Set off the treacherous Outer Banks of North Carolina during the final days of the First World War, Hatteras Light is the compelling story of the dedicated keepers of the Hatteras lighthouse and their tightly knit community. For generations these men have drawn their livelihood from the sea, served in the rescue of shipwreck victims, and guarded seagoers from the hazardous shoals. Their wives and daughters endure a difficult, solitary life, their fortitude constantly tested. Loyal to one another and to a traditional way of life, the islanders are suspicious of outsiders and censorious of those who leave. The insular world of these Hatterasmen disrupts when a German U-boat reveals itself offshore, indiscriminately sinking civilian and military vessels, challenging the courage of the lifesavers, and signaling the dawning of a darker, less honorable age. Over a few crucial days, we become intimate with these men and women, and with the German officers aboard U-55 who have made the islanders' lives hell. What emerges is an adventure story full of wisdom and compassion, a novel unfailingly accurate in portraying the struggle of man and sea, man against man, and of men and women. Based on historical fact, Philip Gerard's novel is a powerful book whose storytelling represents the most human tendencies in life and art.
Philip Gerard is the author of five novels and eight books of nonfiction, including Down the Wild Cape Fear: A River Journey Through the Heart of North Carolina and The Patron Saint of Dreams, winner of the 2012 North American Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction from The Independent Publisher.