When Rebekah Harden goes looking for a job at Mammoth Cave, there are no openings for a girl--just a cave guide, and those have always been men. Determined to help her family, Rebekah dresses as a man, and under the protection of experienced guide, learns the ropes of the cave. When university student Devlin comes to map the extensive cave system, Tolly and Rebecca are his guides. Can a rich politician's son and a hillbilly girl have a future together?
I enjoyed learning the history of Mammoth Cave and the surrounding area. I really liked Tolly and the way he watches out for Rebekah in body, heart, and reputation. For me, he was far more intriguing than Devlin, as Tolly is a son of slaves yet so proud of the history his ancestors had in making this country, even back to the War of 1812 and Revolutionary War. I didn't have any idea what role the Mammoth Cave had in our nation's history, or the vital importance of the people (mostly slaves) who worked in it.
Rebekah is sweet and sympathetic. Devlin didn't do much for me as far as heroes go. Cissy (Rebekah's sister) is pretty frustrating--foolish, ignorant, and
selfish, which makes for a bad combination. It's hard to find something
redeemable in her until the very end, and by that point I'd grown weary
of her rebellious shenanigans.
One thing I really appreciated is that though Rebekah dresses as a man, it's not really a secret that she's a girl--it's just not advertised to the visitors, so she receives more respect. It's a lot more believable than most cases where a pretty girl dresses as a man and somehow pulls it off for weeks or months on end.
Thank you Blogging for Books for providing a free book to review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.