In this stunningly creative debut “filled with well-drawn characters…and smoldering passion,” (Booklist) Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard.
When Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, returns home from a year at sea, he finds his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, all Teach wants is to return to the vast ocean he calls home. There’s just one problem: he must convince his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following the death of her parents, Anne Barrett is left penniless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne takes a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks and Anne longs to escape the confines of her now mundane life. How will she ever achieve her dream of sailing to Curaçao—her mother’s birthplace—when she’s trapped in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn together by a shared desire for freedom, but kept apart by Teach’s father, their love is as passionate as it is forbidden. Faced with an impossible choice, Teach and Anne must decide whether to chase their dreams and leave England forever—or follow their hearts and stay together.
The infamous pirate Blackbeard gets a romantic origin story in this historical drama set in 1697 England. Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of a wealthy English merchant, and Anne Barrett, a biracial orphan working as a maid in the Drummond household, fall for each other despite numerous obstacles. Teach wants to defy his father and return to sea; Anne has been stealing from her employer in order to run away and start a new life. United by their distaste for their current predicaments, the two overcome an initial clash of personalities and station to form a deeper bond. When Teach is accused of piracy, and Anne's financial circumstances improve, it seems as though neither will get the dream he or she desire, but hope springs eternal in Castroman's debut. The author plays fast and loose with the legend of Blackbeard, taking advantage of the lack of available details about his early life to craft this soap operatic adventure. An entertaining if unsurprising page-turner that is clearly set up for future installments which readers may hope are less landlocked than this outing. Ages 14 up.