We read this selection for book club and we all enjoyed it very much.
Azuba Galloway, daughter of a shipwright, sees ships leaving for foreign ports from her bustling town on the Bay of Fundy and dreams of seeing the world. When she marries Nathaniel Bradstock, a veteran sea captain, she believes she will sail at his side. But when she becomes pregnant she is forced to stay behind. Her father has built the couple a gabled house overlooking the bay, but the gift cannot shelter her from the loneliness of living without her husband. When Azuba becomes embroiled in scandal, Nathaniel is forced to take her and their daughter, Carrie, aboard his ship. They set sail for London with bitter hearts.
Their voyage is ill-fated, beset with ferocious storms and unforeseen obstacles that test Azuba's compassion, courage, and love. Alone in a male world, surrounded by the splendour and the terror of the open seas, she must face her fears and fight to keep her family together.
This was a well written novel and found that the subject matter was very interesting. The story takes place in the 1860's and it portrayed the ups and downs of seafaring at that time. The research which went into this was meticulous and I learned a lot just from reading it. I had a clear picture of how life what life was like and Beth Powning brought everything to life from her characters to the ship to the voyage. Azuba was a very strong and determined woman who wanted so much to travel and be with her husband and she got her wish although life on board a ship at that time was far from easy. The simple pleasures that we take for granted were not available at this time.
It was amazing to hear how the weather played such an important role in the success or failure of the job. They would sometimes be left adrift waiting for the winds to blow the right way so they could continue to their destination.
It must have been terrifying sailing at that time when food and hygiene were luxuries and you also had to worry about pirates and the captain had to be very tough or else one small mistake could jeopardize all his sailors and cargo.
A riveting tale which I could not put down. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Rating 4 1/2 out of 5