NB This post first appeared on the Blog Tour for ‘Wayward Voyage, via Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Growing up in the frontier colony of Carolina, life doesn’t hold many attractions for young Anne. Not content with living up to the expectations of other young women her age, Anne rejects convention and leaves her family to pursue adventure. However, it seems she must at least get married in order to be accepted on board ship and run away to sea. Marrying James Bonny, she heads for the Bahamas and meets ex-pirate, John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, where her real adventures begin.
Anna Holmes has created a story filled with colourful characters and realistic detail. The author’s own experience of sailing no doubt assisted her with descriptions of life on board ship and there’s a well-researched feel to the whole book. Strong female characters are the backbone of the story and paint Ms Bonny as a thought-provoking and feisty woman who knew her own mind in a time when women were often relegated to domestic work and mundane lives. There’s also a nice slice of swashbuckling action that retains the traditional ‘romantic’ feel of pirating without straying into unrealistic scenarios.
Having said that, the pace of the book felt a little slow to me and the urge to skip over some passages was hard to resist.
Overall, a well-researched and fascinating book about a woman who refused to be restrained by the customs of the times.
Anna is originally from New Zealand and lives in the U.K. with her Dutch partner.
WAYWARD VOYAGE is Anna’s first novel. She has been fascinated by the lives of women pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, for a long time. Some years ago, she visualised this story as a screenplay before exploring and building their world more deeply as a novel. WAYWARD VOYAGE made a longlist of 11 for the Virginia Prize in Women’s Fiction 2020.
BLIND EYE an eco-thriller, will be published by The Book Guild in September, so this year, 2021, Anna will have two novels coming out. Her screenplay, BLIND EYE, is joint winner of the 2020 Green Stories screenplay competition.
A documentary about pioneers of flamenco in the UK that Anna produced and directed was screened in Marbella International Film Festival and in London. This passion project ensures a slice of cultural history has been captured. It is available on YouTube and via a portal on her website.
She holds a Humanities B.A, a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an M.A. in Dance Studies. Initially she worked as a radio journalist before a career in arts management working with U.K. Arts Councils and as an independent producer, dance history lecturer and she has run a dance development agency.
Anna is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and enjoys practising flamenco. Writing, dance, and yoga shape her life.
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Women in piracy, sounds interesting, Colin. Is it unrealistic though? Women had very few rights and freedoms at that time.
I’d like to believe it’s realistic, but given the lack of contemporary accounts, it’s hard to know for sure.