The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Normally when I think of Suzanne Woods Fisher, I think of amish novels. But her newest book, The Moonlight School, is a great historical novel based on true events. 

Haunted by her sister's mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn't expected: love.

I wanted to read this book because the cover itself intrigued me but I also have found a lot of myself in Lucy. When I was a teenager, my family moved from the city in Florida to pretty much the back country of North Georgia. I found myself looking down on people who didn't have my education and who didn't speak like me. But I wasn't looking deep within then either. Seeing them for real people who had dreams like me.

Now almost 15 years later I know how to look at someone's heart. And it was sweet to see how Lucy was able to change. I think the only thing I didn't like about the novel was how it ended with Angie and Lucy. I  really expected something more to be done about the situation so I was disappointed there.

Overall it was a great standalone book and since it was based on true events, I enjoyed it even more.