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.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Commodore

Patrick O'Brian's The Commodore finds Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin returning to England after a long voyage across the world. Jack returns to his wife Sophie and his three young children who hardly know him. Sophie has become displeased with Jack because of her assumptions about his relationship with Clarissa, the young woman who returned from Australia with Mr. Oakes. After Mr. Oakes died, Clarissa moved in with Stephen's wife Diana and helped her with their daughter Brigid.

Stephen is saddened to learn that Brigid has a learning disability and doesn't speak or relate to others. However he is encouraged to find that she copies his assistant Padeen and starts to speak Irish. In order to protect Clarissa from legal persecution, he moves her and Padeen and Brigid to his property in Spain.

Meanwhile, Jack is assigned the position of commodore of a squadron of ships assigned to disrupt the slave trade off the African coast. They capture several slave ships, and Jack and Stephen are appalled at the terrible conditions on board. Stephen goes on shore and ends up with a case of yellow fever.

After disrupting the slave trade, Jack's orders are to follow a French flotilla as they move toward Ireland. After a brief skirmish, the squadron captures some French ships and Stephen goes on shore. Stephen encounters an old friend who takes him to the nearby cottage where Diana is staying.

This book is more of a series of smaller stories than a book with a single plot. The pieces work well together, even if they aren't as exciting as larger narrative. It is nice to see the characters reach home again after several books where they're having great adventures around the world. We get to see Jack's and Stephen's families and what they've been through while the men have been away. While not one of the more exciting chapters, it's a pretty good part of the series. B


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