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Girl on the Orlop Deck [Hardcover]

Beryl Kingston
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 16.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2010
Portsmouth, 1803. The wedding of Marianne Morris and Jem Templeman is supposed to be a happy affair but Marianne soon learns that her husband is not the man she thought he was. When Jem runs away to sea in a drunken attempt to shirk his duties, Marianne decides to take decisive action. Rather than stay at home to be mocked as a deserted wife, she disguises herself in her brother's clothes and joins the Navy, determined to find Jem and bring him home. But Marianne is soon to learn that life at sea is hard and her voyage will surely be long and arduous as Nelson has orders to find the French fleet and has vowed not to set foot ashore until the battle is over...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (30 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709090226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709090229
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,436,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An enjoyable novel that would be an excellent holiday companion. --Newbooks Magazine

Realistic, resolute and warmhearted. --Sunday Times

About the Author

Beryl Kingston was born in South London, where she lived throughout the Blitz. Having married her first love at the age of nineteen, Kingston went on to have three children and spent many years teaching English and Drama to secondary school children. Now a full-time writer, Kingston has published over 20 novels, many of which have been bestsellers.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real romantic naval fiction 27 Jan 2011
Format:Hardcover
This novelette (it's only about 75,000 words long) uses a tired old trope thought up by the Victorians - the distraught wife disguising herself as a man to run off to sea and find her husband/lover. Certainly women DID dress up as men and serve in Nelson's navy, but the usual motivation was a desire for adventure combined with freedom from the socially limited options then available to the female gender.

However, in spite of the premise, this is a really good novel, a definite page-turner. It's well written and it's historically very accurate. The mores and attitudes of the time are correctly portrayed, and yet this is done in a way that still makes it accessible to a modern reader, which is a very difficult thing to do. Moreover, Beryl Kingston does not make the mistake of overcooking the ingredients. Our heroine and hero do typical rather than extraordinary things. They come into contact with the famous and the powerful occasionally, rather than those people being totally beholden to them. It's a fundamentally optimistic book too, showing the good rather than the bad in people. It is, in the classic meaning of the term, a true romance.

The speech patterns of the characters are particularly well done. Strong accents are interesting and help to identify characters and time periods. They are also notoriously difficult to pitch correctly. Too little and the period feel dissipates. Too much and the characters become unintelligible. The author has them just about perfect here. Read it. You will not be disappointed.
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