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May 24, 2016

Boston Jane: An Adventure

Boston JaneBoston Jane: An Adventure

By: Jennifer L. Holm

Jane Peck has been raised by her father, a doctor, in 1850’s Philadelphia. She has been allowed to run wild with the neighbor boys, spitting and throwing things and working with her father in his surgery, something that genteel young ladies don’t do. When Jane is eleven years old, William, a handsome young man, comes to work with her father as an apprentice. He encourages her to be a proper young lady so Jane enrolls in the snobby Miss Hepplewhite’s Young Ladies Academy.  Miss Hepplewhite isn’t sure that she wants to take on this wild child, but she rises to the challenge and Jane is taught etiquette, embroidery and how to manage servants.  Jane is hoping these skills will make her a “proper” wife for William.  After his apprenticeship, William goes to the Pacific Northwest to set up his practice.  When Jane is almost sixteen, she receives a letter from William asking her to marry him. Against her father’s wishes, she boards the Lady Luck, a ship headed to Oregon and the Washington Territory.

On the harrowing five-month sea voyage, Jane has her sixteenth birthday and endures harsh conditions on the ship including months of sea sickness and the death of her companion, Mary. When she does arrive at her destination, William is nowhere to be found and she is alone. Forced to adapt, Jane has to bunk with a strange assortment of settlers and trackers while she searches for her missing fiancé. She also has to learn how to overcome cultural differences so she can interact with the Chinook Indians who nickname her Boston Jane.

Jane is a strong, feisty heroine who must learn to cope and thrive as she quickly discovers that nothing she has learned in finishing school will work on the frontier.  This book has adventure, romance, humor and a wonderful heroine in Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia. Or, is she now Boston Jane of the Frontier?  Read this terrific book to find out!

Review By: Jan Bridges