Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . .
”It's easier bein' a boy, 'cause when someone needs somethin' done like holdin' a horse, they'll always pick a boy 'cause they think the dumbest boy will be better at it than the brightest girl, which is stupid, but there you are.”
I liked this book a fair bit, but there were a couple of ways in which it disappointed me. As the quote above illustrates, there is a bit of commentary on the role of women during this time period. The basic plot is quite liberating for Jacky—she impersonates a boy and gets herself a job. She’s a sharp enough observer (trained by her time on the streets of London) to figure out how to pull it off without getting caught right away.
However, Jacky spends more time than necessary, in my opinion, bawling and dripping snot. Because apparently that’s what girls do. I don’t know about you, but my mother was the reserved one of my parents. You could make my dad cry fairly easily, but Mom was the Iron Lady. I remember that she gave me hell for crying too much at her mother’s funeral! She believed in crying in private, on your own, not in public for all the neighbours to see.
The writing style, though somehow strangely appropriate for this tale, didn’t really thrill me. Perhaps that’s because I am far older than the intended demographic for this series. I found it a decent book and a relatively quick read, but I sincerely doubt that I’ll be pursuing the series any further.
I'm almost finished In the Month of the Midnight Sun and then I will have to move on to Voyager, as it is due on September 7 and 23 people are waiting for it. I've waited quite a long time for my turn, so I'm reluctant to return it without reading it. It is part of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project and be assured that I will be reading with a notebook at my elbow to record any birdy inaccuracies that occur! Its a kitten-squisher, so I better get busy with it asap.
I've also got to read Bloody Jack before September 7, as it is the current selection for my real-life book club. As the member who made the selections for the year, its my duty to have them read and be able to discuss them!
And I still have two hold-overs from the Summer of Spies--Goldfinger and A Royal Pain. I'm looking forward to getting them cleaned up prior to getting serious about Halloween Bingo.
The Labour Day weekend is just about here. I've booked Friday off work to extend it to a four day weekend. There's the usual weekend stuff to do, of course--laundry, a bit of house cleaning, some cooking, grocery shopping, you all know the way the list grows. But I'm also going to make some time to go to my favourite used book store to look for a growing list of books that my libraries don't have. Also, I hope to reorganize my paperback shelves and get my Science Fiction & Fantasy project books in better order (and perhaps fitting on the shelves more tidily).
I wish you all happy reading and a great weekend!