Friday, March 07, 2014

Stephanie Grace Whitson's A Captain for Laura Rose ~ Reviewed

A Captain for Laura Rose [Paperback]
By Stephanie Grace Whitson
Pages 336
Binding Softcover
Release Date Mar 4, 2014
Publisher Warner/Faith Books
ISBN 1455529052

Laura Rose White is one of the most gifted riverboat pilots on the Missouri River--her late father taught her and her brother Joe everything he knew, and even named their family's riverboat after her. But in 1867, the idea of a "skirt" being a captain is unheard of. At least until Joe takes ill and dies in the middle of a trip, leaving Laura grieving and halfway upriver with a full cargo. She successfully takes charge of the crew and expertly guides the "Laura Rose "back to St. Louis. But it seems her troubles are just beginning. 

Laura learns Joe had taken out a loan, and if she fails to repay it, she could lose the boat that is not only her livelihood, but also her home. The only way to save it is to convince the men in charge she's capable of being a captain and pilot, and they have a few nearly insurmountable conditions. She must secure a full cargo (who would trust their wares to a woman?), she must find a chaperone (she is an unmarried lady, after all), she must get to Fort Benton and back in less time than it would take most male pilots, and she must get a licensed pilot to agree to oversee her. The only man she can find for that job is her brother's disreputable friend Finn MacKnight. She's loath to ask him--though he's as good a pilot as she is, he has a terrible reputation. But a woman alone in the world will do what she must to survive, and Laura may just gain far more than she ever expected on this historic trip.


 A Captain for Laura Rose is about a young woman named Laura Rose White.  She grew up on a Steamboat with her mother, brother, and father, who was always the Captain.  Eventually, her father purchased a new steamboat and named it after her.  Her father taught her everything she knows, yet she is never really able to show what she can do as it isn’t “proper” for a lady to run a steamboat.  However, when her brother takes ill during a trip, she is left alone as her mother tends to him at a nearby clinic.  She makes it back only to find that her mother and brother have died.  Not only that, but her brother had taken substantial loans out against the loan on the steamboat, leaving Laura in a terrible predicament.  In the meantime, in order to try to deliver another load to make enough money to pay the loans back, she must ask Finn MacKnight, her brother’s old drinking friend, to help her pilot the boat.  She has a hard time believing he’s changed, but she has no other choice but to give him a chance.
 I LOVED this book!  It held my interest from the beginning.  I also loved how it mentioned the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, as I live in that area, so I was able to connect even more.  I enjoyed Laura’s character.  Though she had Godly parents, she never did take hold of her own faith, but relied on herself, not thinking the Lord cared about her.  As time went on, it was getting harder and harder to rely on her own strength.  It was interesting to see her walls break down as she began to see that she could rely on the Lord instead of herself.  I highly recommend this book.  It was over way to soon!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

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