From the Publisher
“Reading Eugenia Price’s Savannah is rather like sinking into a large, old-fashioned armchair!” —New York Times
“A good, strong story . . . the Savannah of the early 19th century comes so sharply into focus that I felt I actually had lived here during that time!” —Savannah News-Press
“Her finest story . . . impressive.” —Augusta Chronicle
“Eugenia Price is a name spoken with affection by millions of readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“Newcomers to Ms. Price's work should soon join her legions of faithful readers.” —Chattanooga Times
“[Price is] a consummate storyteller of meticulously researched and emotionally moving novels of the South.” —Rave Reviews
Read an Excerpt
Hands gripping the rail of the plunging schooner Eliza, young Mark Browning, his well-tailored clothes wet and rumpled, stood on deck alone, determined not to be sick. From beneath a fashionable slouch cap, strands of damp chestnut hair clung to his lean face as he struggled for balance against the sea.
Except for trips by boat to and from his Philadelphia home and Yale College, Mark had never sailed. His late father’s tales of storms at sea, however graphic, in no way prepared him for this. Even so, his resolve held. Mark was headed for Savannah to build a life, to make his own way. He meant someday to create his own family because the last two other members of the small one into which he was born twenty years ago were now dead. There were friends and connections, but no one mattered anymore back in Philadelphia.
Bearing south, the schooner slid down, then vaulted up and over gray walls of towering Atlantic waves. Mark’s slender, strong body, more than adequate to any test he’d ever given it, was no match for this power. The Eliza floundered helplessly, inching forward, then seeming to rush back—getting nowhere. There was no visible storm, no rain, no wind, but the sea raged and hurled its weight over the deck—not in a regular motion so that a man might anticipate the next dousing—but with quixotic, uneven force, as though designed to take him off guard, to catch him with his hands momentarily loosed on the railing. There were no women or children aboard and most men were below, as were his cabin mates, too ill to move from their berths. Now and then during the turbulent morning, a few passengers braved the deck in desperation, unable to endure the smell of sickness in the stuffy staterooms and half- ashamed, as was Mark, that their stomachs churned when, in truth, there was no recognizable storm.
“Mind over matter,” he imagined he heard dead Aunt Nassie’s voice chide. “You’ve a strong mind, Mark—a Browning mind. Use it! Just concentrate. You won’t be ill. Concentrate. ”
On what? The sleek, handsome schooner Eliza—his only protection from the flailing sea? In fair weather, he was sure she rode high in the water, her bow proud and sharp, cleanly severing the waves, gliding, cradling passengers in safety for sun- and moonlight strolls on her deck, for sound sleep in her small, but adequate, cabins and staterooms.