Monday 22 March 2021

Diver's Daughter by Patrice Lawrence, reviewed by Pippa Goodhart

Never have I held my breath as long when reading a story as when I read this one! The story starts with a near drowning, and there's more to come along with betrayals and a hunt for treasure, kidnapping, and more. Here is how this story, set in the reign of Elizabeth the First, opens -'I hit the water. No, it hit me. It slapped me in the face then pulled me under. My head filled with its stink. I tried to hold my breath, but the water's wet fingers were in my nostrils, inching up and up. I couldn't open my mouth to scream; if I  did, I'd be dead. But at this rate, I was going to be dead anyway. The River Thames's strong arms yanked me, away from the boat, away from my other, away from life.'Vivid writing, and a fast pace as the story twists and turns to make for an exciting read!'Diver's Daughter' is one of the Voices series of short novels for 8-12 main readership age, with historical stories featuring immigrant characters who have tended not to be mentioned much by history or fiction. Eve's mother was taken into slavery from Mozambique by Portuguese slavers, then sold, and sold again to land in England. So Eve herself is from Southwark in London. But Jacque Francis was a real man, come as a slave from Africa where he had learnt free diving techniques, and off the English coast put to work to dive for lost treasure from the Mary Rose. Eve tells her story in the first person, addressing us as she tells it. This book would make a wonderful story for a teacher to read aloud to their class. And libraries should stock it. Who could resist that beautiful cover artwork by Alette Straathof?


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Becca McCallum said...

This sounds like a great book. And the cover art is beautiful.

Anne Booth said...

This sounds great. I love the cover too!