On a bright, warm Sunday afternoon in September, 1934, Ginny Appleyard waits on a quay in a small fishing village near Colchester, England. Ostensibly, she is waiting for her father, who was mate on a racing yacht, but actually, she is waiting for her childhood friend, Nathan Bellamy, whose father is the captain. He had written her that he has something special to tell her, but when she sees Nathan leave the yacht, he has the beautiful, sophisticated Isobel Armitage on his arm. Isobel’s father owns the yacht. This is the beginning of Ginny’s heartbreak. Instead of the marriage proposal Ginny is expecting, Nathan tells her he is going to London to set up his artist studio, courtesy of Isobel Armitage. Nathan is a talented artist and a minor success among Isobel’s London friends, but their lifestyle does not appeal to Nathan. He longs for the simple, quiet life of home and Ginny’s devotion and friendship, realizing that it is she that he truly loves. But what would a love story be if all ran smoothly?
Elizabeth Jeffrey vividly describes life and the inhabitants in a small fishing village with all their faults and virtues. Her heroine is intelligent and gutsy. Fate has given her lemons, and with determined resignation she makes lemonade. As a hero, Nathan, while a decent man, is weak and a bit naïve. Ginny Appleyard is well-written and interesting and, all in all, a good read.