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The Ship’s Carpenter

D.E. Stockman

Fire Ship Press, 2019

Softbound ($18.99) and Ebook ($8.99) 226 pages

Order:  https://stockmanbooks.com/books

 

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Background on the book:

This is first in a series titled “Tween Sea and Shore”.  While it is fiction, it’s based around real ships and real events of the mid-1700’s.    The story centers on Abraham, an English shipyard carpenter and his French love Yvette as they struggle to lead a quiet life amidst the wars of their respective countries in the mid-1700’s.  Abraham leaves London for France to find work, meets Yvette, and falls in love. He returns to London after unfortunate incidents occur and he is forced into the Navy.  From England to France and the colonies, his life and those of other historical characters encounter sea-faring exploits, escapes, victory and defeat as their paths cross.  The story, much of which is based on real-life events, ends with the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759.  A French frigate, la Renommee, connects all the main characters an entwines their lives in it’s wake throughout the telling.

 

Review:  Thoughts and comments:

I must confess that I have read very little naval fiction in the last 10 years or so while focusing on non-fiction although prior to that, I have read a lot.  Having said that, I’m very happy to have read it and feel like I should be reading more again.

The Ship’s Carpenter is very well written in a very flowing pace.  There’s much to be said as the work is very well researched.  I had to refer to Wikipedia and Google a few times to get some definitions of terms and in turn was rewarded by a greater understanding of the period.

The weaving of fictional characters and real persons is very well done and more that once I stopped and sorted out who was who.  While he takes fictional license with conversations, etc. they are well blended into the historical accuracy of the times.

Mr. Stockman has an insight into the times and the lives of those who lived them and blends in fact and fiction very well.   So well, at times I had to stop and think… “fact or fiction?”.  I picked up some things about shipboard life and battle that other works tend to ignore such as during battle, the ship’s carpenters continuously traversed the hold searching for leaks and holes created by cannon shot and effected repairs as quickly as they were able.  It’s these tidbits that were part of the pleasure of reading this book.  I look forward to the next two books in the series.

 

To those who enjoy period naval fiction, this ranks well up there.

 

 

 

 

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Before you read, please go to www.stockmanbooks.com and download the free PDF Addendum file. It contains a character listing with French pronunciations, a nautical terms glossary, ship diagrams, and other information that you will find helpful when reading the book. While you're at it, also download the free PDF, La Renommée: Story of a French Frigate. A 26 page booklet that contains the history, commanders, actions, and other information on the fastest ship of its day. Plus, take a look at the excerpt for the next book in the Tween Sea & Shore Series, to be out later this year, The Renowned Captains. It continues the story of Abraham, Yvette, and the other historical characters in the first book, Ships_Carpenter_full_cover.thumb.jpg.864e3123c90b32c16720b67ac496a745.jpg

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