“Long hours of loneliness
Between me and the sea
Should I dress in white and search the sea
As I always wished to be – one with the waves
Nightwish – Ocean Soul
“Fare thee well, little broken heart
Downcast eyes, lifetime loneliness
Whatever walks in my heart will walk alone
Constant longing for the perfect soul
Unwashed scenery forever gone
Whatever walks in my heart will walk alone
No love left in me
No eyes to see the heaven beside me
My time is yet to come
So I’ll be forever yours”
Nightwish – Forever yours
The book entwines two parallel stories for the reader, but they happened in different timelines : Captain Farris’s pirate adventures in Grenada, West Indies during 1709-1715 and Emma Boyd and Randi’s story that happens nowdays : Emma’s a librarian that loves pirate stories and Randi is a private investigator that loves maps and adventure, being in a forever adventurous competition with her elder brothers, they come together to find Tommy Farris’s treasure map.
Two love stories, two adventures, brought together by Captain Tommy’s treasure map.
I will tell them separately as they are clearer so, yet entwined in the way Catherine Friend has done it, creates the perfect mingle between the character’s destinies.
I must confess Tommy Farris’s story has fascinated me through it’s depth, it’s strength and it’s adventure. Captain Tommy’s made her way and took all she could in a men’s world : the world of piracy in the West Indies, when a woman being captain of a pirate ship is a wonder, a miracle.
The characters: pirate captain, Thomasina Farris, the devil’s shadow, and former slave, Rebekah Brown, who are so beautifully penned, in a world of cruelty, violence and theft. Both their worlds collide and all their future belongs in Tommy’s hands, both emotionally and physical.
Tommy Farris is the captain of the pirate ship “Moon Shadow” and she and her crew of 100 men are looking for the next pray, probably a commercial ship, always after a treasure hunt. Her best men are Sawkins and Billy who had been with Tommy for 5 years and are loyal ever since. Tommy had a fleet, she added two more ships : the Windy Queen and Tiger Eye and commanded over 300 men after a couple of raids against Spanish commercial ships.
Around the Tortuga Island and Sombrero, Captain Tommy walks on earth after long months on the sea which she loved for supplies and from a cliff she sees three Spanish ships which she and her pirates could take as a prey, but with the help of others. Instead of being attracted by the biggest ship : the Barcelona, she sees the smallest ship : the Maravillosa, with a female figurehead along it
Tommy meets other pirate captains, including one she hated : Shaw, who proposed they will attack the Spanish commercial fleet together and everyone should go for the Barcelona.
Tommy is the captain of the ships because she knows coordinates and mathematical calculus, Tommy is a genius of sailing, in times when they measure water in nodes.
Tommy is mesmerized by the Maravillosa and while having an argument with Coxon, a man that will turn to be Shaw’s man on her ship, and that wants to be the captain of the ship, she takes her pirates into a quick plunder for a smaller ship that came in the way. She takes it in force, liberates the slaves and keeps three women slaves for one of them to be her cabin boy, ment to wash her clothes and feed her. One of them holds her attention, the boldest, the one who keeps looking into her eyes, Rebekah Brown. Tommy seems unable to convince Rebekah to her duties, for she seems not to speak English and flees overboard twice. Yet, Tommy confesses some of her thoughts to Rebekah about her childhood and her dream to leave piracy and crimes one day. They form a bond in the end and Tommy doesn’t understand her attraction to this amazingly beautiful woman with tanned skin and mesmerizing eyes. The most beautiful confession about Tommy is the white streak strand of hair through her thigh length black mane, which appeared after her first kill.
I loved how Tommy took care of Rebekah while she was ill, Tommy’s sexual desire rising to it’s edges and how Tommy ran from Rebekah as much as she could on the ship’s deck while they were expected to sleep together as Rebekah is her cabin boy. I found it beautiful how Rebekah kissed Tommy while she was asleep and how Tommy awoke and brought so much depth to that kiss.
Tommy kills Coxon and Rebekah has given her strength by saying during the fight that he mingled with her. After a few tropical storms and while her other ships departed with Shaw, Tommy conquered the Maravillosa. She lives her Moon Shadow with another member of her crew and she sails with the Maravillosa for a while, because it contained of the biggest Spanish treasure and she had to hide it.
She found love in a real bed with Rebekah and although she felt she sinned against God by sleeping with a woman, she couldn’t help it, because she was already in love with Rebekah. Sawkins and Billy kept seeing a two peak island around Carriacou in the Caribbean Sea, but Tommy thought it was just their imagination after too much ale. After a few days, the Maravillosa drowns during a tropical storm and Rebekah is gone (Sawkins says she went straight to that island and she will be safe). They abandoned ship and Tommy is the sole survivor. She is rescued by some Dutch commercial ship and she is transformed into a domestic woman in a dress. She goes on earth in Port Royal, but she is recognized by the guards and ends in prison.
She wants to die, because she know Rebekah is dead and she is a pirate. Her only hope is her old friend Danny McLurin, a former pirate who became a priest and whom she helped when on the ship she has conquered when she met Rebekah. She let him a small treasure then and send him to land.
Now he wanted to pay his debt and get her out of prison, yet is hard to convince Tommy. Until after the trial, Tommy realizes that Rebekah might be alive and she knew how to get to her, she asks Danny to help her. And he will with a very clever trick : Tommy will switch places for hanging with one of Tommy’s sick older woman, that had only a couple of months to live and couldn’t stand the pain anymore. He cuts Tommy’s hair and sets her free. Tommy begins her journey as Captain R. Brown steals the Moon Shadow from Shaw and sails to find the mysterious island around Carriacou. And she succeeds and she lives with Rebekah ever after in that paradise island, only humans in love can see.
I loved this pirate story, it’s up’s and down’s, it’s adventures, it’s mysteries and this amazing lesbian love story.
The second story, leads librarian, Emma Boyd in a great adventure with private investigator, Randi Marx in their quest to find Drummond, a thief who stole pirate treasure maps from Emma’s library. Their quest along many libraries and their weaknesses and strengths makes them fall in love (Randi can’t change a tire, but can sail with close eyes; she has a dog Marley, that cannot be left alone for much time because he becomes anxious). Emma exchanges emails with Drummond, yet Emma knows he wants Captain Tommy’s treasure map, hidden in the cover of one of Captain R.Brown’s books. Randi and Emma finally decipher who Rebekah Brown was = Tommy’s lover and who Captain R. Brown is.
Emma and Randi share a beautiful night together, yet after the adventure is over, Randi disappears and leaves Emma a mysterious letter.
Randi fotocopied the map, Randi was Drummond and Randi flew to the Caribbeans. Randi is a pirate herself. Emma is left with a letter and with a desire for revenge. Together with John, Randi’s work partner and with the other three letters Randi sends, Emma and Marley leave for Carriacou and will find Randi on the mysterious island Tommy and Rebekah lived for thirty years and the treasure.
Of course, there is one last adventure for Emma and Randi, Fletcher, Shaw’s descendant, the one who followed Emma for so long, was also on the island and wanted the treasure and wanted to kill the two women. Thank God he wasn’t able to swim and that destiny once more favors the women and he dies.
Emma and Randi discover the treasure and all of Captain Tommy’s and Rebekah Brown’s story and they decide to stay on the same island and spend their lives together there.
Loved this part of Tommy and Rebekah!!