Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Author: Janet Fox
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and Up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and Up
Year/Setting: 1904; Newport, RI and Yellowstone
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Janet's Website/Blog: www.janetsfox.com
Maggie Bennet’s "debut" is right around the corner. This soon-to-be sixteen year old is so excited to finally be "coming out" into Newport society. Even though her mother disappeared, and is talked about as having committed suicide, Maggie is trying to get on with her life and throw herself in with the social climbers. Her best friend, Kitty, is attempting to help Maggie in any way she can. Kitty is from a far "better" family and she wants nothing more than for Maggie to be included and marry the man she loves – a rich young man by the name of Edward Tyson.
When Maggie walks into her father’s room and sees all of his clothes and items packed, she gets frightened. He tells her that he’s had news that Maggie’s "missing" mother has been found out in the wilds of the West, and that they need to take a short trip to try and track her down. Maggie is torn between wanting her mother home and wanting to stay with her grandparents so that she can plan her debut down to the letter, but her father won’t budge. So…Maggie packs up her things, explains to Kitty that she will only be gone a short time, and gets into the carriage with her father. Going through historic America, they venture across the country and see Philadelphia, the St. Louis Exposition, Chicago, and finally head toward Montana where they hop a train to Yellowstone. From the bustling cities to the truly barren landscape, Maggie sees the world in a whole new light.
When they reach Yellowstone, Maggie is finally told by her father that they are broke – bankrupt – that there’s nothing left for them in Newport and that they will be staying in Yellowstone indefinitely. Maggie also meets Tom Rowland. Tom is a young man who simply loves the world he’s surrounded by. He talks endlessly of the hot springs, the grizzly sightings, and wants nothing more than to grow up and be a wildlife biologist; protect the natural world from the egotists who like to hunt and destroy America’s resources.
Maggie is desperate to get back home and leave her lying father far behind. She has truly been raised in a haughty society, and even though she finds herself being pulled closer and closer to Tom Rowland, there is also quite a large gap between what she and he believe, and what they are willing to fight for.
The landscape is truly magical, the love story is extremely addictive, and the characters that Ms. Fox offers up are fantastic. Not only does she completely "nail" the different worlds that Tom and Maggie come from, but she also offers secrets that the reader uncovers in almost every chapter. My advice? Run, don’t walk, to your computer, get on Amazon, and get this one in your hands. You won’t be disappointed.
Until next time, Amy
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