Author: Lorna Seilstad
My synopsis: The year is 1895 and the place is Iowa. Marguerite Westing's family has just decided that they are going to spend the summer at the lake. So they head off with the supplies their mother thinks will make their lives more "civilized" while at the lake and four tents. Don't think sleeping bags and roughing it though. They take their servants and their brass beds!
Marguerite's mother has been trying to get her engaged to Roger Gordon as she thinks he will be a great catch. Meanwhile, Marguerite would do anything to throw him back. She is bored senseless when she is with him. She cannot imagine the kind of life she would have being chained to him. Though her mother is unrelentless in this matter, Marguerite figures that her father will not force her to marry a man she doesn't love.
Being on a lake, Marguerite convinces her father to take her sailing and her love for the water is immediate. Though it is not appropriate for ladies to be on the water, she knows that she must learn how to sail and will do anything to figure out how. She convinces her younger brother Mark that it would be quite the adventure to sail, and sets out to convince her father that Mark needs a chaperone in this endeavor. Of course, this is all kept hush, hush from her mother as to avoid her disapproval.
Trip Andrews becomes Mark's (and her) sailing instructor. Marguerite had met Trip after he rescued her from a tumble she took off the pier. She encountered him again as he was the captain that took her and her father sailing. It was no surprise to Trip that Marguerite took to sailing quicker than her brother Mark. He had recognized her love for the water when he had taken her sailing. One of the first rules Trip tells her and Mark is that no one is allowed on the boat if they can't swim. Marguerite lies and says she can - like I said - she would do anything to sail again.
It isn't long before Trip finds out she has lied - when a boom knocks her overboard. Trip has a huge trust issue as his mother left him and his father when he was just five. So despite the fact that his feelings towards Marguerite have been growing, he is very angry to find out she has lied. They had run into each other the night before she got knocked off the boat at a revival meeting where the speaker had talked about how God feels about lies - even the lies we tell ourselves.
Everything is coming to a head and she feels as if she doesn't have much time left before Roger proposes to her. She wants out, but can't figure out how to tell him without her mother disowning her. She has also heard her father arguing with both Roger and her mother at different times and is concerned, so when she hears her father leaving camp one night, she decides to follow him. Who should she meet along the way but Trip Andrews. Trip is furious to find her out alone and headed to the one place he told her to stay away from. She finally confesses and tells her she is following her father to find out what is going on. Trip convinces her to go back to her camp and goes in her place to discover her father's secrets. How will what he discovers affect his relationship with Marguerite - and her's with Roger?
My thoughts: I must admit that I was 120 pages into this book and was ready to give up on it. That was about a third of the way in and if I am not invested in the story by that time, I usually give it a pass. In this case however I went a little further and it turned a corner. Before I knew it I was 1/2 way through - then 2/3rds. I was glad that I stuck with it as it was an enjoyable read. You get to learn alot about sailing and the different terms used as well as some other fun facts about astronomy and mythology. Not something I think I would associate with women in the late 1800's - especially in Iowa. I will be looking for book 2 when it comes out.
Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
~I received a copy of this book from Baker in exchange for my review.~
Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, Sept 2010