Billowing Sails, the sequel to The Distant Shore, picks up the story of Emma-Lee Palmer smoothly enough that it is not necessary for you to have read the first book in order to be involved in the story from the very beginning. Set at the turn of the century on remote Merritt Island, this story, based on true events, blends mystery, action and the blush of first love into a thoroughly engaging novel. Throughout the trials and sorrows, Emma-Lee remains steadfast in her resolve to act with a Christ-like response. Although the style is that of a paperback romance, the story is inventive and the heroine is a girl to be looked up to. Facing the hostile actions of her newly arrived cousin, the reality of prejudice and the worry that an arsonist is at work on the island; Emma-Lee rises to every occasion with maturity and strength.
That being said, this is a book for middle and perhaps high school years. As an adult reader, I was bothered by loopholes in the plot, some losses of authenticity in phrases and some behaviors that appeared too Polly-Anna to be real. But if I were 12, and stretched out on my bed on a long lazy afternoon, I would love to lose myself in these pages.