Spirit of the Winds


A society girl who hates her proper life, Katherine Jameson escapes early each morning to ride her beloved horse in wild abandon. She dreams of a life usually reserved for men—that of a sea captain, just like her late father. Sadly, Katherine’s mother and aunt have arranged for her to marry a man who, although wealthy, is repugnant and much older. On one of her secret morning rides, Katherine meets the dashing Cadell Leighton, a neighboring aristocrat who is about to embark on the maiden voyage of his cargo ship, “Spirit of the Winds”. Cadell’s loves are his ship and the sea, and he makes it clear he has no interest in attachment to any woman. Then some paperwork surfaces that changes everything.

An epic story, this plotline is a rough ride on a stormy sea. Katherine, the epitome of a strong woman, immediately gains our respect. Cadell’s appeal, however, remains solely physical until, gradually, glimmers of his true personality shine through. The characters move from astride their horses to aboard the deck of the ship leaving Boston harbor. Pacing suffers for the first quarter of the novel, as it seems the author is feeling her way through. Prose is heavy with adjectives and lengthy descriptions—a good trimming would greatly improve this. Once the story takes off, plenty of tension and action tug us along. Although we understand Katherine’s motivations, Cadell’s are ambiguous, and he takes longer to capture our hearts. An ambitiously written saga condensed into one epic story, “Spirit of the Winds” will surely appeal to adventure-seeking historical fans.

F.S. Brown