by Jennifer L. Holm
This is one of my favorite historical fiction novels because it is so fun to read. It is an exciting adventure with lots of humor and a fascinating storyline, and you learn about life in the 1840′s at the same time. Jane Peck is a carefree tomboy of a girl until she decides she must learn to be a lady so she can marry her father’s apprentice, William. She enrolls in Miss Hepplewhite’s Young Ladies Academy, and each chapter of the book is named after a chapter of The Young Lady’s Confidante
, a book Miss Hepplewhite tells Jane to “refer to often.” However, when Jane turns 16 and finds herself on the ship Lady Luck
headed to meet her future husband in the wild Oregon territory, the chapter headings, such as “Dress as a Test of Character” and “The Importance of Punctuality” become hilariously ironic. Jane’s new situation makes ladylike manners an impossibility. When I have recommended this book in the past, readers almost always come back for the sequels, Boston Jane: The Claim
and Boston Jane: Wilderness Days
. We only wish the author would write more!