If you read my review of Escape From Home on Wednesday (otherwise known as Halloween), you’ll know that I was definitely impressed and spellbound by the tale of three children desperate to get out of Liverpool and onto a ship to America. You also know that if you have the misfortune of not having read Escape From Home yet, the synopsis of Into the Storm will contain spoilers.
I would strongly suggest avoiding it. If you want to see what I thought, you could scroll to the bottom and read the last few paragraphs, which simply hold opinion. Just watching out for you, bibliophile!
After an arduous ordeal in Liverpool, Maura, Patrick and the kindly actor Mr. Drabble have boarded the Robert Peel to America. Laurence, worn and nearly unrecognizable now as a lord’s son, is hidden below decks as a stowaway – his life at the mercy of Patrick’s ability to go below and release him from the container he’s concealed in.
The secret the O’Connell’s and Mr. Drabble know – of there being a stowaway on board – is one that put’s all their safety at risk. Yet the level of danger to Laurence is unknown to them as of yet – since they’re not aware that Mr. Clemspool boarded the ship with Mr. Grout.
This is only a new beginning, not the end of their passage to America. They may be on the ship, but they need to survive a month or more aboard in a situation that is cramped and ripe with fatal illness.
All three children cannot help but wonder if they will survive the voyage – and if they do, will they find what they’re looking for in America?
AVI has really, really captivated me with these two books! Into the Storm takes place immediately after Escape From Home, and though longer in length it zipped by in suspense from the first page to the last!
The Robert Peel, their deliverance from Liverpool, has miserable, cramped quarters and a continued tension in regards to the ship’s hard stance on stowaways, worrisome strangers, and the desperate hopes of its passengers.
Into the Storm spotlights prejudice, disappointments, tragedy, and loss in a way that yet again proves that despite featuring children as characters – this is a book that should be read by all ages! With the hardships these characters face, their bravery and perseverance make them all the more admirable.
Both of the novels in the Beyond the Western Sea duo made me think of the rich history of the past, the adversities unique to a prior era and those that resonate and identify with this generation still.
What I found with Into the Storm is an epic, unforgettable tale. AVI has penned a touching, moving novel that I actually felt privileged to read! I am much more likely to pick up more books from AVI now.
If you are a fan of historical fiction – the two Beyond the Western Sea novels are a MUST!!!