Shadows on the Sea

Shadows on the Sea

4.8 23
by Joan Hiatt Harlow

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The U.S. is at war with Germany. Fourteen-year-old Jill Winter's mother is traveling to Newfoundland and must pass through the treacherous North Atlantic, where German submarines — U-boats — stalk like wolves. Jill's father, a famous pop singer, is on tour, so Jill is sent to Winter Haven, Maine, to stay with Nana.
Quarry, a local


The U.S. is at war with Germany. Fourteen-year-old Jill Winter's mother is traveling to Newfoundland and must pass through the treacherous North Atlantic, where German submarines — U-boats — stalk like wolves. Jill's father, a famous pop singer, is on tour, so Jill is sent to Winter Haven, Maine, to stay with Nana.
Quarry, a local boy, says that "gossip ain't never been so good," and Jill soon discovers he's right — Winter Haven is full of secrets and rumors. It seems everyone has something to hide — even Nana! Jill doesn't know whom to trust, and she's worried for her mother's safety. And things get even worse when she finds a wounded carrier pigeon with a coded message attached to its leg.
Jill is determined to get to the bottom of all these mysteries, but when she uncovers the biggest secret of all, she finds herself in grave danger — and must run for her life!

Editorial Reviews

"Harlow does a good job of combining the war drama with family secrets and vicious prejudice among the local kids. In an afterword she talks about how much of the story of the submarine incursions is true, and readers will find the history as exciting as the fiction."

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: Scarlett

Although it was wartime, the dining car maintained a sense of elegance. Little battery-operated lamps flickered on tables, which were covered with starched white tablecloths and linen napkins. Jill was escorted to a table by a smartly dressed waiter who handed her a menu. A small notice on the menu explained how the Boston & Maine Railroad was attempting to keep the selections varied despite war-rationing restrictions. The meal was paid for in the price of her ticket, so Jill could have whatever she chose.

"I'll have a hot turkey sandwich and a pot of tea, please," she told the waiter. Her mother, a Newfoundlander and therefore a British subject, had been brought up with the English custom of having tea every afternoon. There was something about a cup of tea that made Jill feel comfortable and grown-up.

While she waited for her order, she gazed around the dining car. Two sailors were joking and laughing at a table in the corner. Across the aisle, a dark-haired gentleman sipped wine and studied the menu.

A blast of wind caught Jill's attention as someone opened the door and entered the car. A girl who appeared to be a little older than Jill sauntered down the aisle.

She wore a gray dress with a draped bodice and flared skirt, but the wide black diagonal stripes were eye-catching. Her blond hair was smoothly turned into a stylish pageboy and curved prettily at her cheeks. To top it off, this girl was wearing silk stockings! Jill could tell they were silk — so sheer and smooth. Where did she ever get silk stockings with the war going on?

Jill found herself staring, and as the girl turned, looking for a table, their eyes met. Embarrassed, Jill looked quickly down at her hands.

The girl stepped over to Jill's table. "Is anyone sitting with you? Would you like some company?" She smiled, one dimple appearing on her right cheek.

Jill shrugged and nodded.

The newcomer slid into the opposite seat. "I'm on my way to the shore for the summer. I'm from New York. I find the heat in the city quite oppressive, don't you?"

"I don't live in the city," Jill answered. "I live outside Boston."

"Oh, you're a country girl then?" The stranger removed her white gloves and placed them neatly by her plate.

"No, I'm not a country girl," Jill blurted. Did she look like a country girl in her slacks and Dorothy Lamour hairdo?

The girl seemed engrossed in the menu. She then gave her order to the waiter who hovered over her, filling her water glass and adjusting the silverware. Jill peered a little closer. Yes, she was wearing a touch of red lipstick — it was not Tangee.

After the stranger ordered a cup of tea and a plate of finger sandwiches, she settled back in her seat and looked out the window. "I hate traveling backward."

Jill was not about to switch seats.

"Oh, my name is Scarlett," the girl continued. "Like in the movie, Gone With the Wind. Everyone comments on my name. Only my name's Scarlett Jones — not O'Hara."

"I'm Jill Winters."

"Where are you going, if you don't mind my asking?"

"To the shore," Jill answered. "I'm spending the summer at my grandmother's estate. She owns a gorgeous home by the sea." Jill had never been to Nana's house. Nana had purchased it a few years ago, after Grandfather died. From photographs, Nana's house looked old and comfortable, with a big porch overlooking the ocean. However, it was weather-beaten and certainly not gorgeous. But this girl would never know.

"How nice. I'll be managing a tearoom and inn. It's hard to find help with the war on, you know. I'm doing it as a favor to my aunt. She's begged me to come and help her out. I know a lot about publicity and things, since my father is a producer in the film industry."

"He is? What film company?"

"Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Twentieth Century Fox — all the big ones."

"I'll watch for his name on the film credits," Jill said.

"Maybe you'll see it. Maybe not. They scroll the names very quickly." Scarlett smoothed her hair. "Daddy has promised to get me an ingenue lead in one of his movies very soon. I study drama at school."

Ingenue? Some theatrical term, I suppose, Jill thought, feeling stupid.

"Daddy thinks I need a little change away from the theater, so he decided I should come to Maine for the summer. It will also give me a taste of seaside living, since that will be the background of his new movie."

The waiter served their dinners together and both girls were quiet as they ate.

Out of the corner of her eye, Jill watched Scarlett admiringly. She poured tea from the silver-plated teapot with her little finger pointed straight out. Using tongs, she delicately dropped tiny squares of sugar into her cup. "Sugar?" she asked Jill. "Cream?"

"No, thank you." Jill tried cutting her turkey sandwich into smaller pieces, holding her little finger out in the same elegant manner, but it felt awkward and she couldn't get a good grip on her knife.

When they were finished, Scarlett patted her lips, then set the napkin on the table. "Now, Jill, tell me about your family."

"My father is a singer. Maybe you've heard of him. Drew Winters?"

Scarlett's blue eyes widened. "Drew Winters is your father?"

"Yes. He's performing in California right now. My mother is traveling...overseas."

"Overseas? With the war going on?"

"I'm awfully worried about her," Jill said truthfully.

Scarlett looked skeptical.

She doesn't believe me, Jill thought. Well, I can make this more interesting. "Actually, my mother works for intelligence. She's a spy."

Scarlett looked suspiciously at Jill. "If your mother was really a spy, you wouldn't be telling anyone."

Jill cleared her throat and lowered her voice. "You're right. Of course, I shouldn't be talking about my mother. I have to be careful. The war, you know." She glanced quickly around and gestured to a poster on the wall that showed the figure of Uncle Sam with a finger to his lips and the words Loose lips sink ships.

For a while neither girl spoke. Then Scarlett said, "So your father is Drew Winters and your mother is a spy."

Suddenly Jill had no idea what she could possibly say next. Her problem was solved as the conductor walked through the dining car. "We will be arriving in Bangor in five minutes," he announced.

Jill got up. "Nice meeting you, Scarlett. Have a good summer." She didn't linger for Scarlett to say good-bye but raced back the length of two cars to her own seat. Then, gathering her luggage together, she waited for the train to stop.

"Bangor! Bangor!" came the singsong chant of the conductor as the engines hissed and the brakes squealed.

It had stopped raining. The platform of the station hovered in long shadows of the setting sun. Was Nana there? Jill hoped she wouldn't have to hang around in the station of a strange town. Her purse tucked under her arm, Jill wrestled with her luggage. Outside, soot and ashes from the steam engine scattered in the wind. The conductor moved her bags to the station platform. "Thank you," Jill said over the noise.

"Jill! Jill!" There was Nana, waving and calling to her. Her blond hair, held back in a fashionable bun, was mixed with silver and shimmered even in the fading sunlight. She wore a white cotton dress and a mint-colored sweater.

Jill bounded off the train. "Nana!" she shrieked, throwing herself into her grandmother's embrace.

"I'm so glad you're here, safe and sound," Nana said after covering Jill's face with kisses. "We'll have a wonderful time together. Look at how tall you've grown since I last saw you!" She eyed Jill's slacks. "Do your mother and father know you're wearing those pants?"

Jill bit her lip. "Um, I bought them after they left," she answered truthfully. "They're very nice for traveling, Nana."

"I see." Nana glanced over Jill's shoulder. "Oh, there's Wendy Taylor! I met her last year when she visited her aunt, Adrie Dekker. My, she's turned into quite a young lady, too. Wendy!" she called. "Come meet my granddaughter, Jill."

Jill whirled around and found herself staring into the flushed face of Scarlett Jones.

Copyright © 2003 by Joan Hiatt Harlow

Meet the Author

Joan Hiatt Harlow is the author of several popular historical novels including Secret of the Night Ponies, Shadows on the Sea, Midnight Rider, Star in the Storm, Joshua’s Song, and Thunder from the Sea. Ms. Harlow lives in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit her at

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Shadows on the Sea 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great with suspense and mistory with friends and their families and the town.It is also in World War II and that makes it better with a rokcstar for a dad and a mom going across dangerous seas Jill winters go to stay with her grandmother and thats where it all starts
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadows on the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow Reviewed by: Magdalene Economou Worry, worry, worry. That is all Jill Winters is thinking about. Jill Winters is an extraordinary character created by Joan Hiatt Harlow in Shadows on the Sea an exhilarating novel in which you will want to keep reading. Jill Winters has every reason to feel worried. She lives in the middle of World War II. Her mother has to go and visit her sick brother across the seas. Jill¿s father, a famous singer suggests that she go to her grandmother¿s house in Maine. Jill makes friends there. Everything goes fine until she finds a mysterious carrier pigeon with a German message tied to its leg: Sonnabend Iv. Now Jill can trust no one. Will Jill figure out the message and help the police? Or will she just get herself in danger? A heart pounding story that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book is action packed and filled with adventure. This book speaks to you and looks you right in the eye. It sends a message to you about love, friendship, and trust. In some parts the author even used different languages. This book is definitely recommended for children 10 and over. This book will make you appreciate your friends and family and readers will realize how important they are. Read Shadows on the Sea and make yourself feel like you are actually in the middle of World War II.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book because i read this book in my class its the best book EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! It haslots of feelings. Go joan harllow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it and could not put it down i really agree that there should be a sequel to the wonderful SHADOWS ON THE SEA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book because at first i wanted nothing to do with historical fiction untill i was assigned a book report on historical fiction book and i read Blown away also by joan and i loved it so much that i wanted to read more by herand then i read this.
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
Now, let me tell you, I almost never read these type of books. I took one look at this book and said, "Boring." Well, I was wrong, and happy to be so. My friends gave me this book, so I started reading it. I couldn't put it down! It was very well written, with mystery and suspense. The ending made me crazy, the way it left it with those unanswered questions, but not crazy enough to hate it, like I have few other books. All in all, it was a great book and most surely worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much that I would recommend it to anyone. I am so hoping that they have a sequel. You will enjoy this book. I guarantee it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. There was a lot of mystery and excitement thoughout the entire story, and the ending left me wondering if maybe there will be a sequel. If there is, you be I'll be purchasing it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend told me to read this book because it was in maine and i was born in maine. This book is so amazing and you with not want to put this book down until you are finish. This book i think is for 4 grade and up. I say that because then you can understand it more. Because if you are younger you will have questions and those are so very annoying. And im not kidding about that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gave md so much insp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really amazing. I wont spoil the end, but there should be a sequal to answer some unanswered situations.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title of this book is Shadows on the Sea, written by Joan Hiatt Harlow. It was published in 2010 and is a Fictional book. The story is about a fourteen year old girl named Jill Winters who is sent to Maine to stay with her Nana while her father, a pop singer, is on tour and her mother, is traveling to Newfoundland. Jill is very worried for her mother's safety because the Atlantic Ocean which she is traveling through has German submarines (U-Boats) swimming everywhere. Jill meets a boy named Quarry, who soon become good friends. There is so much gossip and rumors flying around that Jill doesn't know who to believe, her friends and family or complete strangers. I highly recommend this book because it keeps you on the edge of you seat from beginning to end. It was very interesting learning the information that was transferred between countries and the big secrets and gossip that went around in such a small town. The way this book affected me is the way Jill has so much courage to do what she believes is right and will help others. In this story, the characters are likeable for the most part because the author has both good and bad characters. This relates to our everyday life, dealing with people that are either just disagreeing with us or even wanting to harm us physically. Joan Hiatt Harlow makes the characters and some of the plot a lot like reality, which made this book very interesting to read. The theme of the book is traditional and original at the same time. Because the author uses real life stories and historical facts and just adds and omits parts and makes it amazing. The way the author does this shows how talented of a writer is and that she knows how to keep a reader's attention very well. The plot of the story was very well thought out. The introduction, climax, suspense and conclusion are used just how a good story would be. It starts out simple, but gets interesting and suspenseful and you will be shocked and relieved at the same time when it gets to the end! The way dialogue is used to create meaning is, it shows how people react and relate to certain situations. The way they talk to each other can make a difference on how you understand and see the story. The setting plays a significant role in the book because it takes place in a small town and relates to the average middle-class American's lifestyle. It also show how being courageous, even though it could be risking you own life, is worth it for the safety of loved ones. I recommend this book if you are interested in mysterious fictional books. I don't read that much because reading isn't really a hobby of mine but I really enjoyed this book, and I would read it again.
reader247 More than 1 year ago
This book was so surprising. At first i wasn't interested in it but one day i got bored and picked it up. As soon as i picked it up i couldn't put it down. I loved the way the story came out. Jill finds a wonunded carrier pigeon with a coded message attached to the leg. This only begins the mysteries Jill finds. Eventually, she uncovers them. She might something along the way. SOmeone she least expects is invovled in the mysteries and crimes. Who could it be?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is cool, but the ending wasn't surprising. other than that I like this book. it was a great book. A real HF.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadows on the Sea was very perpicable. It had some interesting parts, but none that really enthused me. It was medeokre.