Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Commodore's Daughter by Jamie Brazil

Title: The Commodore's Daughter
Author: Jamie Brazil
Pages: 171 pages {guesstimate}
Publisher:Windtree Press
My rating: 3.5 stars
Goodreads rating: 3.29 stars
Published: June 23, 2013
Source: eBook/NetGalley


Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Perry dreams of traveling the world, a dream that will never happen now that she's promised to a man twice her age. But what can she do? Run away. To Japan, where her survival is uncertain. Learning the ways of her new world, and the code of the Samurai, she uncovers a plot to ambush the American sailors. Now she must risk her own life in order to save her Commodore father.

This was an interesting read, and not quite what I was expecting.  It was very well written, and I absolutely love historical fiction, so when I saw this on NetGalley I knew I needed to see if I could read a copy.  The description doesn't really go into it a lot, and I feel like it might sell the story short a bit.  That being said, here's what I thought of it.

Jennifer {Jen-ni, as her Japanese friends end up calling her} is raised in a well-to-do family in the eastern Americas and is friends with a somewhat younger {but as well-known as ever} Susan B Anthony.  The book starts out with Jenny at home with her family, but the adventure begins when she flees a farewell ball and the man her father has promised her to.  Her friend Susan helps her escape, and Jenny stows away on her father's ship for the night, planning on meeting one of Susan's friends to help her escape north and start on her own.  She sleeps through a lot, and ends up already out to see by the time she wakes up in a highly unused closet in her father's cabins on his ship.

A decent portion of the book describes life for Jenny in the ship's closet, which was hard and nearly had her starving to death.  She survived and made it to Japan only to have to jump ship and swim to shore in a place where foreigners are executed on sight.  A well-to-do Japanese family finds her and captures her, only to have something happen {I won't say what... because that's a spoiler}, and both Jenny and the daughter of said Japanese family {Keiko} on the run from ninja.

Jenny and Keiko, along with a sensei, end up disguising Jenny enough that she blends in {using things to die her skin and hair}, and they all travel to a mountain village, where Jenny and Keiko end up assimilating.  From there, they must find a way to reunite Jenny with her father and save all of Japan.

I did enjoy this book, although, honestly, it took me quite a while to read for a book that has only about 170 pages.  It felt somewhat juvenile, and I was getting a little frustrated with the author not interpreting the things Keiko was saying in Japanese {although, it did help me get into Jenny's character a bit, because I was frustrated right alongside her}.  *side note: when Jenny did end up learning some Japanese, the author either just had it written in English in the book or would have a translation right after the statement.*  The book was very well written and would probably be more enjoyable for someone younger {13 or 14 year old me would have loved this}.

*I was given a copy of this from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not paid or compensated for said review.*

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