This is my review of the book By the Mast Divided by David Donachie. Having not read any of David's books before, I was a little apprehensive on reading this as to weather or not I would enjoy it. Especially as I do enjoy reading Patrick O' Brian's stories, and from the cover this did seems as if it could have been in a similar vain.
But I need not have worried, though they are both nautical and set in a similar time frame they are very different in style and content and both really enjoyable.
So getting to the plot line – Our hero of the hour is a certain John Pearce, who is illegally press ganged from the Pelican Tavern onto the HMS Brilliant, a frigate on its way to war, against the French.
Initially John tries to escape, but when he finds that this is not possible he forms a friendship with a group of other press ganged landlubbers. They form the gang of Pelican's and aim to look after themselves, with John as the leader. The narrative is very clever in so much as they are the bottom of the pile as far as the Navy goes and the description of life on board for these men is very realistic giving one real sympathy with them and their plight.
So HMS Brilliant goes off to war chasing a French Privateer along the channel. John shines and uses his natural skills to help the situation despite the captain.
I found it an enjoyable book, that brought back past memories of sailing in the channel – not chasing after a Privateer, but fighting against the wind and the waves. This is the first book in a series and I will be looking forward to reading the next, to see what happens to John. Though I somehow doubt that he manages to escape from the Navy otherwise there would not be a series of books about John on the High Seas.
This was book 30 week 23 fiction 27 (audio book 6) non fiction 3.
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.