This is the third book I read by Johanna Craven and like her other books it is meticulously researched. She has set her story in 1740’s cornwall , a time when taxes where high and smuggling therefore rife. We are introduced to Isaac Bailey and his much younger sister Scarlet. After the death of his parents, Isaac does not only have to care for his sister but also has to pay of his father’s debt. The writer has put her characters in some desperate situations and they don’t always take the noblest way to get them out of these situations. This is what I like about this writer; her characters are flawed and complex in their motives. Like Scarlet who is innocent and trusting of her fellow man, but often finds herself descending into a dark and uncontrollable rage. The wild country side and the unpredictable sea form an atmospheric back drop and we can understand why the villagers are so superstitious. People where ill-informed and couldn’t explain the strange events Mother Nature had in store for them. This is the first of a trilogy and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes the Baileys
Saturday, 11 August 2018
I'm getting through my books a bit slowly these days. Work is getting in the way and I stopped taking the kindle to the beach as it was giving me a sore neck. So a bit more time between reviews. This week it was back to my favourite genre; Historical fiction. Johanna Craven has become a favourite of mine and this book was very good, but I preferred her other 2 books I've reviewed.
Monday, 11 December 2017
I've read a book by this author a few months back and thought it was excellent. So no hesitation to pick up this historical fiction novel. The history plays a bit of a supporting role as it is more about the two main characters in this story. But it was a surprising and good story. 5 stars.
This book is set in the 1830’s and inspired by a true story. An escaped convict hides out in the Van Diemen’s land bush (now Tasmania) after 11 years of hiding he has forgotten how to speak. Then into his silent world stumbles a young woman with a little girl in tow.
This was a great book that would also work as a stage play as most of the action is between the two main characters Grace Ashwell and Alexander Dalton. It feels quite claustrophobic as the two are enclosed by the unforgiving forest. She is not sure if she can trust him but needs him to survive. He is bewildered by having suddenly another human being around and isn’t sure what to do. He is also haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades that escaped with him. Bit by bit it is revealed what happened to them both.
I was very surprised by this book as it didn’t go in the direction I thought it would and the second part was a real treat as the plot turned and twisted. Recommended if you like historical fiction or thrillers and ghost stories, there is plenty of story here to please a broad readership.
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
This writer is enjoying a few days holidays. With some excellent beach weather, it means that I'm reading a lot. What after all is better than getting a golden tan while enjoying a good book. This one went particularly well with waves lapping away gently in the back ground. A great story with good character development. 5 stars.
I enjoyed this book immensely; it had everything a good seafaring yarn should have. A captain haunted by the past and teetering on the brink of insanity. A plucky heroine in the shape of French stowaway Catherine. Hiding below decks was another female, a crew member, pretending to be a boy. Our anti-hero Harry; who went seeking adventure but got rather more than he bargained for. Add to this a rebellious crew and you have a powder keg of a pirate ship and all the elements of a gripping story. Captain Archer is a great character and we get inside of his whisky fuelled mind. He is temperamental and unpredictable and he took his ship and us the reader in some unexpected directions. The story is set against the back drop of a period where privateers no longer had the backing of king and count and some, like our captain, turned to piracy. Also the events that took place in Port Royal, Jamaica, in 1692. I Love reading historical novels and doing some further reading on Wikipedia to get more factual information. I couldn’t fault the writer on her research and the way she brought this particular time in history to life. But even if history leaves you cold, this is a riveting adventure story first and foremost.