Beyond Beauport


NAUTICAL ADVENTURE:  Shannon Clarke is a Gloucester empty nester who now suffers with a marriage on the rocks. Her kids are grown and her husband and she are on the outs. As Shannon wonders where her mid-life crisis will take her, Uncle Paddy makes a timely visit. Armed with letters and items from the Golden Age of Piracy, he insists they are related to Anne Bonney and other famous pirates. What’s more, he can prove it if she will set sail with him in his brigantine, the Second Wind, to discover their heritage—and perhaps a treasure.

This story highlights a nice relationship between uncle and niece. Shannon is in a critical situation when Paddy appears, and in essence, offers her a lifeline.  The book is deeply researched and heavily padded with pirate history. What holds it back is the occasional shifting POV, stilted or choppy dialogue which leads to confusion over who is speaking, Shannon’s initial lack of substance, deficiency of sensory details while being top-heavy with historical details, shortage of clear conflict, lightness of drama, and plausibility of Shannon’s lucid dreams—or ancestral memory between herself and pirates from three hundred years ago. In addition, the passing romance with a much younger man is a minor part of the story. However, readers who enjoy stories rich in historical facts, pirates, boating, and Caribbean quests for treasure and truth will like sailing along with Shannon and Paddy as they navigate their past, their present and their future.

Emerson Matthews