We are interested in immigrants. Now we find our immigrants coming by plane or other means, but, we must remember that it wasn’t too long ago when our immigrants came by boat and were filtered through Ellis Island.
It wasn’t easy in 1892 to be employed as a nanny. Your charges have been sent away to boarding school and your services are no longer needed. But if you were Millicent Fairweather, who saw everything as bright and cheerful, you could adjust and go to America with your sister and her husband. It is a land of new beginnings. You may not know what lies ahead, but you know you can survive.
But there is one problem for Millicent. She is not married and an outbreak of chicken pox on board the ship may keep her and her sister from entering America. Adding to the problem is that the husband has died of a case of chicken pox, leaving the sister widowed.
On the journey, Millicent is lucky to be needed as a substitute nanny for the son of a widower who is relocating his mercantile business to America. Upon reaching Ellis Island she discovers she has chicken pox. She can’t enter. Then she discovers she must have a husband to keep from being sent back on the next boat. And her sister must have sponsorship. A whirlwind wedding takes place. Daniel, the husband, also sponsors the sister.
Millicent finds she inherits a mercantile. The store is a mess. No one seems to have kept records. On top of that the brother has been stealing from the business. And her husband seems not to have time for romance.
“Daniel may be cutting deals, but she wanted their marriage to be the very best one he’d ever made.”
Soon things start to get in the way of their marriage. “I vowed to be his help meet. It doesn’t matter that the marriage is one of convenience; if anything, that makes it even more imperative that I put him before all others. He’s done so much for us and asked nothing in return. The least I can do is be true to the promise I made him.”
Author Cathy Marie Hake offers us a story with humor and romance. She has researched the time period and offers a seamless tale of what it could have been like to be an immigrant back in 1892.
Cathy Marie Hake attempts to capture a unique glimpse of life and how a man and woman can overcome obstacles motivated by love. She does a great job. This book is highly recommended.
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