Boston Jane: The Claim
by Jennifer L. Holm
(Harper Trophy: 2004)
In the time Jane Peck has lived in the Shoalwater Bay area she has taken charge of her own life and even become the concierge for the hotel run by Mr. and Mrs. Frink, a woman who Jane has made into a friend. Life seems perfect—Jane’s love for Jehu has grown, she has friends, and she even has a claim on a large piece of property where Jehu is building her a house of her own. But then, her old rival, Sally Biddle, arrives and immediately sets about to make Jane’s life just as miserable as it was back in Philadelphia when they attended finishing school together. Add to that the return of William Baldt, the man who asked Jane to marry him then married an Indian woman instead, who now threatens to take her land, and soon Jane fears even those who are her friends might become her enemy.
Readers will feel Jane’s pain as she struggles against Sally’s nastiness, William’s political position, and the loss of friendships, no matter how brief.