Friends this is my review of the book Clarissa Oakes by Patrick O'Brian. This is book 15 of the Jack Aubrey series, one which I have been reading over the last few years.
Captain Jack Aubrey is back on his favourite ship Surprise, and they have escaped the prison colonies of Australia with a stowaway, that is unknown to him. William Oakes, a midshipman on the Surprise, smuggled Clarissa aboard when the ship departed Sydney.
To ensure her safety she is married to William Oakes, and then proceeds to cause quite a bit of trouble on board ship by chatting up the officers. She eventually befriends the ships doctor Stephen Maturin, who is also a secret agent for the king.
When Clarissa reveals to Stephen some vital information about spies in London, he realises that she must get back to England as soon as possible. He helps arrange for Mr Oakes to make that journey in a prize that they have managed to capture, and of course Clarissa goes with her husband.
The writing style of the book was very noticeable in this case. With most modern authors the ratio of action to description is probably around 2 to 1, maybe even less in some cases!! Here in this book it was probably about 8 to 1 in favour of description. In the book Patrick uses words to beautifully paint, the world in Napoleonic times in Polynesia. There was one section which I though was very clever was where they were sitting down for a meal with the native queen and she gives them bowls of food. Floating in the liquid is part of a human ear!! a local favourite.
Just five and a half more books to go in the saga..
This was book 17 week 12 fiction 15 (2 on audio) non fiction 2
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