Everlasting is a comfort read. It’s kind of like having cake for dinner. It’s really sweet and a little silly, but sometimes it hits the spot.
Camille Rowen is a young girl living in 1850s San Francisco, but she’s not like other young girls. She’d rather go adventuring with her sea captain father than hang around the city being a proper lady. But Camille’s adventuring days seem numbered. She’s engaged to Randall Jackson, a wealthy young man, and their wedding is scheduled to take place in just a few months. Right after Camille and her father get back from that one last trip to Australia.
Unsurprisingly, the voyage to Australia goes anything but smoothly. Storms at sea, heartbreaking loss, rumors of a hidden magical treasure, forbidden love, a dangerous journey through harsh terrain with enemies in hot pursuit — Angie Frazier packs all the elements of a tale of high adventure into Everlasting. The plot is a little reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean and a little reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie, but it’s a lot of fun and would probably make a good movie itself. The twists are sometimes predictable and the villains a bit bumbling (when notorious murderers capture you in Frazier’s world, they just tie you up and go on about their business). These factors make the story feel more cinematic and less gritty, but don’t dampen the fun much. Like I said, a comfort read.
I appreciate Frazier’s unusual choice of a setting (the Australian outback) and the feistiness of Everlasting’s heroine. I wish I could bottle up some of Camille’s headstrong personality and distribute it to a few of the other young-adult heroines I’ve read in the past few years.
Everlasting is probably not going to stick with me forever, but it was enjoyable while I was reading it, and I recommend it to preteen or teen readers who are fans of the movies mentioned above. It’s a good book to curl up with when the weather is nasty and you’ve had a rough day. Make some hot cocoa and let Angie Frazier take you away on a grand adventure.
Everlasting — (2010-2011) Young adult. Publisher: Sailing aboard her father’s ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a lady in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love in order to preseve her social standing. On her last voyage before the wedding, Camille learns the mother she has always believed dead is in fact alive and in Australia. When their Sydney-bound ship goes down in a gale, and her father dies, Camille sets out to find her mother and a map in her possession — a map believed to lead to a stone that once belonged to the legendary civilization of the immortals. The stone can do exactly what Camille wants most: bring someone back from the dead. Unfortunately, her father’s adversary is also on the hunt for the stone, and she must race him to it. The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar — a handsome young sailor and her father’s first mate — who is in love with Camille and whom she is inexplicably drawn to despite his low social standing and her pending wedding vows. With an Australian card shark acting as their guide, Camille eludes murderous bushrangers, traverses dangerous highlands, evades a curse placed on the stone, and unravels the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance sixteen years earlier. But when another death shakes her conviction to resurrect her father, Camille must choose what — and who — matters most.