The only girl aboard a ship bound for America, 13-year-old Charlotte Doyle finds herself embroiled in mutiny and a murder plot, and only ingenuity, bravery, and mad rigging skills will save her.
Set in 1832, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is a fast-paced, Gothic-tinged action story featuring a most intrepid heroine in a most unusual situation.
Charlotte’s family booked passage aboard the Seahawk for her to return from boarding school to her home in Rhode Island, but upon her arrival aboard ship she learns that the family that was to accompany her has been forced to stay behind due to illness. Her father is a high-placed officer in the trading company that owns the Seahawk, and since she has no money of her own and nowhere else to go, Charlotte places herself in the care of Captain Jaggery and his shipmates. Once at sea, she discovers that the crew is planning a mutiny, and a series of missteps involves her in the very heart of the matter. She might be a kid, and a girl to boot, but Charlotte learns quickly that the sea has its own code of law.
I’m disappointed that the cover of this edition of the book gives away a major plot point, one that did take me a bit by surprise. But the story has enough going for it that I’d still recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA period fiction, such as Witch of Blackbird Pond. It’s up to that caliber of storytelling.