Life On The Water 1895 Heather, barely sixteen years old, had already been deserted by her father, orphaned when her mother died, and now faced with an orphan home when Aunt Betty was killed in a freak accident. With her dying words, she warned Heather to take the hidden money in the root cellar and run, Uncle Cole was not a good man. Taking her goat Nanny, and a chicken named Chicken, Heather packed the small cart with everything she could think of to start her journey south where the winters were milder. Along the way, she met people willing to offer information and advice about living along the Mississippi River or its tributaries. She learned that she might even come across an abandoned boat she could use for shelter. After a severe storm or two, she was ready to find any kind of permanent structure, a cave, or lean-to, anything that would offer some protection. After setting up camp along the river, she realized Nanny and Chicken had wandered off. In her search for them, she came to another tributary where she found Nanny and Chicken on top of an old abandoned paddlewheel boat. Thinking it belonged to someone along the water, she planned to spend a night or two in the floating shelter. To pay for the use of the boat, she started cleaning it and hauling her few possessions onto the craft. When the tinker from Big Bend, the nearby town, came to help her repair the gangway, they found the hidden compartment in the galley. The Hezekiah, as the ship was named, had an interesting history and a deed signed by the previous owner to pass ownership to the next person to find the paddleboat. With Mr. O’Dea’s help with the steam engine, they were able to get the craft running up and down the tributary. Wanting to secure the boat to a permanent piece of land along the river, Heather contacted the land owner and stirred up a hornets nest. When his son came to the Hezekiah to offer the small strip of land, Heather started on a new chapter of her life. She was still too young for the handsome Clint, but he took note of the girl trying to make a life for herself, her goat and the small flock of chickens she now had.
Every time I get the chance I read a Jean Kuhnke book. They are always full of romance, faithfulness, mysteries, and great adventures, that are just a joy to read. A Life On the Water didn't disappoint in the respect at all!
I loved reading about Heather, she was so strong, caring, and willing to learn. Like all of Jean Kuhnke's characters she was so industrious and made life work with what she had. I wonder if we could do as well in this day in age.
I loved the descriptions of the river, the barnyard animals with great personalities, and the surrounding caring community. Great, great, read!