Making Waves: A Novel (Lake Manawa Summers)
by Lorna Seilstad

Published: 2010-09-01
Kindle Edition : 369 pages
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When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip ...
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When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews. But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves?

Author Lorna Seilstad's fresh and entertaining voice will whisk readers away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday. Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves is the first book in the LAKE MANAWA SUMMERS series.

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Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1895

If forced to endure Roger Gordon for five more minutes,
Marguerite Westing would die. Dead. Gone. Buried. Six feet
under Greenlawn Cemetery.

Her parents would need to purchase a large headstone to
fit all the words of the epitaph, but they could do it. Money
wasn’t an issue, and after bearing this unbelievable torture,
she deserved an enormous marble marker complete with
a plethora of flowery engravings. She could see the words

Here lies Marguerite Westing.
Only nineteen, but now she’s resting.
Strolling through the park with Roger Gordon,
Once full of life, she died of boredom.

Marguerite giggled.

Roger stopped on the cobblestone path of the park and
frowned at her. “I don’t see anything funny about my uncle
Myron’s carbuncle, Marguerite.”

“I’m sorry. My mind wandered for a minute.”

“You do seem prone to that. Perhaps you should work on
your self-control.” He patted her hand, lodged in the crook
of his arm, like a parent would an errant child.

And perhaps you should work on making yourself more
interesting than milk toast. She bit her lip hard to keep the
words from escaping. Good grief. What did he expect when
he was talking to her about a boil?

“Now, as I was saying, Uncle Myron . . .” He droned on,
his dark mustache twitching like a wriggling fuzzy caterpillar
on his upper lip. “Marguerite, are you listening?”

She forced a smile. “Of course I am. How terrible for your
dear uncle.”

This whole ordeal was her mother’s fault. If her mother
hadn’t insisted she accept Roger’s attentions, she could be
home enjoying her newest book about the stars.

After the tedious monotony killed her this afternoon, she
hoped her parents would make sure her final resting place
would have a view of the Iowa bluffs, and that they wouldn’t
let Roger know where they’d buried her. After all, he’d insist
on bringing flowers to her grave and would probably stay for
a long, carbuncle-filled visit. No. They mustn’t tell him where
she was. She couldn’t spend all of eternity listening to him.
This afternoon was long enough.

Around the park, crab-apple trees exploded with crimson
blossoms and lilacs perfumed the air. How could one man
ruin such a spectacular summer day?

The clang of the streetcar’s bell drew her attention, and she
turned to see it clickety-clack past the two-story brick-andframe
storefronts. Horse-drawn carriages and busy patrons
bustled out of the car’s way. It snaked its way down Main
Street and made an easy turn onto Broadway, disappearing
into the business district. Marguerite sighed. If only she could
go with it.

Then she spotted the striped awning of the ice cream parlor
on the corner directly across from the park. Salvation.

She squeezed her escort’s arm. “Roger, let’s get a soda.”
He gaped at her, his spectacles sliding down his nose. “But
it’s still morning!”

“Oh, fiddle-faddle. For the life of me, I can’t see what harm
there is to drink a soda before lunch.”


She wanted to swat the caterpillar off his scowling face.
“Can’t we at least get that new ice cream with the syrup on
top? The sundae?”

“Very well. I suppose you are used to being indulged.” He
drew his hand over his mustache, smoothing the sides, and
pushed up his spectacles.

His flippant words stung. And what about you, Roger
Gordon, son of one of the wealthiest men in the state? “Indulged”
should be your middle name.

She clamped down on her lip so hard she tasted blood.
Glancing heavenward, she sent up a silent message. If You
want the world to end right now, God, it’s fine with me.
Upon entering the ice cream parlor, Marguerite disentangled
her hand from Roger’s arm. She selected a wood-topped
round table out in the open before he could lead her to one of
the darkened booths where the courting fellows often took
their girls. Roger ordered two bowls of vanilla ice cream—no
syrup, no nuts, no berries—without consulting her tastes.
Bland. Plain. Boring. Just like him.

He carried the scalloped bowls to the table and presented
hers as if it were pure ambrosia.

After waiting until he sat in the heart-shaped iron dining
chair, she picked up her spoon and dove into the treat. She
scooped a spoonful into her mouth, and the creamy sweetness
melted on her tongue, almost making up for the agony
of the late morning stroll.

“For what these cost, we could have purchased a chair for
our first home.”

She dropped her spoon and it clattered against the bowl,
the blissful taste replaced by a bitter one. Coughing, she
waved her hand in front of her face. “Roger, please don’t
jest like that.”

“I wasn’t jesting.”

Marguerite cringed as he covered her hand with his own.
Please, Lord, strike him with muteness. Strike him with lightning.
Strike him with anything. I don’t care what. You choose
the pestilence. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy Yourself. Just
don’t let him say another word.

With a tug, she tried to pull her hand away, but he held

“Surely, Marguerite, you’ve been able to see where our
courting has been leading.”

She could almost hear God’s laughter. He must take great
enjoyment in watching her squirm. It was punishment for
the ungodly thoughts that ran rampant through her mind.
Right now, for instance, she was seriously contemplating a
murder—that of her mother.
... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. If you had to describe Marguerite Westing in three words, what would they be? How are you like Marguerite? Different? How does the title Making Waves fit her?

2. Marguerite goes for what she wants in so many ways and lets nothing stop her in the process. Why, then, does she continue to allow Roger Gordon to court her? When have you allowed a relationship to continue that you knew wasn’t going anywhere or was not good for you? Why do you think it’s so hard to break off those kinds of relationships?

3. The desire for parental approval is a theme in this book for Marguerite, Trip, and even Roger. Which character do you feel is driven by it the most? How does the approval of their parents affect their decisions? How has the approval of your parents impacted your life? Do you know any adults who still long for that kind of validation?

4. Even though times were changing, so many things were still closed to women in 1895. Is Marguerite’s subterfuge in learning to sail justified? Why or why not? How do we sometimes justify “little white lies”? Is lying ever okay?

5. Marguerite and her personal maid Lilly have a special friendship. What challenges do you think this causes the two of them? Have you ever had a friendship that your parents did not condone, or have your children had any you did not approve of? How did you handle it? What class barriers still exist today that would influence these kinds of relationships?

6. Compare and contrast Marguerite’s father and Trip’s father. Whose would you rather have? According to many researchers, our picture of our heavenly Father is often shaped by our relationship with our earthly father. In view of that, in what areas do Marguerite and Trip struggle regarding their picture of God? How has the image of your earthly father impacted the image of your heavenly Father?

7. Marguerite says she can’t live a vanilla life when she’s a strawberry girl. What would have happened to her if she’d settled for the vanilla life Roger offered? In what ways do we settle for less than the “strawberry world” God has planned for us?

8. Truth is a major theme in Making Waves. What damage have lies caused in the lives of Marguerite and Trip? What damage do Marguerite’s own lies cause? The first verse mentioned in the book is 1 John 3:18: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (KJV). How does truth show a person’s love? Can you think of an example of this from your own life?

9. Marguerite’s biggest lie is the one she tells herself. How are we tempted to do the same? Are those lies as damaging as lies we tell others? Why or why not?

10. The word truth appears in Scripture 228 times in the New International Version, and God describes Himself as the true God. John 4:24 states, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (NIV). Clearly He values truth. How do spirit and truth go hand in hand? Why is more emphasis placed on worshiping in spirit than on worshiping in truth? Which comes easier to you?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the author:

Dear Reader,

If you’re looking for a book that sweeps you away to another time and place, I hope you’ll pick up MAKING WAVES (Revell, Sept. 2010), the first book in the Lake Manawa Summers Series. Set sail with witty, adventurous Marguerite Westing as she fights her mother’s plans to marry her off to Mr. Boring. When she discovers two new loves: sailing and sailing instructor, Trip Andrews, she’ll stop at nothing to get her way.

Since my father grew up near Lake Manawa, I’d heard stories about the resort for years. After I researched the area, I knew I had to bring this fascinating place back to life. How could I pass up a setting where the rich stayed in tents, but still attended fancy balls, watched sailing regattas, and paraded on the boardwalk in front of the Grand Pavilion?

Told with a generous dash of humor, MAKING WAVES will keep you turning pages to the end.

Visit me at www.lornaseilstad.com to learn more about the Lake Manawa Summers Series.

Lorna Seilstad

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