Book: The Secret of Willow Castle by Lyn Cook. It is the story of Henrietta Macpherson, age 11, of Napanee, Ontario in 1834. She is dealing with lots of problems as she is growing up - a secret friend who is a servant for her father's political adversary; the social expectation for her to act like a "lady"; a beloved cousin, John Alex who is rising in the world (and later became Sir John Alexander MacDonald, first Prime Minister of Canada); slavery as it is being abolished in the British Empire; and just day-to-day life for a well-off family in rural Upper Canada in 1834. An interesting note - Henrietta's father, Allen Macpherson, was a real person (I haven't been able to find out if Henrietta was real or not), and their house really exists in Napanee.
First Read: I don't remember. Probably around grade 3 or so, when I was devouring "chapter books" like crazy. I enjoyed it enough to re-read it countless times between then and now.
Original Impressions: This was the first Lyn Cook book I read, but it lead me to read many of her other books as I mentioned above. As with Shadow in Hawthorn Bay, I loved reading books set close to where I lived, and Napanee was less than a half hour drive away.
Current Impressions: It is still an enjoyable read as an adult. I enjoy the pen and ink drawings that accompany each chapter. Henrietta is believable as an 11/12 year old. And I love historical fiction written for any age group - it is a window into a different time.
And that is about all I have to say about this book; other than I wish that it were still in print.
This is my 5th Canadian re-read for the Canadian Book Challenge at The Book Mine Set.