CEDARHAVEN by Patricia Campbell


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This sudsy historical is for women only, since the emotional ups and downs of three sisters overshadow any scholarly interest in Washington Territory during and after the Civil War. Arriving with their father from Virginia, Darrie, Belle and Genia were horrified by the muddy looks of Port Townsend, but eventually through Darrie's firm management of weak Papa, a home, Cedarhaven, was built, and boarders, including one Pompey Ryan who always admired Darrie, moved in. Soon her sisters keep the capable Darrie busy-- Belle marries a minister and moves away, but lively, beautiful Genia bears an illegitimate child, Lainie, whom Darrie raises. Genia is married off twice -- once to a ""respectable"" young banker who embezzles, and to Darrie's secret unrequited love. Genia takes up a life of sin, is murdered; Lainie is set to marry against Darrie's wishes; and Darrie is left alone with regrets and a dim understanding about her newly discovered empathy between herself and Pompey Ryan who will not renew his offer of marriage. These three little sisters are vaguely familiar -- Respectable, Resilient and Ready. Unfortunate that their dreary doings obscure an exciting locale.

Publisher: Macmillan