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A Young Wife
When fifteen-year-old Minke van Aisma is sent from her small village in the Netherlands to tend the dying wife of the much older Sander DeVries, she has no idea what awaits her. She is unprepared for his sumptuous home in Amsterdam, for the tension in the household caused by the couple’s disagreeable daughter and impaired son, or for the mystery around Sander’s background and business.
Upon his wife’s death Sander astonishes Minke by proposing marriage. And she astonishes herself by accepting. Within days she is on a ship headed for the oilfields of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina.
Her companions aboard ship include a wealthy oil speculator, Frederik Dietz, his haughty wife, Tessa, their sickly daughter, Astrid, and Sander’s old friend and business partner, the elegant Dr. Cassian Tredegar.
I was a city girl, born in Burbank California to a pair of ambitious parents who moved the family every few years as my father sought greater responsibilities in the then-bourgeoning aviation industry. We finally settled in New York City long enough for me to attend high school. I was shy, too tall too soon, and only excelled at school when I finally set my sights on Stanford University and squeaked in on so-so grades.