BTS Book Reviews Issue 18 - Page 95

You are cordially invited to a Valentine’s Day Party February 14, 1913 Eight o’clock in the evening At the beach home of Jeb and Shelby McAlister In St. Augustine, Florida Priscilla squealed with excitement as she danced in circles, delighted to receive the coveted Valentine’s Day party invitation hosted by her friends, twins Jeb and Shelby. Priscilla, along with everyone else fortunate enough to attend, looked forward to this annual party of the season. The tradition started several years ago when Jeb and Shelby’s parents wanted society to mingle with their teenage children on Valentine’s Day in hopes of finding good matches for their twins among the children of their wealthy friends. Everyone anticipated an engagement between Priscilla and Jeb. In fact Priscilla let Jeb kiss her on the beach at last year’s Valentine’s Day party. Although she’d hoped for a proposal last year, she understood the delay since he and his twin sister, along with their parents, departed for Europe a few days after last year’s party. Priscilla worried why he never wrote to her during this last year. She feared Jeb’s parents would try to marry him off to a lady of nobility during their Grand Tour. She read the social pages every day and felt thankful to hear no news of him. Her heart would break if she learned Jeb got engaged to another woman. It didn’t surprise her to not see him since last year. The McAlisters lived in Philadelphia, while Priscilla and her family lived in New York. But like most wealthy families, they spent their winters in Florida. They took the Florida East Coast railroad to St. Augustine, Florida and stayed in the luxurious Ponce De Leon Hotel. Since the beaches in Florida were so beautiful, many wealthy families built their winter homes here, including January 2014 | 95