November of the Heart

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4.02 · 14 ratings · Published: Mar 1st, 1994 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
Set at the turn of the century, November of the Heart tells of Lorna Barnett, a young woman from a wealthy Saint Paul family, and Jens Harken, the ambitious dreamer who works in the kitchen of her family’s summer estate. Lorna’s father, Gideon, an avid sailor, is determined to claim victory for his own White Bear Yacht Club in the next summer regatta. Having recently suffered defeat at the hands of the rival club, Gideon is willing to do almost anything to win back the prize he sees as his.

Jens, pressed into service as a waiter as an elegant family dinner party, overhears Gideon’s lament, and is sure his boatbuilding skills can be put to use on behalf of his employer. Brazenly crossing the boundary between servant and master by offering to design and build a boat that is sure to win the race. Jens incites Gideon’s ire but piques his interest too. With Lorna’s help, he convinces Gideon to finance the project.

Grateful for her intervention yet wary of jeopardizing his chance to build the boat of his dreams, Jens nevertheless is powerless to face of Lorna’s growing interest in the boat and him. He soon finds himself eagerly awaiting her visits to the boatshed, and stars teaching her about the craft of boatbuilding, as well as the craft of love.

Despite the rigid caste system which keeps them apart, Lorna and Jens are drawn inexorably together, and begin an affair as fresh and innocent as the summer itself. But the repercussions of their passionate idyll soon separate them against their shame to endure loneliness where it is always “November of the heart.”

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