Laura Rose White's late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a "cub pilot" to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. That is, until tragedy strikes and Laura must make the two month journey from St. Louis to Fort Benton and back in order to save her family's legacy, her home, and the only life she's ever known.
The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother's disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.
With skill and ambition ahead of her time, Laura White pursues her pilot's license and permission to captain her late father's prize riverboat, despite gender prejudice and financial, challenges in this inspirational novel. In order to save the Laura Rose from swindlers, Laura is forced to accept the help of family friend Finn MacKnight, disreputable and untrustworthy though he is, who brings aboard drama of his own. Together they face the perils of the river and their own emotions. Whitson (The Quilt Chronicles) weaves a fine thread of faith into each relationship and plot development, giving readers a view of maturity through trials. The author also paints a vivid portrait of life on the Missouri River, from the cramped quarters of the packet boat, through the outpost settlements up the river, to the squalid docks of St. Louis. Lively dialogue keeps the story's pace clipping along, and strong secondary characters Finn's sisters Adele and Fiona in particular contribute to subplots that add depth. Despite a major unresolved subplot, the author spins an entertaining historical tale of faith, action, and romance. Agency: Books & Such Literary Management.