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.
Inspired by the true events of the Moonlight Schools, this standalone novel from bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously. You’ll finish the last page of this enthralling story with deep gratitude for the gift of reading.
The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wonderful book. It started out with loss and tension. As the tale progresses, the burden that one young woman holds on her shoulders feels heavy. She is finally given a chance to be free from her home. This gives her the chance to make her own life. Yet when she arrives she is faced with having to be stronger than she thinks she is. Lucy is sent to help her cousin Cora in a community where their education is little to none. They are also poor. But the community is one that sticks together and helps one another. Together with her cousin, Cora, and the singing school master, they help reshape the small community. Lucy feels like she is a burden to her father and that he has never forgiven her. But she will soon learn that love and forgiveness does exists. Also, that the blame wasn’t entirely hers to shoulder. She was just a girl when her little sister went missing. I enjoyed watching a timid Lucy grow into an independent young woman. This story was heartfelt from the beginning. It tugs at my heart strings. I feel sorry for Lucy and her loss. Suzanne Woods Fisher has once more proven she can write beyond this world. Her characters and their problems feel so real it’s uncanny. Overall, I recommend this historical novel to all readers. It’s deep, emotional, and clean.