Nov 13, 2009

Nostalgic Friday: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Welcome back to Nostalgic Friday! Since I love all things historical (culturally, physically, and personally) I do a post on Fridays honoring some awesome book that is a bit older. Many of them are books I enjoyed in my teens and others are books that I discovered as an adult that I think are relevant to YA readers.

The True Confesssions of Charlotte Doyle CoverThe True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi was one of my absolute favorite books in middle school. I loved to peruse my older sister's bookshelf and this book had a well-worn cover from how many times we read it.

Charlotte Doyle is a proper young lady journeying to her new home in America, by herself, after finishing her school year in England. She is to be joining some other families aboard The Seahawk for their travel across the Atlantic. Upon arrival for boarding, none of the other families show up. Even at the insistence of a crew member that she not remain on the ship, Charlotte is determined to make her way to America. This decision makes her the only non-crew member, and the only female, on the ship.

Soon she grows close to the crew, reading them stories, learning about crew life, etc., but it is Captain Jaggery who she finds herself mostly attracted to as he is a "proper gentleman." Little does she realize that the crew thinks otherwise. Charlotte soon finds herself one of the mutinous crew members after the Captain mercifully whips one of her crew member friends until his death. As the voyage continues, the tension-filled situation escalates to the point of boiling over and Charlotte finds herself on trial for the murder of the Captain.

If you know anything about seafarers during this time period, then you know the implications of having a woman, especially a young woman, on board the ship. Many saw them as a curse. I found this little fact very intriguing as I read the book. Just thinking about it made the story much more fascinating.

I really liked Charlotte as a character because she changed as the book moved along. She didn't keep her mindset and manners, she rolled with the punches and adjusted to each individual situation. The other characters are quite boisterous and enjoyable as well. Avi did a great job setting this scene and I believe that it is a story that many can enjoy at many points in their lives. I hope you give it a shot.


Lawral the Librarian said...

I LOVED this book when I was a kid. After reading your write-up I'm going to have to dig through boxes of books from my parents attic and find my copy. :)

Maria said...

Great Review!:)