Lake Manawa may mean peace, but a witty debutante finds only turmoil when Mr. Boring presses for an engagement, and she meets a intriguing sailing instructor who is everything her hum drum suitor is not.Ms. Seilstad's debut novel, Making Waves, is set in Iowa. Now Iowa is not a state that I generally see as a setting (and it's not a bad thing that this book is!). And when one thinks of Iowa, making waves is not the first thing that you think of. The ocean is far away from this landlocked state, but Iowa does have lakes! One is Lake Manawa, the location of our story.
When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews. But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's
gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves?
Our heroine is Miss Marguerite Westing. She comes from a wealthy family and is expected, by her mother, to marry a man of a suitable societal position. Roger Gordon is such a man, who happens not only to be a bore, but questionable in his reasons for the interest in Marguerite. Marguerite is a girl with spunk and its obviously an unsuitable match, but circumstances may force a marriage between them. Being a daddy's girl, she fully expects him to get her off the hook.
As the Westing family summers at Lake Manawa, Marguerite falls in love with sailing, something a young woman should not be allowed to do. She finds a way to participate in sailing lessons from a handsome Trip Andrews. Marguerite experiences genuine friendship and feelings of the romantic nature. However, Marguerite's tendency of fibbing to get her way puts a strain on their relationship.
When Marguerite finds out that her father has developed a costly habit, she has to decide if she is going to be the savior to her family at the cost of her happiness. She also learns that daddy cannot always save her and may not belong on the pedestal that she placed him on.
This is Ms. Seilstad's first novel, and I found it very enjoyable. Marguerite is a very likeable character, naive, a bit spoiled, but believable. An upbeat novel, Making Waves moves along quickly and smoothly, without any laggy bits. This is the first novel in the Lake Manawa Summers series and I hope that Ms. Seilstad can continue to write engaging and funny novels while on a deadline.
This is a Christian historical novel, so there are Christian overtones/morals/lessons. However, it is non-preachy and I suspect that mainstream readers who enjoy clean, quick-reading romances would enjoy this one.
Title: Making Waves
Author: Lorna Seilstad
Publication Year: 2010
Source: Personal Copy
Here is a bit of history about Lake Manawa. It was formed after the Missouri river rerouted itself after a flood. It became a very popular vacation spot at the turn of the 20th Century. A tornado, the automobile, the Depression, and finally a drought in the 1930s did Lake Manawa in. The lake dried up as there is no inlet. Today, water is pumped into the lake, which is now a state park. Here's a link to Lake Manawa Beach Facebook page.
Here it is on my updated Google Maps of Places I've Visted Through Books!
View Places I've Visited Through Books! in a larger map