Maiden Voyage: A Novel
Defying convention, the young journalist Julia MacLean signs on as personal secretary to the world-famous mogul and oceanography enthusiast Samuel E Dawson as he embarks on a trip around the world aboard his the Sophia. This is quite a daring move for a young woman in 1924, especially a young woman raised in polite Southern society. But Julia is no ordinary woman, and the trip is the chance of a lifetime.It's not all smooth sailing: before they reach the open seas, Julia discovers that the great Mr. Dawson (loosely based upon E. W. Scripps) is not only brilliant, inspiring and generous, but demanding, exasperating, selfish and egotistical. He's a bundle of contradictions, energy and ill health, and working for him is no easy task. Julia is almost overwhelmed by Dawson's complexity and the difficulty of satisfying his needs.As their adventure unfolds, Dawson suffers a heart attack; the Sophia is rocked by a terrible storm; Julia discovers the stormy seas of romance with a young scientist; and she and Dawson ultimately reach a place of mutual understanding, affection and admiration. Against a backdrop of the high seas and exotic locales such as Alexandria, Zanzibar and Borneo, Julia learns much about the world -- and, most of all, discovers herself.
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