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The title on the spine of this 1967 edition caught my eye and what a fun retro cover. I had to read the first chapter.
The setting is post Civil War Boston and times are very difficult for orphaned girls and widows. Seventeen year old best friends Addie and Sybil run into each other after two years of separation.
Addie never left Boston but illness, losing both parents and becoming poor left her disconnected (self-imposed) from her old life. Running into Sybil makes her realize that hardtimes have affected everyone and there is no shame in shabbiness.
Sybil and her mother are planning to join a movement led by a charismatic but ugly man to take orphaned girls and widows by ship to the Pacific Northwest. Addie wants to join to but has no hope of raising the $300 fee-- with luck she may get to go as a charity case but, of course, work off her debt.
Quite the engrossing tale and a lot of story for one chapter; maybe I actually read two chapters... I do lose track of time.
Do you know the author Olive Burt? The most information I found is here in a write up (including photos) by the president of the League of Utah Writers. Olive Burt was a very prolific author who mainly wrote juvenile western historical fiction. Click here to see a list of her books. She was also a member of many writing/press societies and won many awards/honors. Interesting lady!