Sunday, March 30, 2014

Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer Holm

In Philadephia in about 1840, Jane Peck lost her mother when she was very young and is raised by her father, a loving, fun father and talented surgeon. He lets her run wild in the streets with the boys and has her assist him in his work at times and thus she grows up to about age 11 when she discovers she’s not like other girls. This mostly happens because of another girl her age, Sallie Biddle, but also because of a dreamy apprentice of her fathers’, William. The two of them manage to convince poor Jane Peck that she needs to go to finishing school and become a true lady. Her father allows her to go, despite his reservations that it will empty her mind and make her a useless human. Jane is swept up in the rules and regulations of becoming a true Lady and tries, in vain, to gain the respect of Sallie Biddle, who teases her relentlessly. Then William leaves to go off the the frontiers of Oregon to become a timber trader, despite Jane’s father’s objections that it is a lot of work and a waste of his doctor talents. Jane is distressed by William’s departure but is somewhat placated by their written correspondence. After a time, William proposes to Jane and Jane, after pleading with her father, eventually ventures out west, beginning a journey that not only sees Jane vacillate between the new “lady” side of her and the more practical, strong and stubborn side of her but also produces a great deal of heartache, danger and sickness, that eventually will end in triumph. A well written book with strong character development

Ages 9-13