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Hatteras Light: A Novel
John F. Blair, Publisher
5 ½ x 8 ½
Published in 1997
Set off the treacherous Outer Banks of North Carolina during the final days of the First World War, Hatteras Light is the compelling story of the dedicated keepers of the Hatteras lighthouse and their tightly knit community. For generations these men have drawn their livelihood from the sea, served in the rescue of shipwreck victims, and guarded seagoers from the hazardous shoals. Their wives and daughters endure a difficult, solitary life, their fortitude constantly tested. Loyal to one another and to a traditional way of life, the islanders are suspicious of outsiders and censorious of those who leave.
The insular world of these Hatterasmen disrupts when a German U-boat reveals itself offshore, indiscriminately sinking civilian and military vessels, challenging the courage of the lifesavers, and signaling the dawning of a darker, less honorable age.
Over a few crucial days, we become intimate with these men and women, and with the German officers aboard U-55 who have made the islanders' lives hell.
What emerges is an adventure story full of wisdom and compassion, a novel unfailingly accurate in portraying the struggle of man and sea, man against man, and of men and women. Based on historical fact, Philip Gerard's novel is a powerful book whose storytelling represents the most human tendencies in life and art.
“In the late spring of 1918 a prowling U-boat makes the always treacherous waters off Hatteras Island even more dangerous. Its presence creates a crisis among the lighthouse keepers, lifesaving crews, and fishing families who inhabit the island. The Navy can provide them with little help, and if they are to rid their shores of this strange new menace the Hatteras folk may have to betray the very values that give their lives meaning. With its refreshingly different setting and its provocative moral questions, this first novel succeeds admirably as a tale of wartime adventure.”
“Heroism and adventure, salt air, and a skillfully suspenseful plot are solid hooks here.”