About the Book
Lola was a young child when she was stolen from her gypsy family in England and sold into prostitution. Through a combination of spirit and luck (both good and bad) she eventually finds herself indentured to a wealthy family in the southern United States. Learning quickly that she can rely on no-one but herself, Lola finds a way to strike out on her own and she heads for Nassau. It is there that she meets (and falls for) the dread pirate Blackbeard ...
Why I Read It
This book arrived in the mail as an unsolicited review copy. Generally I donate all unsolicited books to charity but this one caught my attention for some reason. I guess I was in the mood for a pirate adventure!
The cover is very eye-catching, don't you think? I'm not usually one to notice a book cover but this one is pretty striking. A friend saw me reading it and was enthralled by the cover so apparently I'm not alone in this. What do you think of it?
Okay, on to the actual review ... Do you remember when I wrote about the Bloody Jack books? I couldn't help but compare those books with this one since they have a lot of the same subject matter. Whereas Jacky seems to catch all the breaks (at least, all the ones having to do with her "virtue"), Lola's story is much more realistic. Bad things happen to Lola again and again, but - sad, but true - they are the kinds of things you would expect to happen to a young, pretty girl without family in this time and place. My heart broke for the situations she found herself in (some of them were truly horrible). Still, Lola is a great character and I was rooting for her throughout the book.
Another thing I really liked about the book was the fictional set-up in the first few pages. Apparently Daniel Defoe (author of ROBINSON CRUSOE) saw Lola and heard that she was Blackbeard's last wife. He became fascinated with writing her story, and the book is the extensive interview he conducted with Lola. I don't always like it when real people are pulled into fictional stories but in this case it worked really well for me.
I'm not at all knowledgeable about piratical history but there is a great deal of it in this book. It has the ring of truth so I suspect that the author did a great deal of research. However, not having the background knowledge myself, I can't say whether the historical details are correct or not. They do make for a fascinating story though, and if the ARE true then there was some craziness going in in the Caribbean in those days!
There were parts of the story, especially near the end, that seemed rushed or that didn't fit so well with the rest of the book, but in spite of that I still enjoyed this one a great deal.
Oh, one more thing! There's a line on the cover that reads, "Life isn't kind ... Neither is she." I really don't like this line. Having read the book, I don't feel like it fits Lola at all. She was hard, yes, but I wouldn't say she was unkind.