Sunday, 28 July 2013

She Rises - Kate Worsley

Local and good.

Kate Worsley has based her book in the coastal town of Harwich, it's surrounding villages and on travels on
a merchant ship.
It's not as simple as a naval story, focussing on the life of the main character, Lou. Initially she's a maid in a grand(er) house but is moved to be a lady's companion in Harwich to a much loved daughter.
It's a great eye-opener for her as she struggles to attend her lady's every wish. Although she's aware of the mistress' self-absorption she's still in awe of her.
While she's in Harwich it's an opportunity to search for her brother and father, both at sea, possibly by being 'pressed' into service.
There's something in this book from just about every social strata, high society down to revelling bordellos.
It is very cleverly presented with the story flipping between Lou and her brother as they continue in their roles. His story is told as he is on board ship having been pressed. He finds himself the subject of attention due to his young age and the length of time the sailors are asea.
However the book is far trickier than this but to say any more of their lives would give away the sheer pleasure of the complexity in this well researched, highly atmospheric book.

Very unusual. Also a very stylish physical book, up there in the challenge to keep readers buying paper.

Publisher - Bloomsbury

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