by Joanna Brady Schmida
Many readers today are acculturated to the faster pace of a story’s development. A mindful prolific reader will appreciate Brady’s lyrically lush language. The rhythmically paced slow build lulls the reader into the tempo of the time, the late 1800s in Key West.
Set against the Key’s historical backdrop, Brady’s masterful sensibility to the time-period, hovers and cocoons the main character, Emily. Her life journey, from southern comfort to island isolation is not so removed from the struggles women still confront today. Yet, for all the restrictions placed upon women of that era, it is her indomitable spirit of freedom that is uplifting for 21st century women reading this fictional portrayal.
The story line serves as a metaphor for Key West. Its rags to riches and back again pendulum attracted scalawags, rapscallions, dreamers, and immigrants. It is not only a story of a woman’s emancipation but America’s. Key West’s motto is One Human Family. Brady’s The Woman at the Light captures that essence, it’s a good read.