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This is the last novel in a trilogy about Cape Cod's days of sailing ships, and here Julia Logan, a young widow now married to Captain Stephen Logan (they set sail in The Crystal Star, 1978), has a decade (1850-60) of rough, punishing weather. The Logans' voyage home from Hong Kong on the Star is dogged by storms and violence: there's a shoot-out with an insane mate, Stephen is seriously wounded, and Julia must take the master's place to manage the men and the storms of the south Atlantic. (Julia had been seaworthily raised by her father, a shipbuilder.) Once in England, it becomes obvious to Julia that Stephen is much weakened, but he insists that she sail back to the Cape on another ship with her old childhood friend David Baxter (whose flighty wife lives in England). And once back home Julia finds yet more woe: her beloved father has died, her mother is mentally ill, and unsavory relatives are plotting to take the family shipyards away from her. Then Stephen, increasingly unstable with drink to ease his pain, returns and later loses his ship with many lives. Plus. . . Julia finds she's pregnant by David--the two had clung together in their mutual misery. Fear not, however. Julia secures the yards; Stephen and David's wife both conveniently die; and the two marry, although the actual parentage of Julia's baby is kept a secret. Bliss--but at the very end David will take a fateful voyage on that lofty ship, The Yankee Girl. . . Argo writes with energy and assurance about seas and ships, and her heroine is a responsible, hardworking soul--much like this novel, a solid close to a sturdy trilogy.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1980
Publisher: Putnam