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Wilderness Days

This book is set in 1854. It is the sequel of Boston Jane: An Adventure. In Boston Jane: An Adventure, Jane Peck, the main character, comes to Shoalwater Bay, in the Washington Territories to marry William Baldt, her fiancée. When she gets there, she finds out that William is already married to one of the Chinook, the Indians who live with the settlers in Shoalwater Bay. He did this so that he could get more land. However, William thinks that his marriage to one of the Chinook doesn't count and still wants to get married to her. Jane refuses and gets ready to go back to her homeland, Philadelphia. But then, right before leaving, Jane realizes that she actually likes Shoalwater Bay. So, she decides to stay.

The conflict of the book is that Jane tells a stranger where an associate of hers, Mr. Russell, is going. As it turns out, the stranger, whose name is Mr. Abraham Black, wants revenge on Mr. Russell for unknowingly leaving him for dead during a trapping trip in the mountains for beaver furs. Reluctantly, Jane agrees to go on a trip to tell Mr. Russell before it is too late. She does this along with Jehu Scudder, a sailor with whom she came to Shoalwater Bay, and Keer-ukso, one of the local Chinook Indians. Although they encounter many obstacles, they get to the rendezvous where Mr. Russell had been going before Mr. Black does. They spill their story to him, but he claims that he has no idea what they are talking about. However, Jane is suspicious.

The climax of the story happens when Jane is walking in the woods when she comes across Mr. Black. She is about to call for help when she realizes that Mr. Black has a gun - and it is pointed at Mr. Russell’s head. Panicked, she runs and puts herself in front of the gun. She tries to convince Mr. Black to put down the gun and it seems like he will, but then he suddenly points the gun at them both, cocks it, and makes ready to shoot. Thankfully, he is stopped by Jehu and the rest of the town, who heard the commotion and came to investigate. Mr. Black is sent away and Mr. Russell is saved. Jane goes back to Shoalwater Bay, but is shocked to find that her childhood nemesis, Sally Biddle, has arrived at Shoalwater Bay.

Determination in the Wilderness

Determination is shown when one is unwilling to give up until and object is gotten or an end is achieved. During Wilderness Days, by Jennifer L. Holm, the main character, Jane Peck, must be determined if she is to save her friend from an assassin she unknowingly helps. Jane is in the wilderness of Shoalwater Bay, in the Washington Territories, in the year 1854. She is with her friends Keer-Ukso, one of the native Chinook indians, and Jehu Scudder, one of the sailors with which she first sailed to Shoalwater Bay. While in the wilderness, she and Jehu have a fight about a story told. Such a small argument escalates, driven by hunger and fatigue, and Jehu storms out of the cave in which they are taking shelter in - right into a raging blizzard!
A quote from the book that shows her determination is, “I had been searching since around midnight, but by the time the pale dawn light began kissing the horizon, I began to feel frantic.” It is from page 188. It shows determination because Jane refused to give up looking for Jehu until she found him. Jane will need every ounce of the determination she has in this thrilling historical novel.

Spotlight on History

  1. My first fact is on page five. In it, the author, Jennifer L. Holm, writes, “The difficulties for me in this year, 1845, had culminated in the sad discovery that the man I had sailed around two continents to marry had married another before I could arrive.” This fact shows the time period because in it, the author writes that the year is 1845.
  2. My second is on page thirty-three. “Mr. Swan saw me coming and put down the axe he was using to chop wood.” This reflects the time period because in this day and age, an axe would not be needed to chop wood.
  3. My third quote is on page forty-nine. “I was determined to have a warm bath. After scouring the camp from high to low, I managed to find a cask that would serve as my bathtub. I began the laborious process of heating water over the fire and pouring it into the cask. Finally, I was satisfied that the cask was full.” This quote reflects the time period because it shows that the book was placed in a time before running hot and cold water.
  4. I found this next quote on page fifty-one. “His challenge hung on the air. I was Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia. I could organize a party for fifty. I could certainly milk a cow. I sat on the stool and gingerly positioned the milk bucket. I took a deep breath and then a grabbed and pulled a teat firmly.” This quote reflects the time period because it shows that the book is in a time where milking a cow is needed to be done just to eat breakfast.