Deep Harbor is the second book in the Northern Lights series by Lisa Tawn Bergen, but it’s written so that it’s not necessary to read the first book (though, of course, you have more background on the characters and their current situation if you do). The story focuses on three females—two are sisters and the third is a friend of one sister and is raising the daughter of the other sister. Why is she raising someone else’s daughter? Well, Tora’s daughter is the younger half-sister of Kaatje’s daughter because Tora and Kaatje’s husband had an affair. Tora didn’t want the burden of a child while trying to trap her wealthy boss into marriage, so she gave the child to Kaatje. Kaatje, meanwhile, is abandoned by the cheating husband and ends up relying on her neighbors for help with the farm. Whew! Tora’s sister Elsa is the only one who doesn’t have problems at the start of the book. Elsa has a son with her wonderful husband, who is quite wealthy. Elsa even has a job of her own writing for The New York Times.
The three separate lives come together quickly. Elsa’s husband (a ship captain) is thrown overboard during a storm. Tora’s boss finds out about her lies and fires her. She tries to make it on her own, but is kidnapped and assaulted before being abandoned in an unfamiliar city. Of course, Seattle just so happens to be where Elsa is grieving her husband. Kaatje comes to Seattle as well at the request of Elsa, who feels bad that Kaatje is raising Elsa’s niece all on her own.
There’s action and romance. While the characters all do dumb things at times (good job of antagonizing the pirate who’s after you by writing about him in the Times, Elsa!), they are likable; though it does take a bit longer for Tora to redeem herself. It was nice to see women in the late 1880s taking care of themselves.
Review copy provided by the publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah.