Rachel Chance

Rachel Chance

by Jean Thesman

In this suspenseful and exciting story set in Seattle in the 1940s, fifteen-year-old Rachel, with her grandfather and a teenage hired hand, sets out to rescue her baby brother, who has been kidnapped.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Young Adult
  • Rating: 3.85
  • Pages: 192
  • Publish Date: November 1st 1992 by Avon Books
  • Isbn10: 0380713780
  • Isbn13: 9780380713783

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Also, plenty of racism which existed at this time, because the pastor said there's a colored person working at the soda fountain where her mom was, and he asked Grandpa if he wanted his son's widow with an n word. Rachel's dad died 7 years earlier and her mom was gone working and one day a man brought her back home, then she turned up pregnant and had a baby with the same color eyes and eyelashes as that man. The pastor came when Rider was a baby and said there were two bastards in the house, meaning her mentally challenged cousin, Jonah, whose dad had died, and Rider. Hank liked her and of course she had boobs, though they were described as "hard-looking." Not sure what that means, but of course she unbuttons the top buttons on her shirts and boys follow her home, while Rachel wears baggy, conservative clothes. I was pissed off when Rachel said that one day when Rider was working in the barn he told her that he'd kissed Maysie. It was interesting when Grandpa said about Druid Annie: "Her folks came from Wales. We don't believe in spooks..." One day they'd gone to town and Grandpa told Hank to come and help him the kids in line. Jonah had taken Rider's hand, and Hank had held out his hand to Rachel, grinned, and asked if she needed help. She thought she was a true Chance woman, not a lady like her mom, so she hit his arm hard and told him to help Maysie. Hank told them his uncle beats his aunt, and it was funny how Rachel said she ought to hit him back. Her mom said that wouldn't solve anything, and Grandpa and Rachel shared a look. "We weren't passive sufferers like Mama." Rachel said if she hit him it would solve things and Grandpa laughed, saying it's the Chance in her talking. Rachel said she couldn't because her and Hank had plans! He wanted someone from the county to take Rider away and for Rachel to be sent to an orphanage. Jonah saw Pastor Woodie in the car but the police chief wouldn't believe Jonah, thought he was making the whole thing up because he'd lost Rider and was trying to save his own skin. Rachel asked Annie if they would get Rider back and she told her not to ask something like that because she knew her fortune telling is half fake. It was funny when the social workers were talking to Rachel and Hank busted in the door yelling for her to get out here because she said she'd be right back. One of the women asked Grandpa if he lets her spend mind time with Hank in the barn! I didn't like the argument she had with Hank in the barn where she yelled at him and said how dumb he was and a coward because he believed there was no way to win when you cared about someone. It was a strong line when Rachel promised Rider's picture that she was going to find him and bring him back, and said Sis is coming. This was a time of racism and crazy religion, working more like criminals, inciting followers to do bad. She said "Nothing ever happens that we don't make happen." Hank started coming over more, even when there wasn't work to do. I expected grandpa to be on board to get Rider back but he was mad, told Rachel to leave it to the grownups. Rachel got mad and said she's sick of waiting for someone to pay attention to his letters and her mom's crying. The night before Rachel and Grandpa were to go find Rider, Hank's dad banged on the door demanding to see Hank. Rachel said "And you just watch what Grandpa and I are going to get away with." Rachel couldn't stop thinking about Hank being out in the barn, and she got up and went out there and I was so excited! I really hated that the summary gave away that Annie and Hank came along on the journey because that would have been a nice surprise. I couldn't wait to see where it went, but then Hank got mad at her and said she'd done enough stupid things. Annie couldn't believe Grandpa didn't have any money for Rachel to wear new clothes, and commented that it was to cover her nakedness and Hank grinned at her. But I did like that when Rachel went down the road and cried, Hank had come up behind her, to be there in case there was a rattlesnake. It was a good indicator of time when Annie mentioned that the Lindbergh son was killed and being rich didn't help them, when Rachel was despairing of being poor. At a gas station Hank and Grandpa were at the truck and Annie was inside, and Rachel was standing by herself when two guys came up and started messing with her. I liked that Hank grabbed her ankle and told her it was too dangerous to hitchhike for a girl. Annie had dreamed that the woman named Rider after the baby she'd lost, and I LOVED that Rachel used that against her. He learned that Rider was his son and said they could both call him dad. They stopped by saying that Hank left them and went out east like he'd wanted to to find work. He came back for her and it ended with them at some point much later when she was writing this "manuscript" and he said she left out that she'd let him kiss her the night she left to get Rider.

Rachel knows that everyone in town thinks her family is crazy, but she isn't prepared for how little they care when her younger illegitmate half brother is kidnapped, and knows it's up to her to get him back.

"In 25 years, I wrote 40 books.