against the backdrop of a catastrophic event in Nantucket’s history, the Great Fire of 1846.

Daughters of Nantucket introduces the reader to Eliza and Meg (fictional characters), and Maria Mitchell, the Nantucket Atheneum’s first librarian and world-renowned astronomer. Three women navigating the whaling days with most of the men at sea, raising families and dealing with financial burden, exploring forbidden love, all the while contending with the undercurrents of racism and segregation in the small town of Nantucket. The Great Fire of 1846 compounds the everyday tribulations, yet in the end, shows the reader how Nantucket truly is a united community that will always come together for the sake of the Town. This still holds true today.

As a Nantucketer, with island roots back to this time period, Gerstenblatt’s writing had me envisioning my relatives trying to save the Town and their lives, and then rebuild their homes and community. A must read for fans of historical fiction with a love of Nantucket!