Thursday, March 20, 2008
Book Review: "Beloved Castaway" by Kathleen Y'barbo
Running away doesn't solve everything
Isabelle Gayarre was born the illegitimate daughter of a white man and his lover who was a slave. She's been sold to a master she does not want. Therefore with the help of her half sister, she attempts to flee to England. Josiah Carter, captain of the ship Isabelle finds herself on, is himself running away from the demons of his past. His relationship with his father is on the rocks. When he finds Isabelle on the ship, the two find themselves sparring with each other. A relationship grows, but Isabelle has not told Josiah the whole truth about herself.
This book has a lot of adventure and romance in the story. Fans of historical fiction on the seas will enjoy this book. I liked the history part of the book especially dealing with the issues of slavery. I've always found it interesting about how in the 19th century that even a drop of mixed blood in you would make you a slave. Thus there would be blond hair, blue eyed people walking around that could blend in with the white society but would still be legally owned as slaves. This book shows this practice in existence with Isabelle's story and how Josiah didn't realize she was a slave. I also thought it was interesting how Josiah and William's father was thinking how holy and pious he was, but in actuality he was worse off than the unsaved people because of his hypocrisy. Even more interesting was how both his sons turned their backs on him and rebelled against what he tried to teach them.
Unfortunately I didn't gel with the characters at all. I felt like there was a lot of back story missing with the three main characters. After a short prologue the story just jumps right in. It's a little confusing trying to figure out where everything is taking place and keeping track of everyone. For a while I was confused about whether the scene was taking place on a ship or in a building. The story didn't really grab me until the last few chapters. The last few pages holds a shocking twist in the story that does want me to continue reading the next book. It was something I totally wasn't expecting so it did intrigue me very much. I will be picking up the next book to see what happens next.
Beloved Castaway by Kathleen Y'barbo is published by Barbour (2007)