Michaela Dunn dreams of getting into an art school, but when her stepfather refuses to fund a trip there for a poetry workshop, Michaela enters a local contest searching for a poet to write the dedication plaque for a statue honoring Captain Benjamin Churchill, a whaler who died at sea over one hundred years ago. While searching for clues about this Cape Cod legend, Michaela discovers the diary of Leta Townsend from 1862 and gets a glimpse of Churchill that she didn’t quite anticipate.
In 1862, Leta writes poetry under the name of Benjamin Churchill, thinking him dead after being attacked by a whale. Leta is astonished when Captain Churchill returns, completely unscathed, his death just a rumor. She quickly falls for him. But is she falling for the actual Benjamin Churchill, or the boy she constructed in her imagination?
This is a beautiful story that melds together the past and present in a Cape Cade town. It’s definitely a YA book, but I knew that going into it. Michaela, the protagonist for the current times definitely has her times where she acts like a teen. Where she thinks her step-father is against her. Hates her. Doesn’t understand her. When really it’s just a lack of communication.
That said it was nice that the characters acted their age. Michaela or Mack acted like a teenage girl. Finn definitely like a teenage boy. Especially when he gets jealous. My favorite was Mellie, Mack’s 9 year-old sister. She acted like a 9 year-old! So crazy, isn’t it!?! She didn’t act like a teen or a 5 year-old!
The story moves back and forth pretty seamlessly between current times and the mid-1800s. And both of the female protagonists from both centuries have several similarities. They are both poetry writers. And outcasts a little bit, from their peers. And even from their families, or at least they feel that way. At least until the popular boy in town starts showing them some attention. (Isn’t that horrible how that sometimes happens?) then everyone starts looking at them differently.
The ending was predictable. But the story was good and kept me engaged so I was ok with that. And I have to say I love the way the story involved historical research. Honestly, I live for that stuff so I was so fun to read about it in a book. And I loved the author’s writing style. She even knew how to make poetry enjoyable. And coming from me that is high praise.
What is your least favorite genre to read?
Thank you to the publisher for my beautiful gifted copy of the book for review.