Wednesday, April 27, 2011


When Catherine's mother died and her father made plans to send her away to live with relatives, she came up with a plan of her own.  After years of listen in on her father's conversations, she learned that instead of operating a legitimate shipping business, he is really a pirate.  Fascinated by her images of life on a pirate ship have Catherine begging her father to let her join him.

Despite his reservations, he agrees to allow Catherine to become a member of his crew.  There is one requirement.  It is well known among pirates that the presence of a woman on the ship will bring bad luck to everyone on board.  Catherine must dress and act like a boy and use the name Charlie.  The captain introduces her as his son and the voyage begins.

Life aboard the ship is not the glamorous existence Catherine imagined.  Conditions are deplorable.  Washing clothes means simply laying the garments on the deck and hoping for rain.  The food is bug infested and toilet conditions are extremely primitive.  Although, she shares her father's cabin, he quickly makes it clear that a captain's door is always open giving her absolutely no privacy.

Complicating matters is the fact that one crew member believes the captain is hiding a valuable gem from the rest of his crew.  This crew member is a constant threat to the captain's safety and should he discover the captain is hiding his daughter on board, both their lives would be in danger.

Author Eve Bunting takes readers into the world of sailing ships and pirates.  There is constant suspense as Catherine worries about being discovered and at the same time she attempts to discover the truth about the hidden gem.  Although the idea of a woman on a pirate ship is not unheard of, it is unusual and makes for an exciting read.

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