100 books like The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

By Hazel Gaynor,

Here are 100 books that The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter fans have personally recommended if you like The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ellis Island

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

The main character Ellie is strong and resilient. I loved that she went to America to make money for her injured husband’s sake, was flung into a world in New York City that was so unlike rural Ireland, met with temptations, and found her way out. Ultimately, it’s a love story (not romance per se) and I found myself rooting for Ellie throughout the whole book.

By Kate Kerrigan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ellis Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rural Irish girl Ellie loves living in New York, working as a lady's maid for a wealthy socialite. She tries to persuade her husband, John, to join her but he is embroiled in his affairs in Ireland, and caught up in the civil war. Nevertheless Ellie is extremely happy and fully embraces her sophisticated new life. When her father dies she must return home, but she intends to sort her affairs quickly and then return to her beloved America.

But once home her sense of duty kicks in and she decides, painfully, that she must stay to look after her…


Book cover of The Edge of Lost

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

The story begins with a mystery and then we are taken back to Dublin, Ireland, to the character’s childhood. He comes to Ellis Island alone and is taken in by an Italian family. The immigrant experience is compelling in this novel and I love a story where you go back in time to try to figure out how the character got to the place he’s in and what happened on his journey. This is a page-turner for sure.

By Kristina McMorris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Edge of Lost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes an ambitious and heartrending story of immigrants, deception, and second chances.
 
On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard’s only daughter—one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island—has gone missing. Tending the warden’s greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl’s whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search’s outcome.
 
Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living in Dublin…


Book cover of Song of Erin: Cloth of Heaven/Ashes and Lace (Song of Erin Series 1-2)

Cindy Thomson Author Of Grace's Pictures (Ellis Island)

From my list on Irish immigrant historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring the theme of family legacies and learning the stories, even if fictionalized, of our ancestors who helped build America for future generations. I explored this theme with my Ellis Island series, but truly it influences everything I write. It began with my interest in my own genealogy and my love of research. Along with writing my own books, I host a blog on historical fiction called Novel PASTimes and am co-founder of the Faith & Fellowship Book Festival with the aim of connecting readers with really good books.

Cindy's book list on Irish immigrant historical fiction

Cindy Thomson Why did Cindy love this book?

This is a gritty story of the peril young Irish immigrants faced when coming to America, along with the hardships they were escaping back in Ireland. The fact that others were waiting to abuse and exploit the immigrants is certainly historically accurate. However, B.J. Hoff’s stories are always filled with hope and shine a light on hope in God. It’s Christian fiction, so readers should be aware of that. Also, this new edition includes two stories, a great deal. B.J. Hoff passed away in 2021 but left a long legacy of inspirational historical fiction.

By B.J. Hoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Song of Erin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mysteries of the past confront the secrets of the present in bestselling author BJ Hoff's magnificent "Song of Erin" saga. In her own unique style, Hoff spins a panoramic story that crosses the ocean from Ireland to America, featuring two of her most memorable characters. In this tale of struggle and love and uncompromising faith, Jack Kane, the always charming but sometimes ruthless titan of New York's most powerful publishing empire, is torn between the conflict of his own heart and the grace and light of Samantha Harte, the woman he loves, whose own troubled past continues to haunt…


Book cover of The Nature of Fragile Things

Julianna Boyer Author Of Sunni: The Life and Love of King Tutankhamun's Wife

From my list on historical fiction about lesser-known characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for Historical Fiction. It started when I was 12 years old. Before that, I never liked any kind of history. Then, in school, we started learning about King Tut, and I was fascinated. I started having frequent dreams that he would sit and tell me stories about our life together and he believed that I was his wife, Sunni. Into adulthood, I still had these dreams, so I decided to write about the stories that he would tell. Along with exhaustive research, I learned who Sunni (Anukshanamun) was. My book is based on facts mixed with my dreams.

Julianna's book list on historical fiction about lesser-known characters

Julianna Boyer Why did Julianna love this book?

I am recommending this book because it shows the emotional side of three separate women who have survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. We have all heard about big tragedies, but I like books that focus on a specific historical figure that was there. This book shows these women defeat the odds and overcome tragedy simply by banding together. These types of books always give me hope and courage to face obstacles in my own life.

By Susan Meissner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Nature of Fragile Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling…


Book cover of Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain

Sathnam Sanghera Author Of Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain

From my list on the British Empire's impact on the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was in my 40s before I began exploring the topic of the British Empire. It came after I realised it explained so much about me (my Sikh identity, the emigration of my parents, my education) and so much about my country (its politics, psychology, wealth…) and yet I knew very little. It turned out that millions of people feel the same way… and I hope I provide an accessible introduction and summary of the massive topic. 

Sathnam's book list on the British Empire's impact on the world

Sathnam Sanghera Why did Sathnam love this book?

In peerless prose, Winder proffers a simple thesis: that Britain is a nation of immigrants.

Despite our German royal family, and all those businesses created by Jews and Indians, we have long been a nation in denial about the immigrant blood flowing through our veins. To such a degree in the Windrush Scandal we have seen actual British citizens being threatened with deportation to countries they barely know.

This important book also challenges the dominant political narrative of my lifetime: that immigrants come here uninvited to take advantage of British hospitality.

If there was one book I could wish onto the National Curriculum, it would be this.

By Robert Winder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bloody Foreigners as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Immigration is one of the most important stories of modern British life, yet it has been happening since Caesar first landed in 53 BC. Ever since the first Roman, Saxon, Jute and Dane leaped off a boat we have been a mongrel nation. Our roots are a tangled web. From Huguenot weavers fleeing French Catholic persecution in the 18th century to South African dentists to Indian shopkeepers; from Jews in York in the 12th century (who had to wear a yellow star to distinguish them and who were shamefully expelled by Edward I in 1272) to the Jamaican who came…


Book cover of Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy

George Farkas Author Of Industries, Firms, and Jobs: Sociological and Economic Approaches

From my list on understanding American poverty and inequality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have an unusual personal history. I majored in math in college and aspired to a life as a scientist. However, the civil rights movement and other events of the 1960s and 1970s inspired me to switch and earn a doctorate in sociology. (Which considers itself a science.) My first faculty position, at Yale beginning in 1972, involved a joint appointment in the Sociology Department and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, which focused on public policy. During the remainder of my career I have worked and published together with economists and sought to do research that uses the perspectives of both fields. 

George's book list on understanding American poverty and inequality

George Farkas Why did George love this book?

How many, and which individuals should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. is a long-standing policy dilemma that people feel strongly about yet appears to have no easy solution.

Economist Borjas shows us how economists think about the issues involved. Where are we in the history of immigration to the United States? Which American industries and individuals benefit from allowing more immigrants in, and which are harmed by such a policy?

What policies would be better for the U.S. economy and the U.S. population as a whole? How are regions, states, and cities differentially affected? What trade-offs are involved in the available policy choices in this area?

By George J. Borjas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heaven's Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The US took in more than a million immigrants per year in the late 1990s, more than at any other time in history. For humanitarian and many other reasons, this may be good news. But as George Borjas shows in this text, it's decidedly mixed news for the American economy - and positively bad news for the country's poorest citizens. Borjas reveals that the benefits of immigration have been greatly exaggerated and that, if we allow immigration to continue unabated and unmodified, we are supporting an astonishing transfer of wealth from the poorest people in the country, who are disproportionately…


Book cover of Pigeon English

Gail Aldwin Author Of This Much Huxley Knows: A Story of Innocence, Misunderstandings, and Acceptance

From my list on contemporary adult novels with young narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

Novelist, poet and scriptwriter. My interest in young narrators stems from a desire to effectively capture the voices of children in my novels. Creative writing PhD studies with the University of South Wales encouraged me to research different strategies and techniques used by published authors and to experiment with them in my writing. The String Games my debut novel was the result of this academic and creative journey. Further novels continue to include young voices in a starring role as I get inside the heads of a range of characters. After a stint as a university lecturer, I dabbled in fiction for children and through a collaboration with illustrator Fiona Zechmeister, Pandemonium a children’s picture book was published in 2020.

Gail's book list on contemporary adult novels with young narrators

Gail Aldwin Why did Gail love this book?

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and currently an AQA English Literature GCSE text, Pigeon English is a debut novel that captures the experiences of eleven-year-old Harrison Opuku. A new arrival from Ghana, he lives with his mother and sister amongst the gang culture on a south London housing estate. Harri is an appealing narrator who uses a mixture of West African slang and a rapidly acquired local vernacular. The text is enlivened by dialogue presented in the form of a playscript with illustrations and lists promoting the visual quality of the story.

By Stephen Kelman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pigeon English as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Newly arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister, Harrison Opoku lives on the ninth floor of a block of flats on a London housing estate. The (second) best runner in the whole of Year 7, Harri races through his new life in his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on in marker pen - unaware of the danger growing around him. But when a boy is knifed to death on the high street and a police appeal for witnesses draws only silence, Harri decides to start a murder investigation of his own. In doing so, he unwittingly…


Book cover of Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success

Kimberly Clausing Author Of Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital

From my list on big economic policy debates.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became an economist because I realized that economics was a powerful tool that would help society solve vexing problems. While economics has limits, it has so much to offer in terms of better policy design for tackling everything from climate change to economic inequality. My life’s work has been devoted to both economic research and helping others understand the insights of economics. I spent many years in academia teaching economics and writing papers, and I authored Open in an attempt to make the complexities of international economics more transparent. I’ve also had the chance to work firsthand on some of these issues in the early part of the Biden Administration at the US Treasury.

Kimberly's book list on big economic policy debates

Kimberly Clausing Why did Kimberly love this book?

When I began researching the economics of immigration, I expected to find that my prejudice in favor of immigrants needed more nuance. However, even more than I suspected, the economic literature is resounding in describing the many large economic benefits of immigration. Streets of Gold describes how essential immigration has been to American economic success, and it provides a strong argument for a more open immigration policy. 

By Ran Abramitzky, Leah Boustan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Streets of Gold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Immigration is one of the most fraught, and possibly most misunderstood, topics in American social discourse-yet, in most cases, the things we believe about immigration are based largely on myth, not facts. Using the tools of modern data analysis and ten years of pioneering research, new evidence is provided about the past and present of the American Dream, debunking myths fostered by political opportunism and sentimentalized in family histories, and draw counterintuitive conclusions, including:

* Upward Mobility: Children of immigrants from nearly every country, especially those of poor immigrants, do better economically than children of U.S.-born residents - a pattern…


Book cover of Lubna and Pebble

Jyoti Rajan Gopal Author Of American Desi

From my list on children figuring out their place in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone straddling multiple cultures, growing up everywhere and belonging nowhere, I know what it feels like to not fit in. I know what it feels like to want to hide parts of yourself so you can fit in. And so, as a picture book writer and a Kindergarten teacher, I'm always looking for books that share stories about children trying to figure out their place in the world. I didn't have those books growing up. What a difference that would have made in my own journey. The books that I picked are unique in the way they portray belonging. I hope you love these gems as much as I do!

Jyoti's book list on children figuring out their place in the world

Jyoti Rajan Gopal Why did Jyoti love this book?

Such a tenderly written refugee story. I’ve included this picture book because it offers a gentle but much-needed glimpse into the lives of refugee children and reminds us how we all, but especially those who are fleeing their homelands through no fault of their own, seek a place to belong. Through Pebble, Lubna reminds us that we all need someone who sees and accepts us without judgment and with unconditional love. And that we can also be that person for someone else. Such a joy to read!

By Wendy Meddour, Daniel Egnéus (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lubna and Pebble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that brings her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.

Lubna's best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does.

This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl's powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.

TIME Magazine's Top…


Book cover of The Arrival

Barbara Lehman Author Of The Red Book

From my list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love wordless books immoderately, and I also love books that have meta, surreal, or magical realism elements. This list combines these two features! I was personally so happy that The Red Book was described in a review as “a wordless mind trip for tots,” and I think all the books on this list would perfectly fit that description (and much, much more!) too.

Barbara's book list on wordless with surreal or magical realism elements

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

I will remain forever astonished at the epic feat of world-building in The Arrival. It thoroughly pulls me into an immersive experience where I am learning along with the main character how to navigate the new world into which he has immigrated. As he learns, we learn. I find myself so emotionally involved with his success in his hopeful new reality. The art is amazingly detailed and conveys the complex and richly visual world, yet also sets a strong emotional tone that brings us into the action.

By Shaun Tan,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Arrival as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey.

THE ARRIVAL has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place.

Sited as No 35 in The Times 100 Best Books of all time. It has sold over…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in immigrants, Northumberland, and lighthouses?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about immigrants, Northumberland, and lighthouses.

Immigrants Explore 168 books about immigrants
Northumberland Explore 10 books about Northumberland
Lighthouses Explore 20 books about lighthouses