Welcome to Lea Wait's website!
Maine author, historian and antique print dealer Lea Wait writes the Agatha-finalist Shadows Antique Print Mystery series for adults featuring protagonist Maggie Summer, and historical novels for ages 8-14.
The latest in Lea Wait’s books for ages 8 and up set in 19th century Wiscasset, Maine! - It’s early April of 1861. Enterprising 13-year-old Joe Wood, whose dream is to be a newspaperman, is publishing the town’s newspaper. But now he’s scared: he borrowed money to start his business, and the debt is coming due. Will he lose his business? - But it’s early April of 1861, and he, and the country, also have other concerns. The United States is on the brink of a Civil War. Joe’s Pa is still not coping well with the death of Joe’s older brother. Joe’s best friend is restless and excited about the military action in South Carolina. Owen, Joe’s young assistant, is learning how it feels to be black in a white world torn apart by his color. And then there’s Nell, a young spiritualist who supports her aunt and uncle, who claim she speaks with the dead. Does she really? And then Owen disappears, and it’s up to Joe to save him.
“Lea Wait’s lucid writing and beautifully imagined, deftly plotted tale, make 19th century Maine as vivid and fresh as today’s headline.” – Maryrose Wood, author of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series
“This page-turner juggles complex characters and plot twists to leave readers breathless and challenged to draw their own conclusions about a range of ethical issues.” -- Kathleen Kudlinski, author of prize-winning historical novel and biographies for young people
“Inspired by the true story of several remarkable teens, Uncertain Glory is a vivid reminder that even far from the battlefields, the Civil War changed the lives of children, women, and men forever.” – Kathleen Ernst, author of many American Girl historical novels, most recently, the Caroline series
(NYC) Center For Fiction: “Lea Wait’s Uncertain Glory holds up (characters’) youth and their dedication to what, in our age, would be adult responsibilities, as an admirable matter of fact, eliciting a continual fascination with how different these young people are from those of the same age in our time and temperament. ...the intervening centuries slip away, leaving prescience and promise with the overwhelming demands of now.”
Kirkus: “Wait nicely captures the infrequently depicted Northern home front of the Civil War, as well as the entrepreneurial drive that some teens shared when there were fewer age-based labor restrictions. Joe’s homespun voice captures the full flavor of a smart and determined kid with his eyes firmly on the future, richly evoking time and place ... worthy and entertaining.”
Publishers Weekly: “Excellent historical coming-of-age-novel ... a fascinating look at small-town life during a pivotal moment in American history.”
Look for copies at your favorite bookstore, or ask them to order one for you. And if your library doesn't have one, ask them to order copies too. You can also order copies online at Amazon or directly from Islandport Press.
Don’t miss … Lea and other Maine mystery writers (Gerry Boyle, Dorothy Cannell, John Clark, Vicki Doudera, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett, Kate Flora, James Hayman, Jayne Hitchcock, Barbara Ross and Susan Vaughan,) blog every day at www.mainecrimewriters.com.
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