on February 18th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Historical
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The year is 1729, and Resolute Talbot and her siblings are captured by pirates, taken from their family in Jamaica, and brought to the New World. Resolute and her sister are sold into slavery in colonial New England and taught the trade of spinning and weaving. When Resolute finds herself alone in Lexington, Massachusetts, she struggles to find her way in a society that is quick to judge a young woman without a family. As the seeds of rebellion against England grow, Resolute is torn between following the rules and breaking free. Resolute's talent at the loom places her at the center of an incredible web of secrecy that helped drive the American Revolution.
“My story is the story of other women like me, women who left no name, who will not be remembered or their deeds written, every one of them a restless stalk of flax who lent fiber to the making of a whole cloth, every one of them a thread, be it gold, dapple, crimson, or tarred.”
Resolute was the spoiled and indulged ten year old daughter of a plantation owner in Jamaica when pirates raided her family home. Her father, sister, and brother were taken along with Resolute and many of the slaves to be sold. The pirate ship was taken by English privateers and eventually Resolute and her sister Patience were sold in New England.
Resolute at this age annoyed me and I had to keep reminding myself that this was a very naive child. Her sister tells her that women are taken from the hold of the ship to go on deck for dancing and feasting but then knocks Resolute almost unconscious when someone tries to take Resolute above deck at night. She thinks Patience is just trying to keep all the fun away from her. She thinks that they will be able to buy their way back to Jamaica and their mother as soon as they land no matter what Patience tries to tell her.
She is sold as an indentured servant in a house that is poorer than she has ever lived in. She needs to quickly learn how to do everything that she had slaves to do for her.
Resolute learns to survive though. Over the next few years her life is turned upside down as her village is raided and she is taken captive and sold again. Eventually she escapes and makes her way as a free woman to the outskirts of Boston. She has been trained to weave and starts to make her living with cloth.
Her life is fairly ordinary. She marries and has children and tends her house and farm. But the British are putting harsher and harsher restrictions on Massachusetts and her family and neighbors are getting involved in the rebellion in various ways. She isn’t one to sit idly by while her family is in danger.
“Perhaps, along with hundreds of other women in this place during this momentous time, I have made a difference.”
This is a wonderful historical fiction novel. I found myself reading late into the night and ignoring other things I had to do in order to finish it. It captures a time and place and the lives of the simple people who were part of it.
The one quote that kept coming to mind while reading this book was this one from The Princess Bride.
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…
The Grandson: Doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll try to stay awake.
Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.
That description of that book seems like it would fit this book and there are pirates throughout it!