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Book Review of Gascoyne

By Hannah H. — June 17, 2008

Sandy Cove is an English settlement located on a small island in the South Pacific. Amid the grand mountain scenery and rich tropical vegetation, business enterprises and missionary endeavors are flourishing rapidly, but in a small harbor opposite the settlement lurks a mysterious schooner. To the casual observer all seems well, but why does her equally mysterious captain know so much about the evil pirate Durward and his notorious ship? Why does he show such interest in Sandy Cove? And what is the meaning of his strange friendship with the widow lady and her son who live there? Is the captain an honest skipper or a dangerous pirate?

As suspicions regarding Captain Gascoyne mount, the leaders of the settlement soon find themselves in the middle of one crisis after another, as a murder attempt leads to an attack of the cannibals. Friends are kidnapped, first by savages, then by pirates. In each case Gascoyne is the only man who can successfully lead rescue efforts, but can he be trusted? Surprises and disasters follow close on each other's heels as the rescuers pursue on land and sea. When the triumphant party returns with the former captives, Gascoyne is led ashore in chains as a suspected pirate to await trial. But will he be hanged unjustly? And is there any way in which his friends can aid him?

One mystery leads to another as suspense builds in this captivating tale, rounded out by a colorful set of unforgettable characters. You'll meet John Bumpus ("the last of the Bumpuses, said family having comed over to Ireland with the Conkerer.."), the irrepressible Will Corrie ("bery wicked boy dat, bery; but him's a capital chap for all dat."), the hardworking, godly missionary and his lovely little daughter Alice, Ole Thorwald ("the descendant o' the Sea Kings, as he calls himself."), Captain Montague (commander of H.M.S. /Talisman/), the gentle widow Mary Stuart ("queen of women, if not of Scotland,") and her stalwart son Henry, and last but not least, Gascoyne, the Sandalwood trader - or is he a pirate after all?

— Hannah H.

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