Author: Linda Collison
Publisher: Fireship Press (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 360 pages
This coming of age novel, set in 18th century war time England and the high seasis the story of the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy sugarcane planter from Barbados. Patricia Kelley had been sent to England to boarding school at a young age, but upon the sudden death of her father in Barbados, funding stopped and she was on her own at the age of sixteen. Thinking that she could make her way home to Barbados and all would be well, Patricia stows away on a merchant ship under contract with the British Navy and bound for the islands. But she is soon discovered and is subsequently scheduled to be put off the ship at the next port.
Barbados Bound explores the factors that help Patricia grow to womanhood under trying circumstances. Illegitimacy, lack of careers for a woman, war, and disease are a few of the difficulties she must overcome. We are brought along on her journey of self discovery, learning much about medical practices of the 1760’s as well as sailing under both merchant marine and naval auspices. Dangers abound, with disease, malnutrition, piracy, war, and stormy weather featuring prominently. Barbados Bound is historical fiction at its finest.
Reviewed by: Betsy Beard (2012)