Creatively structured and thoughtfully executed… A stunning tale.
A nineteenth-century fictional town, with its booming whaling industry forms the backdrop for Sommers’s poignant exploration of courage, determination, strength, and the bonds of love, friendship, and family. The scion of a wealthy whaling family, Asa Starbuck has never been keen on a lifelong commitment to sea life. But with his keen sense of duty, it’s impossible for him to shy away from his responsibility. As he begins to learn the ropes of the family business, his world collides with the reality of slavery and the nearly unimaginable suffering and courage of fugitives, and he finds himself questioning the corrosive power of oppression and disparity. Sommers’s meticulously researched tale is peppered with nitty-gritty of the onshore activities of the whaling industry, the horrid practices of slavery, and the bygone beliefs of the era. Loosely modeled on the whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, the narrative is populated with both fictional characters and historic figures. Sommers’s crisp, nimble prose brings the characters to life: she bestows all her characters with distinctive and sympathetic personalities, bringing a genuine authenticity to the proceedings as her fully fleshed-out characters make life and death decisions. Asa impresses as the main protagonist. Charlotte’s courage and determination in the face of her disability are heartbreaking and inspiring. Alethea is equally compelling. Sommers skillfully mixes fact and fiction, capturing the complexities of the era. Lovers of historical fiction are not the only readers who will relish this poignant, illuminating tale.
Fleury Mills Sommers
Quality Books Publishing
Pub date June 18, 2022
Price $18.99 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition