Widowed Lilly Hart knows what’s best for her 6-year-old son, and it isn’t life with her rich, domineering former in-laws. She and Levi head to Lake Manawa for the summer of 1908 so Lilly can cook at the diner and save money for a house. As the daughter of a woman who’s been a housekeeper for the wealthy Westing family, she’s never had a place to call her own, and she’s determined Levi will.
But when Levi’s grandparents ramp up their interference, roller coaster designer Nick Perrin steps into the gap. Levi dotes on the man who builds a cage for his garter snake and helps him catch toads, which worries Lilly. She’s thankful for Nick’s help and influence, but Levi is destined to be heartbroken when “Mr. Nick” leaves at the end of his build.
Nick, for his part, is falling for independent Lilly, who wants nothing more than stability. He’s not certain he can provide that. What he does know is he can give her the ride of her life.
The Ride of Her Life is the third book in the Lake Manawa Summer series by Lorna Seilstad. The characters from the other two novels peek in, but there is no requirement for reading about them them before diving into Lilly’s tale. As in the previous books, Seilstad draws humor into the story in a variety of ways, the most notable being Levi’s escapades as well as the frustrations Lilly endures when her boss foists his niece on her as kitchen help. Eugenia barely knows which end of a paring knife to hold and gets into a lot of trouble.
As the Lake Manawa Summer series draws to a close, I’m sorry to say goodbye to some fun characters. I’ve enjoyed seeing how resort towns sprang up and prospered over a hundred years ago. I’m looking forward to seeing what Seilstad comes up with next.
Lorna Seilstad is a history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in and draws her setting from Iowa. This is the second novel in the Lake Manawa Summers series, one I will continue to seek out. I reviewed Making Waves here.