The Moonlight School

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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 wraps around you like a colorful quilt, planting you soul deep in turn-of-the-century Kentucky. Suzanne Woods Fisher pens an unforgettable story about love and the transforming power of words and community in this remarkable Appalachian-inspired novel. Deeply moving and uplifting!"

Laura Frantz, Christy Award-winning author of Tidewater Bride

"The Moonlight Schools by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a captivating story with rich history and engaging characters who pull at your heartstrings. Readers will gladly ride up in the hills with Lucy to get to know the local folks. They'll cheer on Cora Wilson Stewart as she finds a way to open up the world of reading to people who missed out on proper schooling as children. That the story shares the true historical beginnings of the first Moonlight Schools makes it all that much better. If you like fascinating history mixed with great storytelling the way I do, you'll love Fisher's The Moonlight Schools."

Ann H. Gabhart, bestselling author of These Healing Hills and An Appalachian Summer

The Author

  1. Suzanne Woods Fisher
    © Dan Davis Photography

    Suzanne Woods Fisher

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 books, including On a Summer Tide and On a Coastal Breeze, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, The Deacon's Family, and The Inn at...

    Continue reading about Suzanne Woods Fisher