Plot: Despite a great premise and protagonist, the novel moves along slowly. And while the author does a superb job detailing the era in which the action is taking place, there isn't enough action or insight into Patricia/Patrick to sustain reader interest.
Prose: The author is clearly a talented writer. Her prose is strong and suitable to the material.
Originality: This story is original with its premise of a woman masquerading as a male ship's captain while establishing trade partners in Havana. Patricia/Patrick is torn between her role as a man, her desires as a woman, and her resulting loneliness straddling life in both genders. It's a promising and unique premise.
Character Development: The author makes superb use of first person narrative to detail the novel's current events and place it in the proper time period for the reader. The main character, Patricia, is somewhat standoffish due to her masquerade and unwillingness to reveal her secret. As a result, she's also hard for the reader to relate to, connect with, and get to know.
Blurb: An insightful look at life at sea during the colonial era, this novel offers a combination of adventure, discovery, and intrigue.
Date Submitted: June 06, 2017
Linda Collison’s Rhode Island Rendezvous thrills as a hard-to-put-down historical novel of nautical derring-do.
Entertaining throughout, the expansive saga charts high-seas adventures between New England, the West Indies,and ports in between in the eighteenth century. The third novel in the Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventure series picks up the engaging narrative of a cross-dressing surgeon’s mate who strikes out as a ship captain in a profession that was then solely the province of men.
Set during a period of social unrest in the American colonies after the Seven Years’ War, when people are rioting over the newly imposed Stamp Act, the meticulously researched novel tracks Patricia MacPherson, an upperclass woman in boarding school cast adrift after the abrupt death of her Caribbean plantation–owning father. Setting off on her own, she poses as Patrick MacPherson, a former surgeon’s mate in His Majesty’s Navy, disguising herself as “a rising young merchant seaman dressed to go to a wedding feast where he will rub shoulders with Newport’s best.” Determined to make her fortune, she becomes a smuggler who sneaks in molasses for “Yankee Gold” Rhode Island Rum and ends up captaining the schooner Andromeda as it embarks on a dangerous international voyage… -- Foreword Reviews