Judging by the cover and first few pages I thought this was going to be a story about another stuffy high class society girl but I was wrong. Lots of adventure and romance throughout the book. Nice to know that Lake Manawa, Iowa is a real place.
Cute, funny, good message and appealing characters
April 13, 2014
An Old Fashioned Girl
In the first of the Lake Manawa Summers trilogy, Lorna Seilstad introduces us to the delights of Lake Manawa - a large Iowan lake near Council Bluffs where sailboats skimmed across the waves, young and old enjoyed the delights of the water slide and lake, where the wealthy would camp all summer on the shore, and where other, darker snares lay hidden for the susceptible. Marguerite's family chooses to spend the summer there in large tents with all the comforts of home, and there Marguerite discovers the love of her life - sailing. Except, of course, women are not supposed to sail, but boys can, so Marguerite convinces her younger brother to take lessons with Marguerite supervising - and soaking up everything he is taught. The handsome instructor's main stipulation is that she be able swim, which she can . . . for a couple seconds, if she can bounce off the bottom. Spending more and more time with Trip, Marguerite knows she has to send her rich and boring suitor Roger packing, but she hates to cause a scene. When her little white lies come to light and family problems suddenly appear, what will she do?
It's fun when an author chooses a little-known location or time period for their setting. Lake Manawa, Iowa, is certainly not someplace I had heard of, let alone known it was such a popular entertainment area at the turn of the century. Back when there was a significantly greater divide in classes, the lake became a place where rich and poor alike mingled, where fantastic daily events drew large crowds to its shores.
Any lie - big, little, whatever - can hurt someone. And they don't just hurt other people - they have repercussions on the liar too. Marguerite's little white lies did not seem all that bad; they were largely to avoid causing a scene. However, if she had told Roger the truth at the beginning of their courtship - that she had no desire to marry him at all - rather than always putting it off and waiting for her father to rescue her, how much strife could the whole family have avoided? This is not to say everything is her fault, since the blame can be spread around generously, but could the simple action of telling the truth have prevented much of their hardship? And her relationship with Trip takes several blows when he catches her evading the truth.
As much as I like Trip, he is rather judgmental. All have sinned; all fall short of the glory of God. Marguerite is right up there with everyone else, relying on God's mercy for the foolish things she does. But Trip needs mercy too, especially for his attitude, which is far from Godly at times. It is hard to forgive that which causes enormous pain, but it must be done lest one wallow in bitterness forever.
This is a well-rounded book - a bit of danger, a bit of fancy, plenty of humor, and sufficient gravity; a spunky heroine, a dashing hero, villainous knave, and a merciful God. Cute and funny with a good message and appealing characters!
Marguerite Westing from Council Bluffs, Iowa was a spunky girl who detested the man her mother had picked for her to marry, Roger Gordon. He was vanilla ice cream and she was a strawberry sundae. In 1895 her father decided the family would spend the summer months at Lake Manawa, Iowa, that is where she met Trip Andrews when he had to pull her from the lake and she got her first taste of sailing. Her mother let her younger brother Mark do anything he wanted because he was a boy but she couldn't do anything, that is why she sneaks and lies.
I wanted to read this series because I was born and raised about 100 miles north of Lake Manawa, where Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota meet, in South Sioux City, Nebraska and these books sounded like some fun stories. I can say I really got into this book, Lorna started out with a fun, lighthearted story and by the final third of the book I was fighting back tears for Marguerite. She was such a fun character it was a shame she had to fight her mother and later her father who had always been her hero, he would let her do things that her mother didn't approve of, until now.
I would encourage others to read this book if they like Christian Historical's, I think they will really enjoy Lorna's work.
Loved the passion the author used to write this book. It was like I could taste, see and feel everything. And the characters spent a lot of time together and we got to hear all there points of view, my favorite kind of book. Can't wait to read the other two in the series, just started on book 2 and I am enthralled. Great family values too, with the perfect amount of scripture thrown in.
This was such an easy read. I'm a caregiver and a teacher. This was so nice to sit down and appear in a different time period and enjoy it! Enough suspense to keep you in it but lots of fun to read. Thanks for offering it for the ereader.