Skip to main content

Star-Crossed by Linda Collison

Linda Collison's Star-Crossed reminded me of a mixture of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and a more mature The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Like Kit and Charlotte, sixteen-year-old Patricia Kelley is forced into a radically new life, but remains stubbornly determined to shape it to her will. Orphaned, illegitimate, and penniless, Patricia stows away on a British merchant ship bound for Barbados. She was born there and is certain her father left her his sugar plantation before he died. She is soon discovered by bosun's mate Brian Dalton. But instead of exposing her, Dalton gives her a set of sailor's clothes and helps keep her presence a secret. In the dead of night, he spirits her up onto the deck and teaches her how to climb the rigging and track their progress by the stars.

Their secret is soon revealed, however, and she is only allowed to stay in the capacity of assistant to the ship's doctor, Aeneas MacPherson. Patricia gets through her days learning how to set a bone and stitch a wound, but she longs for the clear nights when she can climb to the top of the crow's nest with Dalton. Upon reaching Barbados events do not unfold as Patricia hoped. With no choices available to a girl in her position, Patricia numbly accepts Aeneas' proposal of marriage and Dalton leaves immediately for a gunner's position aboard a naval ship. The second part of the novel follows her life with Aeneas, while the third depicts the unexpected chain of events that lead to her crossing paths again with Dalton, once again disguised as a boy, this time aboard a naval ship in the midst of war with Spain.

Like its lovely cover, everything about this book is strong and vivid. Patricia's first attempt climbing the rigging to dizzying heights, gruesome descriptions of patients suffering from yellow fever, fiery battle sieges at sea, and the few stolen moments when Patricia and Dalton are able to speak freely. All of these leave the reader breathless and feeling as though she were actually there with them, desperate to survive. The novel is meticulously researched and I loved the map, glossary, background information, and particularly the closing quote by Sappho. "I tell you, someone will remember us." I look forward to Patricia's further adventures as Ms. Collison has indicated it will be a trilogy.

Links
Big A little a Review
Jessica Burkhart Interview

Comments

You Might Also Like

Bibliocrack Review | Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

I haven't wanted to talk about this. With  anyone.  But I think I probably need to. That like Georgina, I need to use my words to break the curse. I think that like Sam, I need to believe in my cure. So I'm going to talk about it here, and maybe you can help. Since pandemic type things got real in my neck of the woods, I haven't been able to read. I haven't been able to  reread . This has (and I am not exaggerating) never happened to me before  in my life.  I know it happens frequently to most everyone. And I have certainly always been a mood reader. It's not in any way uncommon for me to drift from book to book, from shelf to shelf in my library, until I land upon the right thing. But that drifting tends to occur over the course of a few hours. Not ever does it occur over the course of a few days or, God forbid, weeks.  I feel like I'm losing my mind. And, yes, I am fully aware of where this problem likely rates on the triviality scale in the current scheme of

Review | The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion, Vols. 1 & 2 by Beth Brower

I feel a bit giddy finally talking to you all about this series. If you'll remember, I fell madly in love with The Q  when it came out a few years ago. Now, Beth Brower is writing The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion — a series of novellas set in London in 1883. Each volume is an excerpt from the incorrigible Emma's journals, and the first two volumes are already available with the third on the way soon. I think they'd make rather perfect pandemic reading. Humorous and charming down to their bones, they're just what the doctor ordered to lift your spirits in this uncertain time that just proves to be too much some days. If you're experiencing one of those days, I suggest giving Volume 1   a go (it's only 99 cents on Kindle, $4.99 for a trade paperback copy). It will surprise exactly none of you that I own print and digital editions of both volumes.  Miss Emma M. Lion has waited long enough. Come hell or high water (and really, given her track record,  both a

Bibliocrack Review | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Since I thought I'd start with the two most egregious reviewing gaps, you get Wayward Son next. I hope this is agreeable to all and sundry. And let's just agree not to pull any punches, shall we? I'll start by admitting that this book wrecked my life. To be clear, I am not complaining. It's just that it had been a long time, yeah? A long time since  Carry On came out. Just such a very long time since I'd been in the company of these two. And their crew. And I thought I was ready. Don't I always? Must remember to learn from past mistakes. But more than that, I wasn't thinking about the fact that of course Rainbow Rowell would create nothing less than the sequel that would naturally follow the events at the end of Carry On. Which is to say a sequel that would hurt . Because everything about what happened to Simon Snow from the beginning of his life to his graduation from Watford was designed to damage. With the shining exceptions of Penny and Baz. And so th