Embracing The Elephant

Written by Lori Hart Beninger
Review by Mary Galliver

Guinn is barely eleven years old when she finds herself undertaking a perilous eight-month voyage from Boston to join her widower father in the new American territory of California. The voyage will be difficult and dangerous, her father warns her, and so it is. Moreover, Guinn’s new life in California is not what she had imagined: instead of a nice home with an adoring father and proper schooling, she finds herself faced with a distant father, hard work, and the harsh and dangerous environment of a mining camp. Ultimately Guinn and her father reconnect, and as the book ends it appears Guinn’s dreams may be within reach after all.

Beninger’s skillful use of language pulls you into the story, and makes the scenes come alive. You can almost taste the salty sea-water on your lips, smell the exotic scents of the ship’s South American ports of call, and feel the dizzy rocking of the ship and the passengers’ terror as they round Cape Horn. Equally impressive, this story has something for everyone: a coming-of-age tale, adventure, romance, and a page-turner plot. The book is equally well presented, with an eye-catching cover image, a comfortable font, and nary a typo or grammatical error to be found  I whole-heartedly recommend this book.