Making Waves (by Lorna Seilstad)

I'd never heard of Lorna Seilstad before. But every so often I browse through special offers available on Amazon for the Kindle, and download any free ones that look interesting. This book was free a few weeks ago, tagged as Christian fiction from the USA, so I added it to my lengthy list of Kindle books.

'Making Waves' is set in 1895 in the USA. The book features the lively and determined Marguerite, a young woman whose family spend the summer camping by a lake - rather to her mother's disgust. Marguerite relishes the freedom, and longs to sail; unfortunately this isn't possible for women, so she persuades her younger brother Mark to take sailing lessons, which she supervises.

Marguerite's mother wants her daughter to marry the dull and rather slimy Roger, and for some reason Marguerite seems to go along with this, thinking all kinds of awful things about her suitor but not saying any of them to his face. It doesn't seem quite believable that such an outspoken, freedom-loving girl would consent to spending so much time with this man who appears to have no redeeming features whatsoever, and it's perhaps a weak point of the story.

There's an underlying Christian theme to the whole book which wasn't too preachy or pushy; Marguerite has to come to terms with her conscience and the way she tells a lot of 'white lies' to get her own way. She also has to come to terms with her father falling rather dramatically off the pedestal where she had placed him, in another subplot that I couldn't entirely swallow as real.

Still, the story moves at a good pace and the writing is good. It was interesting from a social history point of view; I'm not sure I've ever before read about camping and sailing regattas in the late 19th century, but apparently these events were real although the characters and situations in the book are fictional.

I'm not sure I'd have wanted to pay full price for this book, but as a freebie it made an enjoyable read; it's available at reasonable price second-hand. Generally recommended to anyone who likes lightweight Christian historical fiction.

(Note that the links to UK and US Amazon versions of this are to the paperback editions since the Kindle versions are no longer free)

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 11th June 2011

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