Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cannonball Read - Book 87

I don't even know how this book got onto my bookshelf - I think maybe my MIL brought it to us, but I wasn't aware of such a thing and it doesn't look like she's read it lately, so I guess it will remain a mystery.

"Married for twenty years to Edward Berry, Lyddie is used to the trials of being a whaler's wife in the Cape Cod village of Satucket, Massachusetts—running their house herself during her husband's long absences at sea, living with the daily uncertainty that Edward will simply not return. And when her worst fear is realized, she finds herself doubly cursed. She is overwhelmed by grief, and her property and rights are now legally in the hands of her nearest male relative: her daughter's overbearing husband, whom Lyddie cannot abide. Lyddie decides to challenge both law and custom for control of her destiny, but she soon discovers the price of her bold "war" for personal freedom to be heartbreakingly dear."

As someone who likes female-centered historical fiction, it should come as no surprise that I quite enjoyed this book. Massachusetts in the 1760s is not a time period I'm very familiar with, so any liberties Sally Gunning took were lost on me, and I was fully immersed in the time period, the story, the language and the characters. It was only tedious in that many of Lyddie's days were full of mundane chores: milking the cow, building up the fire, making 200 candles, that sort of thing. But I imagine that the life of a whaler's wife was often tedious, driven by necessity instead of luxury (didn't chop enough wood this autumn? too bad, no fires for you this winter), so in this case, repetitive doesn't equal boring. Plus, Lyddie is a badass. She stops going to church AND she has wanton sex with an Indian. How sweet is that?

The Widow's War - B+


Ellie said...

OOh, Lyddie is lucky she didn't get burned at the stake for being a witch!

queenb2u said...

Yes, I brought you this book. And, yes, I liked it too. What about the awwwful son-in-law and the horrible brother?