This HaBO is from Steve of the Browne Popular Culture Library! He’s hoping to find this book for a patron:
We had a patron come to us looking for an 80s Revolutionary War historical, and it’s stumped me but I feel like it’d be perfect for HABO:
It is a historical romance set in the Revolutionary War. It was published in the early to mid 80s I believe. Here’s what I remember:
The heroine, whose name I think is Kerry, is an Irish beauty who is clever and does not want to spend her life as a servant. She and her fiance are going to go to the city and find a ship who will take them as indentured servants to America. Her fiance decides at the last minute to stay (he’s having an affair with the mistress of the manor) and our heroine sets off on her own, brokenhearted.
On the ship she meets another young Irish girl, who is also going to America as an indentured servant. They become friends. Kerry hopes not to be purchased by a man who wants her because she is beautiful and her friend hopes to be purchased by a craftsman so she can learn a livelihood. They land in America and the auction is witnessed by our hero who has just met an old friend.
Our hero’s name is Morgan (I think). He is the second son of a landowner and needs to marry an heiress, but he is caught by Kerry’s beauty. The friend’s indenture is bought by a baker, but Kerry is about to be purchased by a creepy old guy and Morgan gives his friend the money needed to buy her indenture. Kerry goes home with the man who owns her indenture. He is a sick older gentleman who is a tinsmith with a failing shop. Kerry cleans up his house and starts taking care of him. She convinces the apprentice who works at the shop to follow some of her suggestions to improve business. He resists at first, but Kerry cajoles him and claims that all these suggestions are from the owner. Business improves.
Morgan keeps coming by and he and Kerry fall in love, but he still needs to marry an heiress, now even more because his brother has run the family farm into the ground and has died. Morgan has to marry money to save his family home.
Kerry is broken hearted again but determined to carry on. She has Jaimie, the apprentice tin smith, make bread boxes that she then pays her friend from the ship who is working for the baker down the street to paint them. They are super popular and everyone wants one. There is a part where the old man dies and frees Kerry and leaves her his shop and all his properties. He had no family and they became close.
She continues to improve the tin smith business and all the other business that the old man left her. She creates a money making opportunity by convincing all the young British officers to buy tin suits of armor for the joust they are having. She also buys a crate of material and fashion dolls. She then charges all the high society women in the town a bunch of money to get a look at the new fashions that are coming out of Paris. She has bought up all the lace and trimmings as well, so she pretty much can charge what she wants for these women to get the latest dresses. She also figures out a way to make a spice box that the American rebels can easily turn into a cartouche box. The British soldiers question her about this because she owns the shop, and I think she gets arrested.
Morgan eventually realizes he loves her no matter what and breaks off his engagement to the heiress. There’s a little side story where the heiress turns her sights on Benedict Arnold, but he runs off with Peggy Shippen. Morgan joins the Continental Army and goes off to fight. Kerry sells all her business holdings and while he is gone turns her attention to making his run down plantation successful which she does. He comes home after fighting and they live happily ever after.
With all this happening, I fully expect this book to be 800 pages.