This was an audible book for me while we were on the island of Maui. It was an easy and interesting story that would work well in audible, kindle or paper. I enjoyed it. Here is my book review The Night Ship by Jess Kidd.
Like many historical novels, The Night Ship is told in two parallel storylines. First we meet 9 year old Mayken in the year 1629. Mayken’s mother has recently passed and she is about to set sail to find her father who she has never met. Her guardian Imka is sailing with her on board the Batavia as they leave Holland heading to the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta Indonesia) . Mayken has had an interesting childhood so far…with an unconventional mother, Mayken is curious, feisty and intelligent. She is naive about the coming long voyage, and her imagination, fueled by Dutch folklore propels her into lots of adventures onboard the ship.
In alternating chapters we follow 9 year old Gil in the year 1989. Gil is a lonely, young boy struggling with his gender identity. His mother has recently passed after a battle with substance abuse and mental illness. Gil is sent to live with his grandfather on Beacon Island off the west coast of Australia. The tiny island doesn’t offer much for a nine-year old boy, and friends are hard to make particularly because many of the islanders dislike his grandfather. Gil’s one friend, is an ancient tortoise named Enkidu who offers a humorous respite to this grim story.
The real life wreak of the Dutch East Indies flagship The Batavia in 1629 is the basis for this fictional novel. Wreaked near Beacon Island, the horrifying experience of the survivors of The Batavia is some of the most barbaric ever recorded. Kidd brilliantly chronicles the events in both fact and myth through the eyes of two small children in The Night Ship. I enjoyed this book very much. Thank you for reading my book review The Night Ship by Jess Kidd.
Four stars for The Night Ship by Jess Kidd.****
See last week’s book review The Whiskey Creek Water Company by Jan Walker
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