Saturday, October 1, 2011

Glory of the Seas, by Agnes Danforth Hewes

Sea voyages really must have been all the rage in the 1920's and 1930's, since we've had to create a tag for all of these similar books. This novel takes place in pre-Civil War Boston. We're introduced to a shipbuilding company who is concerned because the invention of larger and swifter cutter ships is interfering with their ability to trade quickly with both the South and with California, and funds for investing in the new technology are tight. Also, the Fugitive Slave Act has recently been passed, a great offense to the north. The book proceeds more or less as you'd expect and doesn't contain any great surprises, which is why it took me six weeks to finish; it just wasn't exciting. Additionally, like many books written in this period, it begins in the meeting room of a large company (in this case, Mr. Pinkney's ship building firm) where an exciting event is being discussed and all of the principal characters chime in with their opinions. This may work for a movie, but there's something about the way that books of this era are written that makes it impossible for me to distinguish so many male principal characters when they're introduced in this way. And not to be gripey and all, since the author was female, but only two women exist in the entire world of this book- an aloof and often absent love interest, and a cook. How these many men went on to (presumably) reproduce I'll never know.

I'm probably not being fair to this one, but I'm just worn down from all of the like books, darnit! 20's and 30's, it's time for more creativity out of you.

No comments:

Post a Comment