Peterson, A.S. 2009. The Fiddler's Gun. Rabbit Room Press. 293 pages.
The trouble with Phineas Michael Button began the moment she was born.
"She had the expected two ears, two eyes, one nose, and dimpled cheeks, but in her father's mind there was a problem. He had twelve children, daughters all, and was convinced that number thirteen would be his long-awaited son. So on the twenty-fifth of September, 1755, when he drew another baby girl from the womb of his long-suffering wife, he declared the discovery of an unacceptable mistake."
Abandoned by her parents, left in an orphanage in Ebenezer, Georgia, Fin, our young heroine has no problem being tough and staying strong. She's needed to be her whole life. But she is not the person the Baab Sisters--especially Hilde--would have her to be. She's not ladylike enough. She's too manly, too strong, too wild in their minds. Maybe a little kitchen duty will do the trick...
At first Fin is angry that she's been thrust into the kitchen, and forced into apprenticing with the orphanage's cook, Bartimaeus. (She's jealous that her best friend, her would-be-could-be husband, Peter, gets the better deal, the better job. He gets apprenticed to a carpenter.) But she soon realizes that this may just be the best thing that ever happened to her. For Bartimaeus --though not a simple man or a perfect man--loves her like she's his own child, his own daughter. He's a man with a past, a history--a dark and tangled mess of a past. But he's a good man, a changed man*.
With increasing hostilities between the colonies and England, it's not an easy time for Fin to come of age. Not with Fin's temperament. Her quick temper leads to...well...a great big dangerous adventure**.
Historical fiction. Action. Adventure. Pirates. Orphans. And a little old war.
What did I enjoy about this one? So very much! I love historical fiction. Usually. And this was no exception. A bit violent at times, yes, but what else would you expect in a sea-adventure filled with pirates?! It was exciting, compelling, hard to put down. It's anything but boring! I cared about Fin from the start. And her companions--especially Jack, Knut, and Tan--became important to me as well. The characters definitely felt human--felt flawed--which is a good thing. I would definitely recommend this one. (Especially if you enjoyed The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.)
The story will conclude in a second book, Fiddler's Green. (I want it now!)
You can order a copy of The Fiddler's Gun book through Rabbit Room Press.
*I will say this part of the story was just awesome for me. Peterson was able to connect the story with George Whitefield. True, it's a very small--very tiny--part of the overall story. But still, it made me happy.
**It probably helped that I love films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk. I think having this background helped me visualize the fighting-at-sea scenes.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews