Lizzy Enders is furious. Her father has abandoned her at a girls school run by the Sisters of Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory. She's surrounded by Catholics, who pray to Saint Joseph and tell stories of beheadings and bleeding saints—but she's a Methodist! Shunned by the other girls, Lizzy makes friends with José, a wandering carpenter. José has been hired to build a staircase in the new chapel, but he has just three tools and no nails.
When José builds an elaborate spiral staircase in mere weeks, everyone is stunned. Then he disappears, leaving questions but no answers. Speculation abounds, and Lizzy wonders if maybe the way she sees things is not always the way things are.
Inspired by the real-life legend of the "miraculous" staircase in the Chapel of Loretto, Ann Rinaldi skillfully blends the mystery surrounding the staircase's builder with the daily trials of a spunky thirteen-year-old girl charting her own path in the 1870s.
Did you find this review helpful?