Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Brighter the Light- Book Review


sea oats
The Outer Banks

I always love stories that take place in locations I have seen on my travels.  When I saw Mary Ellen Taylor's latest book takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was instantly drawn to the book.  The Outer Banks are wonderful and full of beautiful beaches and lighthouses.  I looked forward to an interesting story based on this locale and I was not disappointed.

Main Characters

There are two main characters in this story and the author takes us back and forth between both their stories.


We first meet Ivy when she comes to the Outer Banks to settle things after her grandmother has died.  Ivy had been raised for much of her young life by her grandmother, living in the Outer Banks.  When she graduates from high school she leaves for a new life in New York.


 Ruth is the grandmother, and we meet her through flashbacks to the 1950's when Ruth is running a resort on the Outer Banks.  She is a very colorful character that works hard and runs the resort.   She is an excellent cook who passes on her skills to Ivy.

Summary of Story

At the beginning of the story Ivy is returning to Nags Head, North Carolina in the Outer Banks. She has inherited a beach cottage from her grandmother and now she must return to sell the cottage and sort through all the belongings in the cottage.  Ivy dreads returning and seeing the best friend and ex-boyfriend who betrayed her.

Folk lore from the area talks about a ship that rises from the sea after strong storms and the secrets it holds.  After a storm, Ivy looks out the cottage window and sees the ship has again risen in the tides.  

The secret of the ship is not the only secrets that Ivy uncovers during her stay at the cottage.  She is conflicted about staying after a budding romance and memories from the past resurface.

My Recommendation

I really enjoyed this book.  It had a great setting, interesting characters, and a memorable story line.  I would recommend it for anyone looking for an interesting and thought-provoking summer read.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. The secrets & mysteries of the ship are most intriguing. Sounds like a wonderful book! Like you, I enjoy reading books in the settings of places I have visited.

    1. Oh, and I also meant to say, if I had inherited a beach cottage, I would keep it and ignore the people who annoy me :)

  2. This sounds like a book based in a beautiful setting with interesting characters. I do like the sound of the plot and think this would be an enjoyable read. Thank you for your review.

  3. It sounds as though the Outer Banks are, themselves, a character of sorts in this novel. I, too, am intrigued by the mysteries of the ship and those of the grandmother as well.

  4. This sounds like an excellent choice for a nice, calm, relaxing day of reading. I'm interested in this one!

  5. Oh I think I could get into this book quite easily. Reading during my healing from breaking my elbow, has filled in the time that I could not be on the computer! Adding this to my list of books to read soon! Thanks Mary Beth!

  6. I'm all in for a book with this kind of setting. Lighthouse? Check. The sea? Check. Intriguing secrets? Check. Sounds like I am all set. It really is a treat to read about a location you have visited (or where you have lived). Thanks for the recommendation.

  7. I enjoyed this book and also When the Rain Ends which has some of the same characters. I was disappointed however, that the characters were not consistent. A sister in one book felli n love with her "brother" in the other book .


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