The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. – Book 1 in the Hearts of Oak Series
Susan Davis and her son, James Davis, work together to bring a story unlike any I have read before. The Seafaring Women of the Vera B is truly a unique piece of work which carries you off to sea. The amount of research that must have been conducted to create this novel is astounding and fascinating, and the plot is intriguing and believable.
This book is not your typical romance from Susan Davis. While there is a possible hint at future love interests, the focus falls solidly in the adventure category. In some sense, it reminds me of the classic adventure stories from my youth like Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, and Swiss Family Robison. I am just not sure there are any contemporary books I can compare it to. The richness of detail, the characters, and adventure, they all work together to create a magnificent story that reflects back to an era of storytelling which is severely lacking in today’s world of novels.
The first ten chapters really lay the groundwork for the story. It is a little slower paced than many books in the beginning, but it is out of necessity. The number of characters introduced and the necessary foundation of ship terminology would be too overwhelming otherwise. I encourage you to push through even if that is not your cup of tea. It is well worth it.
I struggle with books that follow the viewpoint of more than two characters, but while this story followed the viewpoints of a handful of characters, it is done naturally and not so abruptly as to make you toss aside the book. Believe me when I say I am exceptionally picky about this. I was very impressed with the authors’ mastery of that particular skill for this novel.
Once past the first ten chapters the pace of the story picks up and continues to grow in intensity and speed. How can it not with a mischievous little boy, a stow-away man on a ship full of women, pirates, and all the true struggles that come from that many women together learning to do a dangerous and difficult job? There is fighting and there is death, but the details of it are not gruesome, unrealistic, or overwhelming.
Seafaring Women of the Vera B is a swashbuckling adventure I would highly recommend to men and women alike who love adventure and attention to detail. It is truly a rare breed of book, especially in Christian fiction.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which you have read above.*
With the ship’s captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population. In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected. Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry bordello and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, the seafaring women of the Vera B. find their escape in question.
– Blurb from Amazon.com