A bright and swashbuckling adventure on the high seas, Fletcher’s Fortune is a historical and fictional memoir of Jacob Fletcher. This book was sent to me by Endevour Press for honest review. All opinions are my own.
As an apprentice, orphaned Jacob Fletcher should not be able to be press ganged into the Navy by law, but there are forces at work against our young hero. Sarah Coignwood, recent widow, and her sons Alexander and Victor, have found that they have been disinherited of a vast fortune in favour of the illiegitimate Jacob. And they will stop at nothing to get rid of the young man who stands between them and the money.
But Jacob is not easily put down. He’s a bright, lively and entrepreneurial spirit, and though death stalks him at every turn, both on board the ship Phiandra and by the French that they are at war with, he might just have a trick or two of his own up his sleeve.
The first in a series about Jacob Fletcher, this book has a lovely style and tone. It reminded me a bit of Moll Flanders and Tom Jones, books that talk about the realities and adventures of people who were not in the upper classes of society at the time, who lived in a more dangerous and ribald class of life. It captures the spirit of the time really well, with an attention to detail that is quite fascinating. The book mostly takes place on board ship and the sea, and the lifestyle of those below deck and the realities of life are really well documented. It’s quite insightful into the life of a press ganged naval seaman, but it’s never dry.
This book is full of life and humour, as well as action and adventure. The plots and intrigues that rule Fletcher’s life are gripping, and his personality is often so grandiose as to be sweetly amusing. I liked that the violence, sex, class and casual racism were never sensational or drawing attention to themselves, but were rather in style and tone with the story and times.
Read It If: you love historical fiction or adventure, it’s a rollicking and unlikely story of a likable lad.