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The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry

By Anna Rose Johnson

“She felt as if her happiness were bubbling up and running over the top of her heart, like a pot forgotten on a stovetop. Nothing would ever be the same again, and she didn’t want it to be. She had never before known what the world could be like.”

– Anna Rose Johnson

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Would you like to read ‘The Luminous Life of Lucy Landry’ with your girl’s book club? Download our BTB Book Club guide for girls below.

Book Summary


Children’s Historical Fiction


Family/Belonging, Adventure, Adoption, Mystery, Storytelling


8 – 13 years


It’s the early 1900s, and Selena (Lucy) Landry, a French-Ojibwe orphan, is sent to live with the Martins-a family of lighthouse keepers off Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, in Lake Superior. Lucy arrives to a bustling household of six children and struggles to fit into this big, industrious family while also managing her terrifying fear of Lake Superior, who took her father from her years ago in a shipwreck.

As Lucy settles in, making some small and big blunders along the way, she realizes she is not far from Mermaid’s Corner, where a long-lost ruby necklace is rumoured to be. She manages to get the Martin children invested in this mystery, and they set off on a quest to find it. Her father spent his entire life searching for this necklace, and Lucy is confident that finding it will bring a piece of her father back to her. But she doesn’t anticipate that others are equally searching for the necklace and, like her, a home.

This is a heartwarming coming-of-age story. Lucy is wildly imaginative and stubbornly determined, which can sometimes lead to foolishness. Lucy truly longs for a family, a home and a place to belong. Lucy’s bravery and faith in God amid the storms of life, both emotional and physical, is an encouragement to all!

Content Warning:

The book centers around the fact that Lucy is an orphan and there are references throughout the book in regards to her mother’s passing (when Lucy is quite young) and her father’s drowning (his ship was lost at sea). An elderly woman cares for her throughout her youth but she passes away when Lucy is 11. Some readers may be sensitive to a girl having lost many parents/caregivers at a young age.

Due to her father’s death, Lucy is also terrified of the water and there are many fear-related scenes related to that.

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