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 Charles (C. D.) White: "Standards Left Ragged" 
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Post Charles (C. D.) White: "Standards Left Ragged"
Charles (C. D.) White: "Standards Left Ragged"

I just finished reading this second book in the "Phillip Fairaday - Eliot Marlborough" series. There is plenty of action in this novel set in America during its War for Independence. The main characters are two brothers-in-law. Marlborough is a RN lieutenant who married the sister of Fairaday. Fairaday began this series as a loyalist on the same side as his brother-in-law ("The Loyalist’s Son") but has embraced the cause of the rebels. Now on opposite sides, they have some fierce confrontations.

I do like the focus on the fact that in the beginning of this conflict, colonists had to chose a side and this split families and friends. It is hard to tell the people on one side from those on the other.

I generally liked the story so far but I have some criticisms. I guess the most important to me is that the first book was published in 2003, this one was published in 2006. According to the author’s website, the series will be a trilogy. Each of these books are small (if the third is the same length) and all three might have been sold as one novel instead of waiting for such a long time to reach a conclusion. I’m impatient, I guess. If each of these books were full size novels, I guess it would be more typical and I more accepting.

There is one technical detail in this novel that does not seem correct. Early in the book (pages 10-11) Fairaday attempts to fix a leak in the hull with a small sail, oakum, and tar. There does exist a repair method called "fother" which uses these same materials but the repair occurs on the outside of the hull. Water pressure forces the sail/oakum material into the hole and slows or stops the influx of water. However in this book, the repair is made from "inside the hold." Planks and timber are not mentioned as part of the repair. Later when Fairaday wants to scuttle his vessel, the sail/oakum material is too hard to remove easily. Seems illogical. To understand what the author is saying, I guess I would need some additional details.

Don


Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:55 pm
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