Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Pirate and the Puritan by Mary Clayton
The Pirate and the Puritan by Mary Clayton (Rated:C)
If you’re looking for a clean, historical romance filled with adventure, action and history, this one is a fantastic read. We’re taken to 1704 when England’s Navy ships roamed the sea along with pirate ships, one of which seizes a passenger ship and takes captive Mercy Penhall, a mute Puritan.
The captain pirate, Edmund Gramercy, spares her, but not before a bond forms between them. What makes the story so compelling is that a flourishing romance between a pirate and a Puritan is so improbable, with so many obstacles to overcome, that we keep turning the pages to discern how it’s all going to come about.
As the plot thickens and the characters move in and out of each other’s lives, we understand that both must face their past before any life together is possible for them. Gramercy who was forced into piracy and learns to survive using his skills and wits, needs to find a way out, whereas Mercy, who has to endure ostracism, loneliness and the stigma of her mother’s reputation—exposing the cruel ways religious leaders sometimes adopt in the name of religion—must decide if she will allow a traumatizing incident from her childhood to dictate her future happiness.
The strength of this novel is with its characters. Their depth is explored through action and dialogue making this book different from the typical romance where explicit sex replaces character development. The main characters as well as the secondary ones are well developed, and I could easily see them with my reader’s imagination as they are portrayed realistically. The main character is unusual (rendering her remarkable) and her muteness added an interesting element to the story that intensified the plot. I truly liked her and her story.
I would have liked to have known more about Gramercy’s family and why he felt he could not reconnect with any of them. There is also an escape scene whose details were not totally clear to me; however, this in no way detracts from the storyline.
The author weaves a unique tale, well-written, with historical details interwoven in its story and vivid descriptions that bring the reader right in the midst of a Puritan town in the winter of 1704, on the high seas chasing a pirate ship before a brewing storm, and on a new plantation colony in the heat of Virginia.
I loved reading this novel. And I want to thank the author for sending me a copy of her book.