Book Review – Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad’s debut novel, Making Waves, was on my list of “to read” books for some time. I recently had a chance to curl up in a comfortable chair and open the pages.

The Story …
Marguerite Westing lives a privileged life, and she’s thrilled when her father announces the family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa. Along with other wealthy families, they pitch several tents near the water and discover it’s the hot vacation spot for the summer. This is not the kind of camping you may remember from your childhood. The Westings have also brought along their “help.”
Marguerite is delighted that she may have a breather from Roger Gordon, a successful businessman who is pursuing her. Marguerite’s mother is doing all she can to get them married, but the man bores adventurous Marguerite. Unfortunately Roger shows up, intending to monopolize as much of her time as he can.
When Marguerite becomes determined to learn how to sail—not an option for young women during that time—she figures out a way to maneuver into being taught by the handsome Trip Andrews.
The summer starts out light and playful, but soon things are turned upside down as Marguerite falls for Trip, attempts to fend off Roger, and wonders why her father is sneaking out at night. More than one person is keeping secrets. Not everything is what it first seems to appear.

The Review …
Making Waves is an impressive debut for the author’s Lake Manawa Summers series. It was the perfect book to read as we move into the summer and anticipate both fun and lazy sun-filled days.
The author did an excellent job making me feel like I was at Lake Manawa with the characters. I could almost taste the vanilla ice cream with fresh, sweet strawberries spooned over the top. I felt the wind blowing through my hair and the water spray on my face as the sailboat skimmed over the water.
I admired Marguerite’s independence, spunk, and love of adventure. It was easy to fall in love with Trip, who came to her rescue more than once. I also had no problem despising the villain, Roger Gordon, who turned out to not only be boring, but self-absorbed and dangerous.
But even heroines and heroes are not perfect, and both Marguerite and Trip have their faults. She uses small lies to hide the truth and get her way, and he uses preconceived ideas about people to keep them at a distance. Their flaws help make the characters believable and relatable.
At first Marguerite comes off as being a bit ditsy, but as the story progresses, we learn that there’s more to the young woman. She’s not only caring, she’s intelligent and capable of doing a lot more than what women were giving credit for during that time.
Light-hearted and humorous, with a touch of mystery, the story also holds a thought-provoking theme. Lies—whether they’re big or small—can be hurtful and destructive. Small lies can quickly become larger ones. However … the truth can set a person free.
If you want a delightful summer read, I recommend reading Making Waves. I’m also looking forward to reading the author’s just released, A Great Catch, the second book in the Lake Manawa Summers series.

Lorna Seilstad is a history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives and draws her setting from Iowa.

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