You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Truelove

The Truelove is the 15th installment in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. The story starts as the Surprise sails east from Sydney. Soon Captain Aubrey, while inspecting the ship, discovers a woman stowed away. One of the midshipmen, Mr. Oakes, has brought her aboard to get her away from her confinement in Australia. After considering abandoning the two of them on an island, he decides to let them get married and take the to a South American port.

The Surprise is approached by a ship with a message for Captain Aubrey. His new orders are to go to the Hawaiian islands to settle a dispute there between rival monarchs and secure a superior position for England. Most of the journey is uneventful, the story is taken up with getting to know the young woman, Clarissa, the the problems her presence creates. In spite of getting married to Mr. Oakes, Clarissa has two other officers at odds over her affections. Jack is oblivious until Stephen informs him of the divisions on his ship.

After a brief action in the Hawaiian islands, Jack sends Mr. Oakes as prizemaster of the Truelove, with Clarissa on board with him.

This novel is light on the action and heavy on the characters. There was very little suspense throughout the story. Most of the plot involved Clarissa's presence on the ship and the difficulties that causes. There was less action involving the ship and any danger. I was a bit disappointed, because I was used to great sea chases or battles or even fights against storms. The characters were interesting, especially the relationship between Clarissa and Stephen, but I didn't feel it was enough to carry the whole book. The action at the end was not only brief but described by witnesses after the fact. It was almost like the action was an afterthought. At times I felt myself having a hard time staying interested in the stories. There were good interactions and divisiveness on the ship. Yet the lack of any real suspense was a letdown. C+


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