Mandie has just celebrated her thirteenth birthday and been surprised to discover that she has permission to go with her grandmother to Europe. It's just too exciting to be true!
Grandmother Taft, Celia, and Mandie are given a big send-off as they board the Queen Victoria bound for Europe. Traveling on the ship with them is Senator Morton. His attentions keep Mrs. Taft distracted to the point where she slightly neglects Celia and Mandie a situation guaranteed to mean trouble.
The girls meet some unusual people on board, and even find someone in their room when they return to it one night. Candy and fruit disappear from their cabin, and someone's valise turns up under their settee. Then comes the real surprise!
Uncle Ned won't be able to rescue them this time! (from Goodreads)
This was actually a good Mandie book. Mandie herself was pretty decent and didn't act like a spoiled brat. We were introduced to Jonathan in this book, a character whose name has been featured in future Mandie titles. Also Celia (my favourite character next to Uncle Ned and Sallie) is going to be featured in the next, like, ten books, so that's great.
I'm also intrigued about the fact that the next few books take place in Europe, starting with England, the only European country I've been in (unless you count two hours in Scotland).
As for the Mandie book, this follows Mandie and Celia as they travel across the ocean towards England. The entire book minus the first chapter or so is set on the actual ship, and I always find ship books fascinating (especially if characters don't suffer from seasickness). They encounter a mysterious old woman and a stowaway. They also have a shocking revelation about class, which I enjoyed because it feels like all the main white characters are rich, except maybe Joe, which bothers me because it implies that us poor white people can't have adventures either.
All in all, this was a solid Mandie book, and I can't wait to see what adventures await them in Europe!