Saturday, January 14, 2012
Book review: The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting
Fifteen-year-old Catherine is the daughter of a pirate captain in the eighteenth century. He tried to keep his true occupation secret from his family, but Catherine learned the truth by eavesdropping. Since then, Catherine has longed to become a pirate, having developed a very romanticized view of pirates and life at sea. When Catherine's mother dies, she begs her father to let her join him on his pirate ship. She doesn't want to live in their house alone, especially when someone tried to rob them right before her mother died, and she finally sees a chance to make her dream of being a pirate come true. Catherine's father reluctantly agrees, as long as she disguises herself as a boy.
Catherine realizes right away that pirates and sailing ships are nothing like she imagined. The ship is dirty, the crew is rough, and some of them are cruel and violent as well. It is difficult for Catherine to keep her secret, especially when she begins to develop feelings for William, the young cabin boy who is one of the few kind pirates. Also, she realizes that he man who tried to rob her house is part of the crew. He wants something valuable from Catherine's father, and he is willing to do anything in oder to have it.
The Pirate Captain's Daughter is a quick, enjoyable read but there are a few flaws. It seemed rather improbable that Catherine's father would willingly allow her to join his ship's crew, knowing what some of the men were like. The story might have seemed more believable if it began with Catherine stowing away on the ship rather than being allowed to go. Also, the reading level seems more suited to a middle grade novel, but the content is definitely more appropriate for young adult readers. The ending is extremely abrupt, but I will forgive that since there will be a sequel published in February 2012, called Voyage of the Sea Wolf. I did enjoy the story, romance, and historical setting, so I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the topic and looking for a quick read, and I definitely will read the sequel to find out what happens next to Catherine.