Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Pirate Captain's Daughter

If you want a plain, old-fashioned pirate story with all of the "Arg," sweat, and grime, I suppose The Pirate Captain's Daughter, by Eve Bunting, is just that. There's nothing much special about it. Fifteen-year-old Catherine loses her mother and decides she wants to join her father's pirate crew, but no one can know that she's a girl. It's bad luck to have women aboard. So, she becomes Charlie and quickly realizes how unromantic a pirate life can be. There's no privacy for a girl, and the fighting is terrible. But to complicate matters, some of the pirates are after a piece of treasure her father well as their own chance to be captain.

I'm going to include a bunch of SPOILERS here because I can't give you an accurate picture about how I feel toward the book without including the end. A cabin boy named William discovers Catherine's secret, and they begin to form a relationship of sorts. When the truth comes out, the captain dies trying to protect his daughter, and William and Catherine are marooned on a bare rock island. They fall in love as they are dying, but at the last moment, a ship comes to their rescue.

Like I said, there's not much to this story. It's a short, simple tale of a girl who discovers that being a pirate isn't actually all that great and barely escapes with her life. The romance is underplayed, so don't read this book for that aspect. The book ended kind of abruptly, at least on an emotional level. The physical ending is fine. They are about to be rescued, end of story. Why drag it out? But I wanted more emotional resolution, and perhaps that's what was lacking throughout the story. There's no emotional depth, and I had a hard time really identifying with the characters or caring where the story went.

But pirates aren't emotional, so if it's a good pirate yarn you're looking for, you might find The Pirate Captain's Daughter to be a fun ol' romp.

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