In her Lake Manawa series, Lorna Seilstad has brought to life an era and specific area of our history that most of us never knew existed. The lifestyle of the rich who vacationed on the shores of Lake Manawa is unlike anything I have ever imagined but it is the incorporation of the stories of not only the rich but of their servants, and the ordinary people of the area that make Seilstad’s stories so engrossing. Her expert blend of humor, romance, drama, and suspense combines to create novels that I don’t want to put down. You can count on everything else falling by the wayside once I pick up one of her books.

“The Ride of Her Life” is sadly the final installment of the Lake Manawa series. In it we find Lily Hart, former maid and friend of Marguerite of “Making Waves”, as the primary character. A decade later, Lily is a widow with a precocious young son. To escape the control of her in-laws, she has taken a job as cook in Lake Manawa where she meets roller coaster designer Nick Perrin when he comes to her aid. Although Lily has no room in her life for any man other than her son, she soon finds herself drawn to the young man who has taken such an interest in her son (and her) and who seems to be there every time she needs rescued.With a father-in-law determined to do whatever necessary to get custody of  his grandson Lily needs all the help she can get to prevent that from happening.

While not quite as humorous as the first two books of this series, “The Ride of Her Life” is nevertheless a wonderfully entertaining story. I enjoyed the antics of Lily’s son Levi and the cooking mishaps of Lily’s kitchen assistant. The suspense built slowly to an exciting climax with some unexpected results and the romance between Lily and Nick was charming. It was gratifying to watch the characters grow – from Lily learning to trust both God and others to another character’s realizing the error of his ways and doing the right thing before it was too late.

I am sorry to see this wonderful series come to an end but look forward to seeing what this author has in store for her readers next. I highly recommend “The Ride of Her Life” as well as the other novels in the Lake Manawa series.


This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Lorna Seilstad creates an entertaining story filled with delightful characters and romance set at the Lake Manawa summer resort in 1906. Feisty heroine Lilly Hart’s exploits will make you laugh out loud and sigh contentedly as she navigates the summer’s adventures.

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws’ home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger–who designs roller coasters, of all things–intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.


A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and A Great Catch. She draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Learn more about Lorna and her books on her website.

Lorna has an interesting article about Lake Manawa  Here.

Endorsements for The Ride of Her Life & Lorna Seilstad:

“With her expected wit and humor, Lorna Seilstad has penned another winner. You’ll be captivated by the characters and history in The Ride of Her Life. Hang on and enjoy—this book is truly a fun ride.”
—Judith Miller, bestselling author, the Daughters of Amana series

“Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride! With a sparkle of humor, heart-pumping romance, and a writing style that is fresh, fun, and addictive, Lorna Seilstad takes you on The Ride of Her Life—and yours—along the fun-filled shores of 1906 Lake Manawa.”
—Julie Lessman, award-winning author of the Daughters of Boston and the Winds of Change series