*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: In late summer 1742, shipwright Abraham Robinson leaves London to work at France’s great shipyard in Brest where his life changes dramatically. There he falls in love with Yvette, only to lose both his position and lover as war begins. Returning to England, the navy presses him to serve as a ship’s carpenter, tearing him from his plans. Great sea battles, dangerous escapes, and ravaging fires challenge Abraham and Yvette’s lives from London to the colonies of North America. Throughout, historical and fictional characters cross their paths to help and hinder, but not all survive to achieve their goals in this first book of the Tween Sea and Shore Series.
A free PDF Addendum to the book can be downloaded at: https://stockmanbooks/downloads that contains a character list, nautical glossary, ship diagrams, maps, and other information to make reading the book more enjoyable.
The Ship’s Carpenter is an immersive historical drama, following Abraham as he learns to adapt to a new trade, attempts to court the beautiful – but fickle – Yvette, and repeatedly finds himself on the wrong side of his heritage as the English and French clash at sea and Abraham shuttles between them.
This is a fascinating insight into a period of history that I know little about, and I particularly enjoyed the strange unfamiliarity of the naval customs and chivalries of the time in comparison to modern, or land-based, warfare. The details about how prisoners-of-war were treated, and the politics of ships being traded unwillingly back and forth through a process of surrender, refitting and then recapture, were captivating and brought to life an era that somehow managed to be both dangerous and decorous simultaneously.
The main focus of the story, though, is the human side of history. D.E. Stockman shows his readers the everyday worries and routines of the period and settings: money and fertility worries, courting traditions and employment practices, alongside the more adventurous war skirmishes, captures and escapes.
Fans of historical romance and naval sagas won’t want to miss this well-written slice of 1700s seafaring life, and will be glad to hear that book two of Abraham’s adventures is already on its way!
On a slate-clouded morning, Abraham rushed along Brest’s rain-puddled docks. The harbor resonated with the sounds of commerce as workers bustled at their trades in a chain of workshops, offices, slips, and warehouses along the banks of the Penfeld River. Near the citadel, warships crowded the docks, their sails and spars hiding the sky. The leather bag hanging from Abraham’s shoulder carried documents to prove his abilities. Even so, the scarred left hand shoved in a coat pocket handicapped his chances of gaining a position at the navy shipyard.– D.E. Stockman, The Ship’s Carpenter
The Ship’s Carpenter is available on Amazon right now, and the second book in the series will be published later this year, or early next year. So, readers of the first novel who wish to follow Abraham and Yvette’s next adventures do not have too long to wait!