May 2010, Speak
336 pages, Paperback
Copy received as a stop on a blog tour courtesy of UK Book Tours
Young Adult, historical
Family drama, mild romance, adventure, mild peril, personal discovery
Summary from Janet Fox's website
In 1904 Margaret Bennet has it all – money, position, and an elegant family home in Newport, Rhode Island. But just as she is to enter society, her mother ruins everything, first with public displays, and finally by disappearing. Maggie’s confusion and loss are compounded when her father drags her to Yellowstone National Park, where he informs her that they will remain. At first Maggie’s only desire is to return to Newport. But the mystical beauty of the Yellowstone landscape, and the presence of young Tom Rowland, a boy unlike the others she has known, conspire to change Maggie from a spoiled girl willing to be constrained by society to a free-thinking and brave young woman living in a romantic landscape at the threshold of a new century
Maggie is funny. I feel really sorry for her, not knowing the truth of what's going on. As a reader it's obvious something is up, but Maggie notices a little too late on some issues, and catches on with other issues (like how much of a creep a certain character is). Yes, she is spoiled, and I find the story of spoiled girls entertaining. Maggie doesn't realise how she acts some of the time - she may be sixteen but she can be a brat (I guess that's hormones for you). However, she has a lot on her plate, and not really anyone to confide in. She does confide in Tom a little, but she manages to get on his wrong side too. She strikes up a surprise friendship with a character who goes on to play a great role in her life, a role that evolves around her family's great secret. The fact that Maggie can make friends (as well as temporarily lose them) shows she isn't a hopeless spoiled madam. She has a big heart, and other people see that. There are plenty of twists in this part of her life, which made me gasp when I read them (literally). Maggie matures a lot over the course of the novel, and her father loosens up as well (eventually, he gets even stricter at one point). After reading this book, one day I hope to visit Yellowstone Park, to see its wonders for myself.
Maggie's adventures shows that when all seems to be lost, it isn't. There is always a bright side to a situation, and everything works out for the best in the end, even if its not what we imagined the outcome to be.
If you liked this, try The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig