Saturday, December 1, 2012

Miss Whittier Makes a List-Carla Kelly

Miss Whittier Makes a List

Carla Kelly

Camel Press, Jan 1 2013, $14.95

ISBN: 9781603818971

Teenage Quaker Hannah Whittier leaves her Nantucket home to sail from Boston to her brother’s home in Charleston on the Molly Claridge. The crew of His Majesty’s Frigate Dissuade boards the vessel. The British Naval Captain Sir Daniel Spark demands that Captain Winslow hand over deserters as he pronounces “once and Englishman always an Englishman.” Hannah intercedes as the British impress American sailors, but Daniel kisses the stunned spitfire.

Not long after the Dissuade leaves, a French vessel sinks the Molly Claridge. The Dissuade rescue the lone survivor Hannah. Spark informs her she will be his guest for at least six weeks as they sail to the Caribbean. There she will find a ship heading to America. As Daniel and Molly sail together they fall in love, but she is a Massachusetts Quaker and he is a British aristocrat who expects the American experiment into democracy to fail.

This is a reprint of an entertaining early nineteenth century romance mostly on the dangerous high seas as the French and British are at war. Like Sparks, readers will appreciate the spirit of feisty Hannah once she gets her sea legs; however acceptance of Sparks is more difficult as he goes from ruthless and arrogant when he boards the ill-fated Molly Claridge to caring and nurturing on the Dissuade. Still fans will enjoy this mostly at sea historical with the reality of combat in the background while wondering if these star-crossed lovers can become a permanent couple as at least one of them will have to give up a way of life that is bone marrow deep.

Harriet Klausner

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