Rough Passage to London: a Sea Captain's Tale
by Robin Lloyd
Pirate skirmishes, gale-force storms, human trafficking, and other high seas drama pepper Lloyd's poignant and action-packed debut about his real-life ancestor, Captain Ely Morgan. In 1812, young Ely and his older brother, Abraham, witnessed an explosive British raid near their home in Connecticut; they were pursued and fired upon, narrowly eluding capture and certain death. Eight years later, Ely left home to escape his father's temper and to search for Abraham, who had been mysteriously lost at sea years earlier. As the years away from home multiplied, Ely became a seasoned sailor, making devoted, loyal friends as well as vicious enemies. He ascended from novice sailor to captain to manager of the Black X shipping line by virtue of his hard work, intelligence and wit; Ely gained fame, socializing with Charles Dickens and other cultural figures. Yet, an introspective Ely had moments of self-doubt, questioning whether to quit his search and the sea: "A life at sea can only lead to tragic loss, pain, and suffering." More clues eventually lead Ely to discover a link between a slave syndicate, his brother's disappearance and his enemies, leading to shipshape conclusion. Lloyd crafts an engaging and thoughtful thrill ride; his mariner Ely Morgan is neither salty nor rum-soaked, he's the thinking man's swashbuckler.
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